What’s your business story?

A good story well told stays with us. It fires our imagination, gets us emotionally engaged, it makes an impact.

Stories have the same value in business. We might know the story of how Brian Chesky decided to rent out floor space in his San Francisco apartment to help pay the rent. That’s the Airbnb story. Or how Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh’s experimentations at the Royal College of Art led her to stumble upon inventing a flexible putty that can mend things around the home. That’s the Sugru story. Stories work because they are memorable. They are shareable. And when it comes to business communication, we know that people don’t remember data, they don’t remember spreadsheets, they don’t remember business plans, but they do remember stories.

So what’s your business or brand story? Where’s the tale of how you invented your product, the story behind your burning desire to start a business?

Sure, most business have an ‘About Us’ page, but I don’t see many stories out there. If you’re not shining a light on your story, you’re missing a trick for attracting new customers, recruiting new hires and getting your team on side.

I’ve had a knack for telling stories long before storytelling was even fashionable! As a writer for The Financial Times I’ve dug deep to uncover tales of entrepreneurship and business lives. I’m also a former contributor to Monocle magazine and British Airways Business Life magazine. I’ve been part of the digital media team at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos. I’ve created content and told stories for a diverse mix of brands, businesses and organisations including Buzzacott, The Do Lectures, Hiut Denim, Rooster Punk, TeuxDeux and Southend Borough Council. I teach storytelling at the BBC.

Now you can hire me to tell your business or brand story. Whether it's for marketing communications or a touchstone for employee engagement - get in touch

Having worked closely with Ian before, it was a natural choice to work together on a piece of storytelling research in the UK financial industry. It was just a seed of an idea when we first engaged with Ian, and with his help we developed this piece into something that took on a real life and energy of its own. Ian’s energy and enthusiasm for story was the real foundation of success for the research.

Claire Van der Zant, Business Development Director at Rooster Punk.