In my marketing business, I spend a lot of time advocating for brand storytelling…and a lot of time trying to convince companies to embrace it.

One of the biggest challenges, particularly among startups, is that storytelling is regarded as a nice-to-have. It is something embraced down the road rather than core to how a business grows and scales.

Storytelling is relegated to the sidelines because many companies have a laser-focus on developing products, data and customer acquisition. They are scrambling to become or remain economically viable so there is no sense of urgency to tell better stories.

storytellingUnfortunately, this is a flawed way to do business. It’s an approach that hurts product development and customer acquisition. Think about how consumers learn about a product. Think about how they become aware a product exists and how it meets their needs. Features and price are important but stories make a product tangible and come to life. Storytelling creates experiences around a product so consumers see how it delivers benefits and values.

Armed with compelling stories, customer acquisition is easier. Rather than compete on features and prices, companies differentiate themselves by telling better stories, stories that leverage emotions to make consumers really believe a particular product works for them.

Without stories, it is easy for a company to become lost in the competitive landscape. They have nothing to stand out from the crowd. Their marketing is ineffective because it is boring, uncreative and unexceptional.

At the same time, customer acquisition is more challenging due to a lack of brand awareness. Without good stories, even good products will struggle to gain traction.

Unfortunately, too many companies recognize the value of storytelling when it is too late. Their focus on product development and fascination with data is a dangerous distraction because stories take a back seat.

At a time when competition is fierce and it is a battle to capture the spotlight, storytelling is more important than ever.

More: Mark Schaefer suggests that marketers have lost their way by embracing too much technology to do their jobs.


I make marketing work for fast-growing companies and companies looking to grow faster.

Through strategic and tactical services, I create marketing that drives brand awareness, customer engagement and sales growth. My approach to marketing is underpinned by storytelling, creativity, and proven frameworks.

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