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Storytelling: Personal vs. Higher Purpose Approach

By Ali Liaquat, Mar 25 2019
Storytelling isn’t just for gatherings around the campfire or lulling kids to sleep. It’s also a way to make people care about your business or your brand.

But what if you don’t have a story written and ready to tell?

Here’s the good news: No business is boring – you just need to figure out what makes yours so special.

There are two ways you can approach your business storytelling: personal or higher purpose.

Personal approach

This centres on the moment or moments in your life that sparked your business idea. Did you have an ‘uh-huh’ moment that led to the creation of your business? Or was it a series of smaller moments that led you to identify a need or gap in the market?

Higher purpose approach

At this level, it hinges on a greater, shared goal that your business already has. What inspires you and your team to come to work each day? What do you want to achieve in the world – apart from just making money!?

We’ll look at the personal approach first and see how tech company FiLIP uses it.

Founded in 2009, FiLIP makes smart phone watches that keep young children in touch with their parents. But that’s not the personal story behind the business.

FiLIP is actually named after the son of the founder, Sten Kirkbak. When Filip (the son) was three, Sten briefly lost him in a crowded mall – which inspired Sten to create FiLIP the company.

Sten tells this story to customers. He also appeals to mums and dads with photos of him and Filip. This helps people relate personally to FiLIP, instead of seeing it as just technology.

Now let’s look at how KIND Healthy Snacks uses the higher purpose approach.

KIND Healthy Snacks’ higher purpose is to make the world a little kinder, one act at a time.

Partnering with their community, the company inspires people to do the KIND thing. They call this the “KIND Movement”.

One part of that movement is KIND Causes. It helps people and organisations bring socially-impactful ideas to life through monthly grants.

They also created STRONG & KIND, an initiative that breaks down cultural stereotypes and proves it’s strong to be kind.

FiLIP started with a personal story and KIND started with a higher purpose…but both are engaging and stand out.

When you create your story, keep this in mind: The best stories are specific, they take people on a journey, and they aren’t just about buzzwords and trends.

Business stories can be a mix of personal and higher purpose, but it’s easier to use one direction to begin creating your story. Not sure which direction might be easier for you? Our marketing agency will be happy to help, let’s talk.

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