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14 August 2014

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin

We all love a good story. It’s been a way of capturing the imagination and passing on information for centuries. It’s an inherent part of human nature and one that is as important for business as for entertainment.

What’s your story?

Every story has an ‘issue,’ a ‘complication’ or a ‘problem’ that needs to be overcome. There’s the protagonist, battling against the odds, a hero who offers a solution and a cast of supporting characters who help set the scene and the tone. Your business has all these elements. You - the hero - help your customers – the protagonists – to over come issues in life and work every single day.

Don’t just tell ‘em, show ‘em,

The thing about stories is they don’t just tell us things, they show us. You can shout from the rooftops all day long that you are a trustworthy company, who produce incredible products, but until you can actually show that you mean it, those words are as good as useless.

By telling the story of your business you can show people that you mean what you say. Stories show us problems and solutions; tragedy and delight; despair and hope. They help people to imagine what it would be like to do business with you and even share it with their friends!

What’s the bigger picture?

Your company also has a bigger, more inspirational story to tell. Ed Woodcock, strategy director and co-founder of Aesop, a brand storytelling agency, thinks that one of the reason’s for Apple’s success is their ability to tell a good brand story, that’s bigger than simply solving people’s technological needs. “Its sense of mission manifests itself in everything it does: from the design of its products and stores to the simplicity of its advertising,” he says.

The bigger story is vitally important for your business too. When your customers choose you, they are writing themselves into your story. What do you really stand for? What are your ethics? How do you treat your staff and your supply chain? Do your customers know what that story is and, if they did, would they want to be part of it?

Getting your story out there

Telling your story isn’t something you can write in 500 words, slap on your website and be done with it. It needs to come across in everything you do, from your sales brochure to your tweets. Stories from your customers, quotes from your staff, pictures from inside your factories; all these little things help to build up your company’s brand story.

Take Fairy Liquid for example. At the end of the day it’s just green goo that makes your plates clean - right? Wrong! It’s a national institution; the hero of the kitchen that’s been boldly serving families for more than half a century. To celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, the brand re-launched a version of its historic white bottle. It did so by asking its social media audience to share their memories of the brand and vote for the best limited edition design. They told their story, invited others to be part of it and create a little bit of history as a result – not bad for a bottle of green goo!

Trial and Error

We realize that there are many companies out there who produce incredible products and help their clients in amazing ways, day-in-day out. Finding time to build stories into what you do can be hard. This is where ifour can step in. Take a look at some of the companies we’re currently helping. If you like what you see, give us a call or pop for a chat.  We’d love to help you share your story.

If you’d like to find out who we can help you to connect with your customers give us a call on 01892 541111, email us at hello@ifour.co.uk or visit our design agency studio in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

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project budget£5000 - £18000

deadline 4 weeks - 8 weeks

what next? if you like what we do, get in touch to find out how our design agency can help you.

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