You need an Origin Story ... Here's Why
Bumble has one, TOMS has one. Black Panther has a great one!
We love a good origin story, don’t we? We're naturally curious beings. I mean, how many of you immediately jump to the "about section" of a website to learn more about the company founder?
Storytelling is an incredibly effective way to market your product, service, company, and even yourself. An origin story that highlights you and what got you to this point is even more compelling.
Just look at TOMS, the shoe company. There’s nothing particularly remarkable or revolutionary about the shoes themselves. If you walked into a DSW you’d barely notice a pair of TOMS among the thousands of other brands lining the store shelves.
BUT, let me tell you a story …
There was once a young entrepreneur who traveled to Argentina and was heartbroken at the sight of young children walking barefoot on hot, uneven, and debris-strewn roads. He decided to do something about it and created a shoe company which would match each pair of shoes bought with a pair donated to a child in need. Now you're intrigued. You want to learn more about the founder and the company, and hell, you're actually motivated to buy a pair of TOMS or five.
That’s the power of storytelling!
And here’s the thing -- you don’t necessarily have to be an entrepreneur or a celebrity to have an “about story”. Think about how many total strangers we stalk, I mean, RESEARCH, on social media on a regular basis! Ok I just made this creepy, but you get the point.
You have the opportunity to stand out by highlighting your brand through a unique, interesting story.
There are tons of scenarios where you’d need to differentiate yourself and stick in the minds of your audience -- a job interview where you’re competing with 5 other candidates with similar profiles, a networking event where everyone’s giving the same boring spiel, or even your LinkedIn profile.
So how do craft a good story? Let’s begin with one essential element ... Emotion!
We’re so used to dealing with facts and figures in a workplace setting that we forget the importance of emotion. If you think that’s unnecessary, I challenge you to think about all the stories you’ve heard throughout your lifetime. Which do you remember the most? Probably the ones that elicited a strong emotion -- happiness, sadness, anger, or laughter.
So don’t be afraid to infuse your story with emotion. Of course, facts and stats are necessary, especially in a data-driven industry. But the next time you're asked a behavioral interview question or leading a presentation, ditch the jargon in favor of a memorable story that's descriptive, lets your personality shine through and makes an emotional connection.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks as we break down the essentials of story structure and how to communicate it in person and through video.
In the meantime, check out this video to hear more about how to infuse emotion and what you can learn from Disney. And this one below that goes deeper into “origin stories”.
Now it’s your turn. Think about your origin story. Want to tell us about it? Even better!
Leave us a comment below. Seriously, we LOVE hearing from you and we respond to EVERYTHING.