Storytelling for Startups Matters

This is a guest post by startup veteran and author Mark Evans.

Here’s a straightforward proposition: storytelling matters.

In fact, it is more important than ever for brands to be good storytellers.


We live in a world in which consumers are inundated with information. According to a study by the University of California (San Diego), the average person consumes 100,000 words of information a day.

At the same time, the proliferation of smartphones has given consumers instant access to information about a brand’s products, prices and features, competitive information, and recommendations.

What should brands do to break through the noise to attract multi-tasking, attention-deficit consumers?

The answer is simple: tell better stories.

Stories engage, educate and entertain. Stories are authentic, relevant and shareable. Stories establish connections and solid relationships, particularly if they are focused on a consumer’s needs, interests, aspirations, problems and points of pain.

For brands such as Airbnb and GoPro, storytelling has become a powerful way to demonstrate how a consumer’s personal and professional lives can be better, more fun, more profitable, better and happier.

In many respects, storytelling is not about pushing a product; it is about delivering experiences. It is a customer-centric approach to marketing and sales, rather than product-centric.

How do brands embrace storytelling?

It starts with the realization that consumers have little interest in a brand’s product. To them, product is table stakes.

The question that consumers want answered is: “What’s in it for me?” How does your product deliver value and what are the benefits?

It is a different approach to marketing and sales, but it has become the most effective way to attract consumers.

On June 3, I will be doing a lunch and presentation for Startup Grind on the value of storytelling. (Register Here.) It will feature five key takeaways for brands and entrepreneurs who want to embrace the power of story-driven marketing.

Not to give away too many details about the presentation, but it will include several examples from Airbnb, which I consider to be one of the world’s best storytellers.

Airbnb’s stories are successful and effective because they are focused on the experience of travelling and hosting, rather than being able to book accommodation in places other than hotels.

For anyone interested in learning more about how storytelling can drive your business forward, join us on Wednesday.

Mark Evans is the principal with Mark Evans Consulting, which helps startups, small business owners and fast-growing companies tell better stories (AKA marketing). Mark recently published a book, Storytelling for Startups, which delivers strategic and tactical guidance to embrace the power of story-driven marketing.