Example of a Powerful Business Story

I’ve written many posts on how to tell a powerful story. When we hear a good story we are moved, literally, moved to action. Listen to this example from a very large brand. This is great example of how business professionals can use story.

1. Did you notice how the music in the beginning was an attention getter and at the same time provided the setting?
2. Did you notice the humor used was at the beginning? And throughout? “shut it” “bereavement counseling”
3. Did you notice the rule of three? (e.g. a glint in his eye, a fire in his belly, a spring in his step/ the mills, the mines, the tough times)
4. Did you notice how the language choice enhanced the story and brought attention to key messages? (e.g. backroom art …developed into a commercial proposition / stir the Scottish heart/ John thrived)
5. Did you notice that the music was getting faster and faster as the story progressed building suspense?
6. Did you notice how the visuals were supporting the key points (And the visuals weren’t powerpoint slides!)
7. Did you notice that the “whys” were the interesting part, not the whats!

If you didn’t specifically notice these points the first time, you might want to look again. The point is, we get drawn into a story when these elements are used and often we are unaware that these elements are in play. A good story allows us to create a pictures in our minds and that picture can be quite compelling and memorable. For example…

1. Did you feel like you were being sold?
2. Did it “move” you? Give you a good feeling about the brand? Inspire you to buy?
3. Did you feel compelled to watch the entire thing?

Finally, to wrap up, here’s a quick quiz for you. Can you identify the elements of a good story in the ad?

1. What is the setting?
2. Who are the characters
3. What is the problem / challenge
4. What is the solution? How did the characters overcome the challenge?
5. What are some specific details that you remember?

1. Scotland
2. The Walker Family
3. Loss of parent..struggle to make a business..beating the competition
4. Johnnie Walker Store / consistent malt / bottle shape, unique labels)
5. Sign on the grocer door, malts on the table, all the label colors, the shape of the bottle, etc.

How might you tell the story of your business differently now that you’ve heard this one?

Feel free to share your story in the comments.

There are 2 comments .

Vanessa Revis Jordan

wow, I will have to think this one over, that was absolutely fascinating!! I have never seen anything as insightful as that!!! I’m coming up with my story next!!!
                                                      Vanessa Jordan

Reply »
christiaan ray —

This was VERY interesting and informative! I really appreciate the time and intelligence you put into delivering this powerful thought process on story telling! We hope to take some courses from you in the future.

Reply »

Leave a Reply to Vanessa Revis Jordan

Click here to cancel reply.

Name: Email:  
Copyright Lisa B. Marshall ©2012-2016. All Rights Reserved. Photo of Lisa B. Marshall by Joan Ford Photography.