How to use storytelling to create powerful branding


People love stories, anecdotes and metaphors. We live and learn through other people's experiences and are wired to listen.

When it comes to business, people don't buy what you make, they buy why you make it. This is often why something bespoke and handcrafted is not only more appreciated, but can also be sold at higher price than something mass produced.

A good story not only allows people to connect with you, what you do and why you do it, but it also helps distinguish you from your competition.

Good branding can help solidify your position within your market, but having an engaging story behind your business, encourages word of mouth promotion and memorability. This is something that branding alone cannot create. It's when you combine the two together, you get powerful results....

It's a bit like getting together the key master and the gate keeper in Ghostbusters......

I want to use a scene from one of my favourite films to illustrate how a powerful, well told story can add so much value to a item.

Without the story, it's just another pocket watch, but the emotional connection that came through the story of his Grandfather, meant that Butch was willing to risk his life to get it back (shooting Vincent Vega, being run over by Marsellus Wallace and even kidnapped by Zed).

What's your story?

Now, I know it's a big ask to create a story that will make people risk their lives for your brand, but there are certainly ways you can bring out the emotion behind what you do.

Is there is a story behind how it came into existence? Maybe it is a family business with decades of history? Did someone overcome tremendous struggle to make it happen? Were the ingredients sourced somewhere unusual?

Here is a quick list to get your brain firing.

  • How did the business come about?
  • How long has the business been in existence?
  • Do you use unusual or amazing ingredients?
  • Is there history behind the business or it's location
  • Why did you start the business?
  • Why do you love what you do?
  • Do you travel or do anything to improve the business.
  • Did your grandfather smuggle the business out of Nam?

Here's an example using Pizza: Supermarket Pizza vs Mario's Pizza.

The Supermarket Pizza tastes good, is frozen for convenience and is priced at £4.


Mario owns his own Pizza Restaurant. He is a third generation pizza maker since he was 11 and lovingly crafted your pizza by hand. He hand picked all the ingredients, they are all sourced locally and are organic. He only uses flour shipped from Italy where it is ground in a 150 year old flour mill and he grows his own tomatoes that he uses in his family's secret recipe. Mario's Pizza's are around £18 and he is booked a month in advance.

My logical brain says I can have a delicious supermarket pizza for £4 within 15 minutes if I cook from frozen in the convenience of my home, but my heart wants to wait weeks and pay £18 for Mario's one.

Not only will I pay at least 3, maybe even 4 times more for Mario's Pizza, but I will happily wait for weeks for a table at his restaurant. I will tell my friends that I am going and after will tell them to go.

All because of his story.

Start with why

That is the power of great storytelling. Your storytelling should part of your branding, it's not separate. Clever businesses are able to bring the two together for powerful results.

To finish I urge you to watch this great talk by Simon Sinek. It's fantastic.

If you'd like to me to show you how you can add storytelling to enhance and grow your own business please get in touch, I'd love to help.

Thad Cox2 Comments