Written by: Abhra Banerjee
About the author: President & CEO at Cleanomatics, a Stadhawk, Inc Brand
We all love listening to stories. The best stories have a protagonist, a plot, a crisis, and a happy ending. Some of the best stories in the world, like those of the Ramayana the Mahabharata & that of Troy have traveled down the generations through bedtime stories.
Lets’ switchover to the great stories around great brands….the story of the authentic Coke recipe being stored at a secret vault at Atlanta, USA or that of the legendary Captain Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken who after retirement at the age of 65 founded his global empire. Equally fascinating are stories of Red Bull originating out of Krating Daeng developed by the Thai Entrepreneur Chaleo Yoovidhya for truckers and factory workers to its reincarnation at the hands of Dietrich Mateschitz of Austria as a lifestyle drink—Red Bull Gives You Wings.
Closer home, the stories around the Tata Empire and its’ various brands, around Jamshed-ji Tata, Dhirubhai Ambani immortalized by the film Guru by Abhishek Bachhan to the recent Start-up success stories like Red Bus are all built around great personal stories of their Founders.
So, what are we getting at? A Start Up Founder need to be a Master Story Teller . He needs to sell his maverick idea to his customers, his team, his investors and the entire ecosystem that he intends to create. With hard facts and data, there also need to be a story….a story of a College going kid who can’t go home for Diwali because all the bus bookings are full. To his horror he discovers post Diwali that many seats went empty that day, but he had no way to know that. This story is integrated with Redbus and is part of the Start up Folklore. Or that of the Mumbai Dabbawalas who had to close shop recently because of the current Covid 19 crisis.
So what makes a great story? A great story is born out of a great crisis—a great problem statement amongst a user group which gets resolved by a product or service by a great value proposition. The start up which unearths this great story ends up becoming the next Unicorn.
So Mr Start Up Founder, you have to be a super-man— a person who can unearth consumer/enterprise insights, get together a robust team & ecosystem to resolve the problem at optimal cost/value and is able to narrate this entire story in a manner which makes his audience get into the shoes of his protagonist(consumer), drops his/her guard and becomes a staunch supporter of his brand.
How to practice great story telling? Well try these simple steps—
- Find out your protagonist whose problem you are solving. Think—In the Batman series—whose problem is getting resolved? The Batman, The Joker or the Residents of Gotham?
- Why do people love Batman and also the Joker after the latest film?
- What is the product? Fantasy? Or Escape from the reality? Or just Entertainment?
- What solution is being proposed? Good over Evil? What is evil if people empathize with the Joker?
- Why is there no real happy ending? Why does the next challenge peep out after every film is over?
One more exercise—Money Heist by Netflix.
Why does a bunch of Bank Robbers become the darling of the masses? Why do people love the Professor, Berlin & Tokyo? Why do people celebrate the defeat of the police brigade by a bunch of robbers? Why does Stockholm fall in love with her captor?
Readers….think about the above…..riddles—I will be back in my next.
Till then , Goodbye, Goodluck and God Speed…