Whether you are a business owner, manager, employee, a consultant, cleaner, security, whichever role you play in business or life, at the end of the day, we are all doing exactly the same thing.
Every business is a storytelling machine.
Yes, you may be producing a product or providing a service, but how did you get there, why are you there, why will anyone: customers, employees, suppliers, partners, join in on your story? What is so special about your story? Is it special enough that someone (a person or business) will want to attach an element to their own story?
Telling story isn’t just limited to the person taking the stage. It’s not even limited to words. It much bigger than that. Story is a collective of every emotion, thought, and action. Your story is as much about what you do, as it is about, what you don’t do.
The term Personal branding may seem a little per se for you, which I completely understand, but the notion of getting your head around the story you are telling, not just to others but to yourself, can be a game changer. Through the realisation that either, yes we are on the right track, or no the story isn’t feeling right, we need to bring it back, change the department, a brand, a business, to make it great again or to make it great for the first time.
We have seen Woolworths retell their story. Two years ago, they came back to playing to their strengths (food), and rebuilt from there. Yes, their creative advertising campaigns have been pinnacle, but the start of a new story happened when a new leader walked into the business and realised the current story wasn’t going to cut it. Hence the ‘master’ cut from their story! Tough calls are made, but this call in itself, even if it’s a discard, speaks volumes.
Starbucks is also a good example. Post GFC they were not performing well at all. They lost sight of what story they were selling, becoming distracted with movies and music. In 2009, they reset their focus and story to what it was from their first store opening in 1971, ‘making great coffee.’
The Cartier Exhibition (National Gallery of Australia), takes you through how a 100-year-old + brand conveys their story: Timeless, beauty, extravagance, indulgence, meticulous, handcrafting. Using ‘influencers’ (before the word ‘influencers’ was a thing in the media world) like Muhammad Ali, Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Grace of Monaco, to tell their story. A story that people pay exuberant amounts of money for a stake in. People are buying so much more than an item of Jewellery. They are buying a history, a positioning, an association, a feeling.
From these three examples alone, you can see the power of story. The effect it has from the inside (within the company walls) out and beyond (to all stakeholders). An effect that can last for years and years. And at the same time create monetary value for today and future earnings.
A damn good reason to invest in your story. Not to mention the butterfly effect, on integrating into other people’s stories. A so it goes.
Something for you to think about:
What story are you telling? Is this the story you want to keep telling? Or are you ready for the next chapter? Or a new story? Or a return to an old story?