Tell Me a Story

We grew up on stories. We fell asleep to bedtime stories. We learned to read by deciphering stories (See Dick. See Dick run. Look, Jane. Look, look. See Dick.) Stories are what make us human. It’s how we make sense of the world, going back to Roman and Greek mythology and earlier.

To make your product or service stand out from the rest, create and tell a story. Find a way to connect with your audience. Stories connect people. They elicit emotions, and positive emotions drive sales.

Research shows there are seven distinct types of stories.

  1. Overcoming the Monster.
  2. Rebirth.
  3. Quest.
  4. Journey and Return.
  5. Rags to Riches.
  6. Tragedy.
  7. Comedy.

Which of these types of stories would be best suited to portraying your brand?

Looking at some popular brands today, two “Journey and Return” stories come to mind—TOMS and Warby Parker. According to the TOMS website, Founder Blake Mycoskie “witnessed the hardships faced by children growing up without shoes” while traveling in Argentina in 2006. “Wanting to help, he created TOMS Shoes, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a new pair of shoes for a child in need.” Since then, more than 60 million children in 70 countries have gotten new shoes thanks to TOMS. In addition, TOMS has helped restore sight to more than 400,000 people in need. In 13 countries, TOMS provides prescription glasses, medical treatment or sight-saving surgery with each purchase of TOMS brand eyewear. The company has also taken on the causes of clean, sustainable drinking water and safer births.

Warby Parker’s story is told on its website. Also an eyewear retailer, Warby Parker was started out of a rebellious desire to upend the norm of expensive eyewear after one of its founders lost his glasses on a backpacking trip and couldn’t afford to replace them. Similar to TOMS, Warby Parker partners with nonprofits such as VisionSpring to distribute a pair of glasses to someone in need for each pair sold.

When I googled “top brands 2017,” a few stood out because of their stories.

Ferrari wanted me to Shift to the 12th Dimension in a two-minute video that evoked a “quest” for the speed-driven experience only a Ferrari can produce.

Nike wanted me to “Just do it”—yeah, I can “overcome the monster” of inactivity by wearing their athletic gear.

Also setting me up to “overcome the monster” was Lego. This 85-year-old brand tempted me with superheros like Spiderman and knights saving the kingdom.

Capiche’s brand is one of “rebirth,” or metamorphosis. After 25 years as a professional marketer, I found a way to combine my new coaching credentials with my love for marketing. What came about was a combination of workplace culture and branding—more specifically, helping organizations uncover and then live their brand.

What’s your unique brand story? How are you living it? Let’s talk.


  1. Hi Chris,
    A voice from your past ORSC trainings. I loved this blog on “stories.” I am having a “rebirth” story myself. I call if “ReFirement.” I am in a certification course with the Deep Coaching Institute which emphasizes Presence and the Enneagram. I am having some profound experiences. Hoping to release my mediation practice in one more year while I am transitioning to coaching and working less.

    How are you doing? Hope you are well!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *