A Costa Coffee employee was brilliant at what he did, making delicious drinks and providing fantastic customer service. The owner of a sports firm had been served by the employee on numerous occasions and was impressed with his manner, the way he dealt with customers and how he worked alongside his peers. So impressed, in fact, that he headhunted him for a new project.

The employee quit his Costa job to become the manager of an independent coffee shop located above one of the stores owned by the sports firm owner. Great story, eh?

Storytelling is a good way to engage with people, get your message across and make sure you’re memorable. From years gone by until today, people have used stories to communicate, teach and resonate with others.

The power of stories

When businesses promote what they do, for some the focus tends to be on just describing the features and benefits of their products and services. But they’re missing a trick. Storytelling.

Think about the film you saw at the cinema at the weekend. Or what you watched on TV last night. The newspaper article you cast your eyes over at breakfast. The book you perused at lunchtime. The Instagram posts you swiped through when you got home. What’s the common thread? Storytelling.

If you’re struggling to come up with stories that can promote your business, don’t despair – there are stories everywhere that can be told. Stories that will be of interest to your customers, prospective clients, your employees, people in your market and more. And you can share those stories on social media, in blog posts, on your website, at events. Work with a journalist and you could find them in the news

So what sort of stories could you tell?

Heard the one about the man who set up his own business after making a chocolate pudding for the Queen?

What about the former apprentice who is now running a pioneering dental practice and has taken on her own apprentice?

Then there’s the story of a castle in Newcastle that was turned into a pop-up restaurant as part of a dining concept bringing chefs to unusual North East locations.

And there’s the tale of a boy on work experience who created a life-saving system that could save heart attack victims.

Where do you find these stories?

Coming up with tales about your business doesn’t have to be taxing. Try these three ideas to find inspiration…

  • Speak to your employees. What experiences have they had that tie in with what your business is doing and where it wants to go? Has an employee made a difference that has created a positive impact on your firm? By talking to the people who make up your business, you’ll find some gems that are really worth telling.
  • Talk to your customers. This is a handy way to engage with your customers and show off their successes. It highlights brand loyalty and is a clever tactic if you want to encourage prospective customers to join you or purchase your products and services. Case studies are a great way to tell these stories.
  • Look at your products and services. What’s the backstory with the things your company is making? What problems are you solving with them and what has been the response from the people buying them? How are they making an impact locally, nationally and internationally? How are people using them? By considering this, you could find numerous stories to tell.

So the next time you’re thinking about tactics to promote your business, consider the stories you can tell and how you can engage people. Turn to your employees, talk to your customers and think about your products and services. Tell stories and bring people with you on your journey while making your firm memorable. If it works for coffee, it will work for you too.

If you’d like to get your story out there but need some professional help, get in touch: email stacey.mcintosh@coolblue.co.uk or tom.keighley@coolblue.co.uk.

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