As a technical or nontechnical professional (founder or non-founder): it’s important for you to make audiences and customers fall in love with your company!
Because, when customers fall in love with your business …
They also fall in love with you, with your product, and with your methodology.
As a result, they buy into what you are saying.
One of the best ways to make customers fall in love with your business is to come up with a good brand story. A story that demonstrates the origin of the brand and shows that the organization is a relatable entity.
You might be thinking that the founders and executives of your company must come up with the brand story and not you – I disagree, it’s everyone’s responsibility to come up with a brand story,
and doing it is rewarding for everyone in your organization including you.
Read the article, and start working on the story – you might have to check with the founders and executives to get some missing details.
What can you learn about brand storytelling from Airbnb:
One of the companies I admire a lot is Airbnb. I had the privilege of using their service and working with some of their employees all the way up to the C-Suite.
There are many reasons they have been successful, one of which is that they have a compelling origin story. Once you hear it, you will never forget it.
The founders of Airbnb realized that the more they shared their story, the more people would want to re-tell it. As a result, their employees, outside press, bloggers, and public speaking training companies like us have picked up the story and shared it.
This attracts more publicity to their organization, strengthens their brand, and benefits everyone in the company.
The Airbnb story has a simple structure that you can copy to build your company’s story.
Before I share the template for creating your brand origin story, here is a simplified version of Airbnb’s:
1- Two guys wanted to be in business
2- They quit their jobs and moved to San Francisco
3- They run out of money and can’t pay rent
4- They realize that they have an Air-Bed and thought of renting to people
Thus, Air-Bed and Breakfast and later just Airbnb was born, and now it’s valued at x billion dollars.
How to tell your brand’s story the right way
The template for an effective brand origin story is here for you. It has a set formula tracing the journey of the founders from their humble beginnings at pre-startup to running a successful enterprise.
This template derives from the hero’s journey formula by Joseph Campbell.
1) Founder(s) before the business
Talk about the founders and what was driving them before the business.
For example, the Founders of Zendesk were consultants who wanted to revolutionize the customer support industry.
What were your founders doing before the business? If you don’t know, ask them.
2) The business jump
Describe the state of the founders after they made the jump. It could be an abrupt jump or a gradual one.
For example, Kevin the founder of Instagram worked on the prototype after his regular day job. He took a leap after he was about to receive his first round of funding.
How did the founders make the jump?
3) The challenge(s) that almost breaks them
Describe a challenge for the business. This has to be big enough to threaten the survival of the business.
For example, the founder of Pinterest was continually rejected by investors and had to make 50 versions of the site before it was viable.
What is the biggest challenge or set of challenges your company faced?
4) The realization that saves them
Describe the turning point. What happened that made them turn around.
Did they have a realization similar to the founders of Airbnb? Did they realize that they needed to ditch something, target another segment of consumers, move to a different state? Whatever it is.
It is usually one thing. What is it for your brand?
When your audience and your customers fall in love with your company, they will also fall in love with you. It’s easy to make them fall in love with your company if you have a compelling brand Genesis story. By following the simple formula laid out above you are guaranteed to have a compelling and lovable brand story.
Look forward to reading your comments, questions, and brand stories. Feel free to share them in the comments below; I read every single one.