Getting hooked on the story

Story telling is all the rage in business now. But I think there is good reason. We’ve always loved telling stories. We keep inventing new technologies to do more of it – from mobile technology, to television, to the printed word.

As Stephen Denning, champion of organisational story telling begins his book ‘The Springboard’:

Why storytelling? Nothing else worked. Charts left listeners bemused. Prose remained unread. Dialogue was just too labourious and slow…. I found that a certain sort of story enables chnge by providing direct access to the living part of the organisation.

Australian story experts Anecdote put it simply that:

  • Stories inspire us to take action
  • Stories stick in your mind much better than bullet points or clever arguements.

So, great, okay, but it begs the question – how exactly can I use a story in my business to create more engagement with my target audience?

There are so many ways. Here’s some great examples I’ve seen:

  • Fair trade clothing maker Eternal Creation adds a vignette of its workers on its facebook page. It works because you get a real sense of the people you are supporting with your purchase – feel good factor = repeat customers!
  • QR code technology is being used in Wales to give people more information on gravestones they come across. It works because it is instant – visitor finds something, is intrigued, wants to know more and can easily with their phone right there and then.
  • And then there are product stories, like those of Original Bean:

For each bar sold, Original Beans plants a tree in the rainforest where the bar’s ingredients originated. Each bar carries a certificate inside the wrapper with a lot number that designates the location of a new tree. By entering the tracking code on the company’s website, customers can not only trace where the cacao beans in their individual bar were grown, but also what their contribution is to the chocolatier’s rainforest replenishment efforts. Hence the company’s mantra: “One bar, one tree, go see.”

So how can you let your customers and visitors know how special you are, allow then to dig deeper and find out more about you?

And of course, we are here to help. Done well, stories could have a huge impact on your customer and staff engagement. It doesn’t have to be complex or expensive. Want to brainstorm some ideas? Great, shoot us an email