25th January 2018 Claire Hawes

The 5Cs of memorable business storytelling

Business storytelling. How to make your brand memorable and shape what people think about your business.

What have Airbnb, Nike and Apple all got in common?

They’re all known for being masters of business storytelling.

Airbnb doesn’t write its own stories. It has built its whole brand around its customers’ stories. The approach is clever. Why? Because Airbnb’s own customers are selling Airbnb’s services for them.

Nike’s stories always feature a challenge. The heroes of the stories unfailingly have faith in their abilities. And it is the heroes’ faith that helps them overcome problems. Just do it, Nike tells us. If you wear Nike’s shoes, you’ll be empowered so that you can.

Apple is the master at telling a complete story in one sentence.

  • “Apple reinvents the phone.”
  • “There’s an app for that.”
  • “The only thing that’s changed is everything.”

The one-liners are teasing. They spike curiosity. They’re consistent. Most importantly Apple makes sure they’re promoted consistently throughout its marketing channels.

So let’s think about it for a moment:

Stories make businesses human. They shape how people view you. To say nothing of the fact that good stories are memorable.

But you know what else? Stories draw in humans. The reason why is because they elicit emotion.

In light of this both business to consumer and business to business, companies benefit from storytelling. Since people making buying decisions always buy on emotion.

Sounds good?

So let’s look into the 5 elements that make a good business story. They’re easy to remember. Why? Because they all begin with the letter ‘C!’

Circumstance

First off start by outlining who is telling your story. Next, establish the scene and the context in which you’re setting your account. Use descriptive language to provide a strong sense of the setting. Then answer these questions:

  • What connects the story to you?
  • Why are you telling the story?
  • And what are the characters involved in the story trying to achieve?

Conflict

Good stories always have conflicts that need solving. What would happen if you do not resolve the problem outlined in your tale? What drama would ensue? Describe the risk to your business or the characters involved.

Which leads us neatly onto:

Characters

Every story needs a hero. Who is the hero of your story? The hero can be people within your business, suppliers and of course customers. Can your audience relate to your hero? What is your hero’s unfulfilled desire? How can your hero resolve the conflict?

Curiosity

Now you need to compel your reader to keep reading. What is the sequence of events or actions that make other things happen? Answer this question, and you’ll be able to drive your story forward.

Close

Describe the results of your story.

  • How did the hero solve the elements of the conflict?
  • What were the lessons learned?

Now you’re ready to put the pieces of the jigsaw together and write your own story.

So give it a go!

And you’ll live happily ever after.

The End.

And finally

If you would like help writing business stories that drive readers to take action, then do get in touch.

Claire Hawes, copywriter and owner of The Content BoutiqueAbout Claire Hawes

Claire Hawes is a marketing communications copywriter. She enjoys writing engaging copy that helps businesses to get noticed and attract enquiries. Claire’s experience mainly lies in the business to business sector. Her clients include both businesses and digital marketing agencies.

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