Do you remember when you were a young child, and your parents read you a bedtime story before you went to sleep? You probably did not want to crawl into bed before 10 o'clock at night, but those stories were so jam packed with excitement, you could not resist scrambling to your room to get under the covers to find out what happens next. Suspense is a powerful emotion, and yet it is an emotion that those who tell stories play with and manipulate their audience with all the time. If it were not for suspense, most stories would be bland and quite boring. Our entire society is hooked on stories. Even adults spend the majority of their free time binge watching television shows that continue this tradition of storytelling. They cannot help themselves. They just have to watch the next episode, but that turns into three more. It is, therefore, only natural that your startup needs a great story in order to reach out to consumers. A story speaks the language of overcoming adversity, encountering mystery and can even leave people on the edge of their seats with their full attention engaged. Yet, if your startup does not have an amazing storyteller to help convey what your business and its brand are all about, then chances are your customer base will not be able to relate to your products and that will significantly hurt your business.

Giving Your Brand Some Context

Imagine starting a company that releases gourmet food products. It is not that your latest food release is made with quality ingredients that urges people to buy more of your product and increase your sales volume. Consumers can find food products containing quality ingredients just about anywhere they look these days. What they cannot get anywhere is the unique and eye catching story behind how the carefully balanced ingredients you used in your startup's signature delicacy was derived from a long lost 19th-century recipe found in the basement of an old historic house in Salem, Massachusetts. This particular recipe was a heavily guarded secret of a master chef from the Cordon Bleu, and finally, after having been rediscovered, it can now find its way to your dinner table where you can share in this once popular dish of the rich and famous. Now, all of a sudden, your brand has quality ingredients and a historical link that will only intrigue consumers to wonder what that old recipe tastes like, and how your company happened to get their hands on it. This is a side of marketing that is so essential to branding that your startup can gain real mileage with an approach like this, because it has been shown to work time and time again. The person telling stories for your company must understand that telling a story in marketing must really grab the consumer and convince them to pause. Otherwise, the segment of the consumer base you are marketing to has no good reason to take notice of who your company is and what products your company is offering to the public. In other words, you need to overcome this disconnect with your segment of the consumer base, and an effective story facilitates that outcome for your company.

How to Tell an Effective Story for Developing Your Company's Brand

In order to tell an effective story that will put your company and its brand on the map, you must have some idea of who the three stars are in this story. Remember, this story is aimed at getting your intended audience to relate to your company and its brand. If it does not achieve this goal, then you will need to get help from a third party company that specializes in company-based story telling. At least, if you must use a third party service to make this part of your marketing campaign work, you will know it is being formulated the right way for optimal effect. The first star of your company's story is the company founder. This is the brave, tenacious soul who went out to create a company by throwing caution to the wind and overcoming a great deal of adversity along the way. No roadblock was going to stand in our hero's path. The second star of this story is the ideal customer. This is the person who was once struggling with some major problem until they found the product your company brought to market that saves the day. The fact that this star of your story uses your product and reaps amazing benefits and success with it speaks volumes to other consumers in the same situation. The third star in your story is your company itself. This is the reliable company that consumers turn to any time they need to solve a particular set of problems, because your company produces the best products for solving these problems. While this story is not very original, when boiled down to this easy to follow format, it does serve the purpose of producing a framework that the storyteller in your business can use with which to frame your company's story. This framework helps them to address all three of the major stars relevant to the story behind your company and its brand. So, your company needs someone telling the company story to help consumers fit into the story your company is sharing with the open market.

The Emotional Hook

The reason stories work is not really all that surprising to marketers. Aside from the fact that society has been raised on stories, a story grants us the opportunity to buy into an emotional hook that we can take with us wherever we go. By allowing us the opportunity to empathise and imagine, a story helps to burn an image into our mind that becomes a long term memory. It creates an emotional bond between the consumer and the brand the company is pushing. As elements of this story are reused throughout various marketing campaigns, this leads to a conditioning effect that makes the power of storytelling all that more powerful in the advertising domain. Conditioning in marketing is what cements you in the minds of consumers far and wide. Your company and its brand begin to become a piece of popular culture, not simply an obscure source from which to obtain a product or two. Without a story, reaching this level of acceptance among consumers would be genuinely difficult to achieve and maintain, and without a storyteller, you will not grab an audience to make this outcome a reality for your company.

Author's Bio: 

Tristan Pelligrino is a lifelong entrepreneur who has founded several small companies. He started his career as an IT consultant working for large organizations like PwC, IBM, and Oracle. After an early career in consulting, Tristan branched out to create a leading regional video production company and digital marketing firm, and he is now focused on spearheading financial management with small businesses at