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3 Untold Rules of Brand Storytelling

by Shannon Callarman

"Great stories happen to those who can tell them." - Ira Glass, American radio show host

Storytelling is hard. Extremely hard. Probably one of the hardest things to do. Unless--I've learned while studying abroad--you happen to be from Ireland, where the Irish have a natural ability to tell stories over a pint of Guinness.

The plot thickens when you mix storytelling and business. Over the years, I've witnessed some of the most brilliant leaders struggle with telling their story--the story they created.

We all have a story to tell. Whether you run an independent ice cream shop in a quiet neighborhood or you're the next best thing to come out of the Silicon Valley, it's not the lack of a story that's the problem, it's the ability to tell it.

No one knows a business better than the one who got it off the ground. So why is storytelling so difficult for leaders?

It's a busy world, competition is high, and we're all passionate about what we do. Ergo, we try extremely hard to be seen and heard above all the noise. A common reaction is to scream "Buy from me!!!" at the top of our lungs, but this approach is ineffective. Yes, you'll be heard, but the answer to "Why should I buy from you?" becomes unclear.

An effective brand story communicates complex ideas using simple words. To develop an effective brand story, always remember these three rules:

1. Keep it simple

2. Stay consistent

3. Be true