Whether it is internal or external, the core purpose of any communication effort is rooted in your business’ story and brand. Today, the best marketing campaigns focus more on a relatable narrative and less on the promotion of a particular product or service, so developing your business’ story is imperative to any marketing campaign.

As much as we would all like for our stories to tell themselves, the best authors of that narrative come from within. Daunting? Initially, it can seem so. But luckily, it doesn’t have to be difficult.

First and foremost, take inventory of your audience who would be most concerned with understanding your business’ story. No matter your regional scope, you can break your client base down into two categories: current clients (past transactions) and prospects (growth goals). Between these categories, how your business is perceived is circulating through the minds of your clients in one of two ways:

  • For current clients or customers: I already know what this business can do for me, and I value the relationship to maintain business.
  • For prospective clients or customers: How can this business help me, and why should I spend money with them?

While it is a very broad client or customer breakdown, it can significantly help convey your story and ultimately your promotional efforts.

Why do you do what you do?

What doesn’t change between these two groups, however, is your story of why you do what you do.

We all have a job to do. Ultimately, every single business is providing a service that helps solve an immediate need.

  • Do you sell combines? You are providing a service that solves an efficiency problem that a farmer would have without the technology provided in a combine.
  • Do you sell animal supplements? You are providing a service to fill a nutritional void when base rations are not sufficient.
  • Do you sell seed? You are providing a service that helps the farmer grow, harvest and provide for his family year over year.
  • Do you run a dairy? You are providing a service to answer a consumer demand for dairy products.
  • Do you offer market reports and industry analysis? You provide a service of commodity data to fill the question all producers ask, “What are the markets doing?” to ultimately help inform, “What does my bottom line look like?”
  • Do you sell meat? You provide a service for people to purchase and enjoy some bacon with their family.

We all have needs, and we are all looking for a service that helps whittle down such a list. What makes businesses unique is the manner in which their services are able to help clients or customers check off needs.

Keep it simple.

The process of figuring out what your story is does not have to be overly complex. Start at the core by answering who, what, where, how and why.

What service do you provide? Bam. You have your purpose that solves the what.

Second question that naturally follows is: How are we different? Bam. You now have your how and who.

Whether it comes to you easily or not, it is always a good idea to cross check with your current and past clients by asking them to tell you their perspective of the purpose of your business. Not only can this help clue you and your stakeholders in on what service your business has historically been successful in providing, you can also calibrate your messages to ensure what you want to say is actually resonating with your audience. This is the why that helps differentiate what you do.

You already have your where (if this is vague, refer to the address you receive mail), and all of these combined—who, what, where, how and why—inform who you are.

And, let’s not forget that while we differ in our approaches, at the end of the day, we are all providing the same service for the greater good of the world: Putting food on the table.