There’s a reason why two-thirds of everyday conversations consist of stories. More than statistics or an exhausting list of details, stories inform with “gusto,” as my Italian grandmother would say.
Companies hungry for growth often ask us: Where do we find stories? Our answer: They are all around you.
Your backstory: The early days when you collected pennies to make payroll, but had the grit to believe in your business idea.
Your people: The many ways your team solves problems for customers and gets it done!
Your philanthropy: The lives you change through the causes you believe in.
Your customers: The human experiences you create and problems you solve.
Your vision: The world you dream about. The world you hope to create.
Your humanity: The times you struggle, the things you care about, the moments you wanted to give up, the little wins that led to new ideas.
These are not just anybody’s stories; they are your stories. We see ourselves in them — in your blogs, case studies, on your about page, in your emails and podcasts, your newsletters and videos. Stories make your brand unforgettable (hello, short list).
At K+L Storytellers, we have a quote jar. In the jar are little slips of paper with our favorite quotes on them. Here are a few to inspire the storyteller in you.
“The best brands are built on great stories.” - Ian Rowden, Chief Marketing Officer, Virgin Group
“If a million people see my movie, I hope they see a million different movies.” - Quentin Tarantino, Director
“Maybe stories are just data with a soul.” - Dr. Brene Brown, author, researcher and storyteller
“I have a story — but I’m saving it for dinner.” - Peter Kelly, our son
“We are no longer selling products, we are selling stories.” - Seth Godin
“And it’s a human need to be told stories. The more we’re governed by idiots and have no control over our destinies, the more we need to tell stories to each other about who we are, why we are, where we come from and what might be possible.” - Alan Rickman, British actor best known for playing Professor Severus Snape in Harry Potter movies
“We tell stories in order to feel at home in the universe.” - Roger Bingham, co-founder and director, Science Network
“We are our stories. We compress years of experience, though and emotion into a few compact narratives that we convey to others and tell to ourselves. That has always been true. But personal narrative has become more prevalent, and perhaps more urgent, in a time of abundance, when many of us are freer to seek a deeper understanding of ourselves and our purpose.” - Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind
“If you want to learn about a culture, listen to the stories. If you want to change a culture, change the stories.” Michael Margolis, CEO of Get Storied
“Stories are fundamental to how we think about the world. Nelson Mandela told a story about what post-apartheid Africa could look like. That story was persuasive enough to promote change, and it became reality. JFK told a story about putting man on the moon, and it inspired people and came to pass. These types of huge events were built on stories.” - Mohsin Hamid, novelist and Chief Storytelling Officer for Wolff Olins, a London-based brand consultancy
“I think marketing’s futures are bigger than we give them credit for because we’re still stuck looking at what marketing was rather than what it could be. The reason storytelling in marketing matters is because it starts to force us to move beyond that.” - Brian Solis, author
“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” Joan Didion, writer and journalist
“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in this world.” - Phillip Pullman
“No, no. The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.” - Lewis Caroll
“In every line of copy we write, we’re either serving the customer’s story or descending into confusion; we’re either making music or making noise.” - Donald Miller, author of Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen
“Stories are the only enchantment possible, for when we begin to see our suffering as a story, we are saved.” - Anaïs Nin
“Every entrepreneur, business leader and company faces the challenge of telling the right story— one that deepens engagement with our customers and within our teams.” - Bernadette Jiwa, awesome storyteller and founder of The Story of Telling
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” - Albert Einstein
“Every great design begins with an even better story.” - Lorinda Mamo
“I’ve covered thousands of stories as a reporter and as a corporate storyteller. My favorite one, hands down, is the story in front of me — the messy, unorganized, almost-there story I’m in the middle of right this minute.” - Roderick Kelly, co-founder of K+L Storytellers