Once Upon a Time — How Great Company Stories Begin

By Shelby Fisk

“Whoever tells the best story shapes the culture.”

Erwin Raphael McManus

Once upon a time; a guy walks into a bar; it was a dark and stormy night… You know how this story goes. You’ve heard it a million times, and could close your eyes and say the words.

Think of the nursery rhymes you’ve sung since you were young, or the phrases you repeat every day at work. Music we listen to, and unspoken gestures of strangers, friends, and family illuminate our lives. We tell stories every day.

So what about narratives moves us; and when it comes to branding, why do we love a good story over a quick pitch?

Why do we imagine the lives of strangers walking down the streets, or daydream about our lives? According to neuroscience, we as humans seek to identify and relate to the world around us. Pareidolia is the phenomenon of seeing faces in inanimate objects, or patterns where there are none. Sure, seeing Madonna’s face on a piece of toast sounds crazy, but it’s psychologically explainable.

This is simply how our minds work. And this is why stories have power. So how do you tell a great story for your brand? Follow these tips to make your company’s story stronger:

DRAW THEM IN & MAKE THEM CARE

Great stories are known to move us, to make us laugh, or cry. Customers aren’t expected to be overtly emotional with every interaction, but they should care about your business. More importantly, they should care about why you’re doing what you’re doing. Often, this is your connection to your audience. So let them in. Share what motivates you; let them know what makes you get out of bed every morning.

WHEN IT COMES TO DETAILS, SHOW DON’T TELL

You run a great business, you know that, and presumably many customers would agree as well. But telling prospective clients how great you are proves nothing; in fact simply, calling your company “the best” often suggests the opposite. Instead of bragging, tell your story, and let readers make the connection as to why they want to do business with you.

FINALLY, REMEMBER IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU

Telling a great story means that the story resonates with your readers, or, in this case, your prospective customers. A story should encompass what you want to say about your company, but it isn’t all about you. Ask yourself, what story haven’t your customers heard? This is what they want to hear.

When it comes to crafting a great story for your company remember that what you’re selling isn’t as important as why you’re selling it. And what you do isn’t as important as why you do it. We don’t want to be sold to; we want to be entertained, we want meaning and value. This is what makes good stories, and this is what makes great brands.

Shelby Fisk is a Manager at Woden. Whatever your storytelling needs may be, let Woden help. Download our free StoryGuide, or send us an email at connect@wodenworks.com to discuss how we can help tell your story.

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