The “Robin Hood” Narrative How To Make Your Brand Stand Out With Content

The “Robin Hood” Narrative: How To Make Your Brand Stand Out With Content

By Ivan Meakins

There is a powerful technique that seasoned content marketers have used for ages to build strong professional brands. 

When done well, it sets your brand apart as a champion for your audience, helping you build a loyal following, which in turn leads to conversions. Ready to find out what it is and how to wield it to make your brand stand out?

Let’s begin.

The “Robin Hood” narrative

We’re all familiar with the story of Robin Hood – the legendary outlaw and hero of the common people. Hood and his band of Merry Men were known for one thing: stealing from the rich and distributing the wealth to the people who needed it the most –  the struggling population.

But the tale of Robin Hood isn’t just a bedtime story we all heard as children. It represents a powerful narrative archetype seen in so many other stories across different cultures. The tale of the swashbuckling vigilante who has come down from the upper echelons of society to give back to the common folk. What’s interesting is that this narrative – one that paints the lead as a hero returning from successful heights with valuable goodies to share – can be a powerful tool for crafting business content too. 

To learn how to wield the “Robin Hood” narrative, we must first understand how it works.

Becoming the champion of the common person

While the world of business content doesn’t necessarily have sword fights and royal carriage heists, the “Robin Hood” narrative is about positioning your brand as a champion for your audience. 

Namely as a guardian figure who has been to the upper echelons of your industry and returned with valuable insights and knowledge that they’re now willing to share freely with the common folk for the good of the realm. 

But what does this actually look like?

Redistributing the wealth of knowledge

To give you a clear example, let’s look at seasoned marketing experts who, for years, have been working at the top of the corporate ladder with huge brands like Coca-Cola and Nike. When these experts leave and are ready to set up their own consultancies, they often need to build their own audience.

A great marketing tactic here might be to position themselves as experts, sharing industry secrets and proven strategies that worked for Coca-Cola and Nike with small local businesses. They can equip these local businesses with the tools that they need to compete with the corporate giants. 

Another good example may be an ex-athlete turned fitness instructor who is now sharing all the secret hacks and tips from their life as a pro for the everyman to benefit from. 

What this means is that they’re levelling the playing field for the common person. To bring us back to our Robin Hood analogy, these experts are, in a sense, redistributing the wealth of knowledge. 

Some industries, and the big companies that dominate them, tend to hold on to a lot of their secrets so as not to give away their competitive edge. If you can challenge that, you’ll certainly set your brand apart in your niche. Essentially, you’re demonstrating to your audience that you’re on their side and portraying your business or brand as a force that strives to create a fairer, more equitable situation for your audience.

What’s more, you can even disrupt an entire industry by showing the world how things really work.

How to craft a “Robin Hood” narrative with your content

The first thing to note about this technique is that it requires you to be authentic and show up with a genuine desire to help people. It needs to stem from a place of credibility, raw passion and belief

Once we’ve established that, let’s break down the next steps:

1. Establish your authority

In order to don the green tunic of Mr Hood, you must first establish yourself as a credible authority who possesses the necessary knowledge to create value for your target audience. This could involve sharing your background, struggles, victories, the reason why you left the “big, bad corporate world”, and the lessons that you’ve learned along the way.

Another way to establish authority would be to find a credible source of information that is willing to help you spill the beans. Doctors, pro athletes, and C-Suite execs are all great examples.

2. Identify your “Sheriff of Nottingham”

Now, you need a villain. A “Sheriff of Nottingham” who is holding onto something (valuable information) for potentially nefarious purposes or charging people a lot of money to access it. In the world of business, this villain could be an unfair system, an outdated way of thinking, or maybe a problematic industry standard that you want to shatter. 

Here, it’s important to avoid pointing fingers at specific individuals or corporations. Attacking competition can feel a little dirty, so remember: you’re fighting the system, not a specific company or individual. 

3. Define your tribe

The next thing you want to do is clearly define your target audience –  the people you’re fighting for. If you’re adopting the Robin Hood archetype as a business, you have to make sure that what you’re giving back to your audience will actually be valuable to them and help them solve a real problem that they couldn’t otherwise solve on their own or cannot afford to currently access.

What industry secrets or hidden knowledge do you have that will give them the most value? And how is this going to help them solve their problems?

Once you’ve established this, you can move on to the final step.

4. Share the wealth

This is where the giving aspect comes into play. Regularly share valuable, actionable insights with your audience. This could be through blogs, podcasts, social media, and downloadable tools that you can give them for free. 

Final thoughts

The “Robin Hood” narrative can be a really powerful marketing technique, but it’s important to wield it responsibly. You don’t want to villainise others in your industry just to showcase your own brand. Not only could this lead to a potential lawsuit, but it could also be harmful to your brand image.

At the end of the day, your topmost priority should be what you’re fighting for rather than who you’re fighting against.

If you’d like some help with wielding this technique and creating content to make your brand stand out, book a Clarity Call today to find out how our team of experts can help.

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