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How to tell your business story in six steps

Written by Kate Bartholomew

5 March 2020

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Stories make you feel something. Through the power of storytelling, you can create a business story that your customers will connect with and remember for years.  Here, we share the six key storytelling building blocks to help you tell your own business story. 

The Jungle Book, James Bond, Star Wars, The Hunger Games,– 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 that make the story connect: a central protagonist, mission, problem, guide, journey and resolution. You can use these six key building blocks of every great tale to tell your own business story.

1. Hero

The ‘hero’ is the human element of our story, which the tale is based around. This is not you, and it’s not your business. In other words, the customer or the audience – is the hero, not the company itself. You should never be the centre of your own story. Define your customer, and you have your hero.

2. 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? What you want your customers to achieve? That is their mission.

3. Problem

But there’s something stopping the hero from achieving their mission. This is the ‘problem’ at the heart of the story. Or in other words, the business issue or conflict that your customers are facing.

4. The guide

At this point in the story, the knight in shining armour makes an appearance. You, as the business, take on the role of the ‘guide’ and only now do we introduce how you help your hero overcome their problem. You are the Yoda, the ‘Q’, the Baloo the Bear, offering advice and support along the way.

6. Journey

The hero can then be taken on a ‘journey’ by the helper – that’s you, during which they are supported to overcome their challenges and achieve their mission.

7. Resolution

Finally, this leads to the ‘resolution’ of the issue or conflict, working with the helper to reach the man village or defeat the villain 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 with your customers and make them feel something when they think about your business. Put the six steps into practice and you will develop a business story that stands out.

Want to tell your business story?

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