When I first started to say out loud that my new business would be called The Story co. I got some sideways glances. I would need to further explain what that would mean and then I would get a weak smile and a hesitant nod. (Note to self work on 30 second pitch) And I still get those glances, but not as often. Now all aspects of story marketing is becoming mainstay and it has become the “go to strategy”.
There are courses, schools conferences, blogs all about strategic story telling. It’s thrilling and I could eat it up with a spoon. But there are times when I think we are taking the simple, and making it complex. Most of us were brought up on stories. We know a good story when we hear it and of course the opposite of that is also true. There are some tricks to the trade but formalizing story telling too much can remove it’s magic and perhaps misses the point.
Here is a GREAT STORY … about a company that I have enjoyed watching and supporting over the years. They have recently written THIS BOOK which of course I am going to buy. They were one of the first to jump on the “be happy, not grumpy band wagon”. Being first to market is a valued position – is that why they are such a success? They also had great designers, on trend product and you could find their merchandise where you wanted to buy it. All really, really, important ingredients to their success. Others have done this too, but have had short runs and success has been fleeting. A t-shirt is still a t-shirt right?
So how come it works for them? I believe it comes down to finding the power of their story and unleashing it consistently. Their “life is good, but not always easy” philosophy resonates. And it has resonated for 11 years. Their story is rooted in their reality making it undeniably authentic. It also makes us want to buy their product and give their product to others. And most of all it makes us want to cheer them on, and be part of their story. Boom. That’s the power of story.
Maybe their story strategy is well crafted – narrative structure perfect, character development flawless, story structure supreme and the controlling idea nailed. But I think they just wanted to share their reason for being. Sell some product. Spread a message that we needed to hear. Authentically live their brand.
So please, do find your story. The one that means something to you, and to me, and be sure it’s the story that only you can tell. Put the formula aside, let the heart and soul of your business sing and run wild – that’s where you will find your story. Then own it. Own it big.
When you find it be sure to tell us about it. We can’t resist sharing a good story.
PS I just happen to think Life is Good is a cool story no endorsements received.