Why Your Business Needs a Compelling Story to be Successful
Updated: Mar 20, 2019
My all-time role model is Anthony Bourdain. He was suave and brave, rugged yet classy, non-judgemental but unapologetic. He could walk into any dive bar anywhere in the world and make the establishment look like the coolest place on earth. A true global citizen who traveled the world, connected cultures, drank beer with interesting people and ate new, greasy, mouth-watering food (my dream life). More importantly, though, he told stories that made our earth seem a little less large, a little less scary, and a place filled with the most amazing humans. He showed us first hand that people are good everywhere, no matter the actions of their governments or what the media may tell you; that far away lands, perhaps, are not so far away. He convinced us, or at least convinced me, to travel. To leave my small corner of the earth and to get the hell out there. To move to France at 20 and to move to Mexico at 23 and then move back again to Europe two more times after that. He changed the way people saw the world by sharing a story, his story, the story of distant lands and the people in it.
Authentic, genuine, vulnerable stories.
I like to think I gained much of my knowledge about life from Bourdain. Knowledge of being open-minded and kind to everyone I meet. The knowledge that no matter how bad your day was, you can always hop into a local pub with a good friend and the world will be right again. The knowledge that food can bridge language barriers because people of every culture have the same reaction when we take that first bite of Bucatini all'Amatriciana or their lips touch that first sip of fine espresso in the morning.
I also, indirectly, gained a lot of marketing knowledge from Anthony. I came to an understanding of my passions in life while following Bourdain. I knew early on I wanted to build a marketing business that helps connect people from every corner of the earth. To market in a way that is everlasting- through the power of storytelling.
Over the years I have come to the understanding that authentic, genuine, vulnerable stories can connect to your audience on a level much deeper than any other form of marketing or sales tactic ever can.
Take a moment to think of your favorite company. Have it in mind? Great. Now that you have that business in mind, think about WHY they are your favorite business.
Now, I’m no mind reader, but I do know the industry very well. I can guarantee you that you don’t love this particular business because of the cookie stalking retargeted paid for ads that appear in your Facebook feed as you aimlessly scroll, pretending to look busy at work. Or those generic product discount emails you receive in your inbox that you delete before opening, because well, it’s 6 am and you’re just going through your email until your eyes are actually functioning. I might venture to say that your favorite business is not your favorite because of the quality of the products either.
Everything in our life that is important to us, we have an emotional connection to. Anthony Bourdain sold millions of people on visiting hundreds of different countries simply because of the story he told about the destination and people there. And let's get real here… it is ideally impossible to sell your average human on a far-out place that is 3,000 miles away from home and a $2,000 plane ticket to get there, yet, he convinced millions.
The best marketing has and will be done through stories that are authentic and create a genuine human connection with your target audience. Marketing trends will come and go just like the fashion trends of the time, but genuine human connection will always scientifically be one of the main survival needs for the human brain.
So with that, I dare you to be bold and break the mold in the marketing industry, in YOUR industry. Share the stories, not ABOUT your business, but the stories OF your business. Why are you here, why are you wanting to make an impact on the world, why is this so important to you. Tell the stories of your employees, who are they, how did they get here, why is this company so important to them. Share the stories of your start, of trying times, of fear and rejection and overcoming. Share the behind the scenes look most companies hide from the world as they paint themselves an un-authentic picture. Share the exciting, the wins, the triumphs. Share the stories that make you feel really freaking vulnerable. In the vulnerabilities, you will find a connection that translates into success.
There is no paid for ad, email campaign, newsletter or promotion that will ever convert without a compelling, vulnerable, authentic and genuine message behind it. And when you are able to combine both powers, well, watch out world. Your business is about to take over.
To your success,