Why tell a story? Allow 21 of the brightest minds in marketing to explain

Business Storytelling - Stand Out

Stories shape our personal lives, they shape our business lives. Stories shared through conversations with your customers, colleagues, suppliers, clients, friends and peers. Stories of our company founders, our roots and the reasons why we do what we do.

Business storytelling sets the scene for the relationship with our online audience. It displays that we’re human, we’re real honest folks running real businesses. Storytelling is at the heart of a successful content strategy.

Why? Here are the thoughts of 21 of the world’s leading published marketers:

Seth Godin – “Marketing is storytelling.Source

Mitch Joel – “The brands that win are the brands that tell a great story. When it comes to transmedia storytelling, the brands that win are the brands that tell many great stories and are able to connect them all together.” – Source

Brian Eisenberg“Effective content marketing is about mastering the art of storytelling. Facts tell, but stories sell.” Source

Chris Brogan – “Stories are how we learn best. We absorb numbers and facts and details, but we keep them all glued into our heads with storiesSource

Jonah Sachs – “In order to tell better stories, brands must actually be better stories. Our brave new media world hasn’t just put audiences in charge; it has also given them the tools to instantly peel back the curtain on marketing campaigns and look at the substance behind them.Source

Robert McKee – “Stories are how we remember; we tend to forget lists and bullet points.Source

Robert Rose – “Your story will be unique to you, your brand, and the experience you are trying to create.Source

Jonathan Gottschall – “A story is a trick for sneaking a message into the fortified citadel of the human mind.Source

Ardath Albee“If marketing is more like storytelling, we can count on more engagement from potential customers.” Source

Jay Baer – “Every business has a story to tell” Source

Christopher S. Penn“great storytelling can make the difference between someone paying attention to you and someone just tuning you out” Source

John Michael Morgan“People are looking for a connection. Tell a good enough story about your brand and people will not only get invested, they’ll want to buy from you.” Source

Arianna Huffington – “People think in stories, not statistics, and marketers need to be master storytellers.” Source

Gary Vaynerchuk– “Storytelling is by far the most underrated skill when it comes to business.” Source

CC Chapman“it is something that comes from inside of you and I firmly believe everyone can tell a story about anything they are passionate about.” Source

Andrew Davis – “There’s a big difference between creating branded content and building a content brand. Branded content is egocentric brand marketing. Developing a content brand takes an audience-first approach to business storytelling that builds a loyal audience.Source

Jim Blasingame – “in a time of rapidly compounding technology generations, the most successful businesses will consistently deliver high touch to customers with one of our oldest traits – the telling of a story” Source

Bernadette Jiwa – “marketing is the art of telling a story that moves people to act. Marketing is no longer a tactic used to sell stuff. It’s about finding ways to create meaning and make people feel something, rather than making them do what you want them to do in the short term.” Source

David Meerman Scott“I think of the story as a movie or novel and cast the people from around the world whose success I showcase as my hero and traditional offline advertising and the PR pitching approach as the villains.” Source

Ann Handley“it’s about how your business (or its products or services) exist in the real world: how people use your products—how they add value to people’s lives, ease their troubles, help shoulder their burdens, and meet their needs. Think in those terms when producing customer stories, case studies, or client narratives—so that people can relate to them. In that way, your content is not about “storytelling,” it’s about telling a true story well.”  Source

Marcus Sheridan“I simply see life as one great story after another, and that’s just the way I’ve always communicated. People remember stories. It allows them to create pictures, which is a big deal. Plus it helps them know me, trust me, like me, and support me in some way — maybe directly as a customer or indirectly as an advocate” Source

Your stories naturally differentiate your business from your competitors. They tell your audience who you are, what you do and why you do it. They tell your audience why you are a business they need to be working with.

How do you approach storytelling within your marketing?

Written By:

Ian Rhodes


First employee of an ecommerce startup back in 1998. I've been using building and growing ecommerce brands ever since (including my own). Get weekly growth lessons from my own work delivered to your inbox below.