So you called a cab, but no one’s showing. The only thing the cranky dispatcher will say is “He’ll be there in 15.” You call back in 15, and he now says, “Driver’s on the way. Any minute now.” Click. It’s cold, it's getting dark, and you’re already late.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was an app that let you tap into an unused supply of empty cabs and cars to get you where you want to go, perhaps with a little style? So goes the legendary inspiration behind Uber, a story now encapsulated in a single tagline: “Everyone’s private driver.”
When it comes to persuasion, companies have traditionally appealed to the left side of the brain — logic, pricing, specs. Emotion, however, has proven to be the better marketing tool. As Daniel Pink, author of Drive, writes, “Right-brain dominance is the new source of competitive advantage.” Appealing to the right side of the brain allows for deeper engagement by uniting an idea with an emotion. The best way to do this: Tell a story.
That said, the way you tell a company’s story is (and should be) quite different from the way you’d tell a story at a party. While the same techniques for success apply, too often business stories fall flat or set unnecessary fires, particularly in the domain of start-ups. You see it all the time. But in my experience, you can’t teach a company how to tell its story — just like you can’t teach someone to have a certain personality. Instead, I’ll give you the big don’ts....