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How to tell your business story in six steps

Written by Kate Bartholomew

5 March 2020

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We’re celebrating the art of great storytelling this World Book Day and sharing the six key building blocks that make up every great story. Using these six storytelling steps, you can create a business story that your customers will connect with and remember for years.

The Jungle Book, Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella – what do these well-known tales have in common? Apart from an ever-present villain, they all contain three things which keep us engaged and the stories retold, generation after generation. Conflict, human interest and resolution.

Fairytales aside, no matter the origin or audience of a story, it is these three elements which will always feature and make every story a success.

The same is true in a business context, with the power of story not just reserved for novels or to be regaled on nights out with friends.

People remember, share and buy services or products that are based on stories. Take any successful business and you will see that it resonates with its audience not because it pushes products or focuses on features and benefits. It has built a successful brand presence and following due to the stories it tells which make it relatable and memorable.

If we dig deeper, these stories always feature six key building blocks a central protagonist, mission, problem, guide, journey and resolution.

Protagonist

The ‘protagonist’ is the human element which the story is based around. In other words, the customer or audience – not the company itself. You should never be the centre of your own story.

Mission

The ‘mission’ defines what you want people to feel and do after reading your story. What is the call to action you want to convey and what should the story achieve?

Problem

This can then be articulated through the ‘problem’ at the heart of the story. Or in other words, the business issue or conflict that your customers are facing.

Guide

At this point in the story, the knight in shining armour makes an appearance. The role of the ‘guide’ is played by the business and only now do we introduce how it helps the protagonist overcome their problem.

Journey

The protagonist can then be taken on a ‘journey’ by the helper, during which they are supported to overcome their challenges.

Resolution

Finally, this leads to ‘resolution’ of the issue or conflict, working with the helper to battle the big bad wolf or defeat the evil queen for a happy ever after.

No matter the medium used – whether a press release, customer case study, thought leadership article or presentation – these core pillars will ultimately be the glue that helps your story stick.

Find out more about how Berkeley can help you tell a successful story, through our Storytelling Academy workshops.