Carlos Soto, a cofounder of Nosotros Tequila & Mezcal.
Nosotros Tequila & Mezcal
Storytelling is an effective marketing tool for small businesses.
Consumers are drawn to brands that tell authentic stories about their origins and values.
A company should always back up its claims with quality products.
This article is part of “Marketing for Small Business,” a series exploring the basics of marketing strategy for SBOs to earn new customers and grow their business.
Storytelling is ingrained in Nosotros Tequila & Mezcal. The company’s name translates to “the story of us,” and its cofounders, Carlos Soto and Michael Arbanas, focus on the idea that every bottle tells a story.
“You open a bottle, you share it with some friends, and you tell stories to each other about what’s happening in each other’s lives,” Soto, who’s from Costa Rica, told Insider.
Nosotros started as a business-school assignment. In 2016, the company launched its first batch of tequila. At the time, the business was considered an underdog in a market dominated by legacy brands, Arbanas told Insider.
Michael Arbanas, a cofounder of Nosotros Tequila & Mezcal.
Nosotros Tequila & Mezcal
To stand out, the Los Angeles company focused on its grassroots origins, Latino ownership, and commitment to sustainable farming in Mexico, where most of its tequila is produced by a woman-owned and -operated distillery, Soto said.
These elements have helped the cofounders create a compelling, authentic brand story that continues to resonate with people and draw in business. Today, Nosotros products are available in 42 states.
Here’s how to write and tell a brand story, and why it’s important for attracting customers.
Build authentic connections
A brand story is the “why behind the business,” Matt Johnson, a branding psychologist and author of “Branding That Means Business,” told Insider. Small businesses resonate more with customers when they share their backgrounds and deeper motivations, beyond trying to sell products or services.
When constructing a brand story, small businesses should curate elements that resonate most with the target consumer — but the story must be true and authentic, he said.
Matt Johnson, a branding psychologist and author of “Branding That Means Business.”
Forrester research indicated that seven in 10 US consumers related to authentic brands and wanted to support them.
“What’s made our story so powerful is we’re not going out of our way to curate something that doesn’t fit what we do on a daily basis or how we look at life or the things that we value,” Soto said.
To a community of more than 24,000 followers on Instagram, Nosotros highlights its origins and promotes wellness and drinking responsibly. It also encourages customers to share their stories and how they relate to the brand.
As a consumer, Soto said he appreciated brands when he could “really feel the pains that person has gone through to make something real,” adding that he believed that’s more compelling than traditional advertising.
Tell your origin story
All of a small business’ marketing, including branded content and social-media posts, should tell and retell the brand story, Johnson said: “That’s how, ultimately, you develop brand awareness.”
Helping consumers understand the motivation behind the company creates an emotional connection, builds loyalty, and distinguishes a small business, Johnson said. To accomplish that, you need to get to know your customers.
When you understand your customers, you can learn which stories best showcase your products or services and inspire them to do business with you, he said.
Back it up with quality products
A compelling brand story is worthless without a solid product to back it up, Arbanas said. Nosotros offers a variety of tequila and mezcal products, and its “drink less, drink better” mantra reinforces its story and focus on quality versus quantity.
Nosotros features elements of its brand story on social media and in its overall marketing strategy, Soto said, helping foster a sense of loyalty among customers. “We’ll tell that story every week, and we’ll keep showing up,” Arbanas added.
In small-business marketing, brands have to make claims about their products or services to generate sales. “Authenticity is when these claims land,” Johnson said.