The Power of Business Stories – How to Make Your Business Standout

by | Branding, Communication, Marketing

Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to engage with your audience and create emotional impact. From cave drawings to Super Bowl commercials, storytelling is part and parcel of who we are as human beings. In this article, you’ll learn why humans respond so well to storytelling and how you can use that to your advantage.

  1. First, we’re delving into story structure, including one of the most remarkable story structures ever.
  2. Following that, we’ll explore how to apply the concepts to your business and best practices for integrating your story into marketing and sales messages.
  3. Ending on a sweet note, we’ll create the perfect outline for a business story and look at some of the most successful businesses in the world have used stories to build their brands and engage with their customers.


  • Throughout all of human history, we have used stories to communicate with one another.  
  • Stories are how we teach, inform, and entertain each other. 
  • Stories activate chemicals called oxytocin, dopamine, and cortisol in our brains. In essence, humans are hard-wired to listen to and love stories.
  • It stands to reason that Stories are the best way to connect with your audience and move them from strangers to prospects to customers to loyal followers.

Why Do Stories Captivate Us?

  • Humans have told each other stories worldwide and for as long as we can remember. We began drawing stories on cave walls and have progressed to telling stories around campfires and in sales pitches by Fortune 500 companies. 
  • Stories are the most powerful way to inspire, persuade, engage, and connect.
  •  People remember impactful stories more than data or facts.
  •  Our emotions are engaged and stimulated during a story.

The Hero’s Journey

Joseph Campbell, one of America’s great writers and teachers, wrote of the 17 stages of The Hero’s Journey, in one of his many books, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell’s theories have been applied by various modern writers and artists. He gained recognition in Hollywood when George Lucas credited Campbell’s work as influencing his Star Wars saga. The 17 stages are;

  1. The Call to Adventure
  2. The Refusal of the Call
  3. Supernatural Aid
  4. The Crossing of the First Threshold
  5. The Belly of the Whale
  6. The Road of Trials
  7. The Meeting with the Goddess
  8. Woman as the Temptress
  9. Atonement with the Father
  10. Apotheosis
  11. The Ultimate Boon
  12. Refusal of the Return
  13. The Magic Flight
  14. Rescue from Without
  15. The Crossing of the Return Threshold
  16. Master of the Two Worlds
  17. Freedom to Live

 NOTE: Often, storytellers don’t employ all 17 elements of The Hero’s Journey. However, the basic structure and the principles are still relevant today.

Stories in Your Business

  •  Almost every component of your business can be supercharged by using stories. People love connecting with the companies they buy from. 
  •  Besides your business story, it’s important for the founder and owner to present their story as well; the emotional connection it creates is essential.

Sales and Stories

  •  People buy with their emotions and justify their purchases with logic.
  •  The critical moment to share a story during a sales conversation is when doubt and apprehension first appear. When that occurs, share a story that revolves around social proof. 
  •  It’s essential that the salesperson is well-versed with many different stories about the organization they can pull from when different situations arise.

Story Selling

  •  Remember this when you are telling stories in your marketing, you are not the hero in the story. The one and only hero is your customer. You’re the wise mentor.
  •  That means that your story must be relevant and focus on what your customer is living through right now.  

What It Looks Like to Do It Right

Some of the biggest brands on earth – from Apple to Mercedes Benz – generate billions of dollars in revenue, and they still rely on the same old storytelling strategies that local mom-and-pop stores and internet businesses are using.

GOOGLE – A fantastic example of Google’s advertising was a Super Bowl ad called Parisian Love. The secret behind this ad was the emotional impact that the story provided. 

APPLE – A Super Bowl Apple ad based on George Orwell’s Dystopian story, 1984, sought to bring an emotional response from the people that saw it. They wanted people to take a risk. Apple didn’t simply want to show they were different or better. They wanted their ad to say that Apple is revolutionary. Today, that ad is remembered as one of history’s most memorable Super Bowl commercials. 

OLD SPICE – Old Spice put a fresh spin on a story ad to target a new audience. Old Spice had phenomenal success with this campaign, creating many spin-offs of the original. 

PAMPERS Pampers’s core story now is about babies’ healthy and happy development. The story in this concept permeates all of their ads, branding, and marketing. They also have a new story seeking to change the status quo and dismantle old social stereotypes.

NIKE – Nike had a hugely successful ad with a funny story of an angry chicken chasing a man. What sets this ad apart is that it’s completely different from anything else touted by a sporting company. That makes it memorable in the eyes of its customers. 

MERCEDES BENZ – This company’s hugely successful story ad, Snow Date, works so well because it takes us on an emotional roller coaster. ride. The ad demonstrates that Mercedes Benz will get you there when no other car can.

 All of the stories these businesses tell have one thing in common: the company isn’t the story’s hero. They have a hero that relates to their target audience, and they demonstrate that their product changes people’s lives for the better.

 We Will Always Use Stories

  • Storytelling in business isn’t a fad. It’s not a hot new strategy that will be outdated in a few years. Storytelling is intrinsic to who we are as human beings.
  • It is by far the most powerful way we communicate, teach, and inform one another. 

Don’t GO!

Grab a copy of our Power of Stories for Business Worksheet and create your first hero’s journey story. 


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