Digital Kungfu

Storytelling

Share your story and catapult your brand’s growth

Ben Horowitz, one of the investors in Airbnb, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, says that storytelling is the most underrated skill in business.

But so what, right? Why should we care about stories in business? Horowitz has an answer to that too. He believes that a great product is the foundation of a good company, but it’s a compelling story that puts that company into motion.

We’ve built Digital Kungfu around the idea that not only does every company have a story to share, but that it’s critical for them to be sharing it if they want to capture their target market.

We are all slaves to story

I launched The Matt Brown Show two years ago because I wanted to learn from South Africa’s great entrepreneurs and business minds. After more than 100 podcast episodes, the biggest lesson has been that we are all slaves to story.

The narratives that brands and people tell themselves and the people around them are what determine success or failure. More importantly, the real value of a brand isn’t what we tell people it is, but rather what people tell each other it is, and the only way you get people talking about you to each other is through a compelling story.

On a personal level, I believe that the only thing that stops you from having what you want in business and in life is the story you keep telling yourself about why you can’t have it. Changing your inner narrative really will change your life.

The same is true within the B2B environment. Tech companies like Uber, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Salesforce have mastered the art of story, catapulting their brands into market leaders that no competitors have come close to touching – and yet many tech companies struggle the most with sharing their stories.

Why Uber, AWS and Salesforce own their markets

Story is all about owning your market. Tell it right, and your customers will not only buy into what you’re offering, they won’t be able to remember their lives in the absence of your solution – your story becomes their story.

The reality is that when you’re similar to everybody else, the market simply won’t care about what you do and what you have to offer. You’ll always feed off the scraps of the available market potential, which is what too many businesses do.

Companies that are different gobble up all the economics of their market. Uber, AWS and Salesforce own the markets that they play in because they marketed a different problem, one that their customers didn’t even know they had yet. Once the story was told and people bought into it however, these giants were accredited with a solution to those problems.  

Today, Uber is valued at $120 billion, a valuation eight times higher than their nearest competitor Lyft, which is valued at $15 billion. The businesses that win today are the ones that market the problem best and the best way to market anything is through the power of story.

The storytelling differentiator

Our niche is the technology space. As a team we have a background in tech, and we’ve found that we make the biggest impact when we work with technology companies. We believe that this is because we understand story, while many tech companies don’t – even though the ability to tell their story can be their biggest differentiator.

We recently launched Microsoft’s Head Start initiative in South Africa. It’s a program designed specifically for tech startups to help them scale, and offers support in the areas of technology, partnerships, mentorships and a global network. Microsoft’s challenge was that there are a number of brands also vying for the attention of the startups in their space.

Talking product and service didn’t differentiate them – customers no longer pay attention to features and benefits. They want to know that you understand them, their needs, challenges and pain. And the only way to do that is to make them the hero of your story.

Using storytelling, we didn’t just deliver one single idea or message, which is what traditional advertising does. Instead, we created a campaign that delivered multiple ideas, using multiple messages on several mediums in an informative, educational and entertaining way. Ultimately, a story is just a sequence of events that leads to something.

3 steps to getting started on your story

People like to buy from people they know, like and trust. The irony is that most businesses do not have a face – Someone at the helm of the business that is defining a new vision for their customers and helping them to make that vision a reality.

Salesforce’s Marc Benioff, Tesla’s Elon Musk and Steve Jobs and Apple are great examples of CEOs who used stories to convey the value of their products and services to their customers.

The problem is that we can’t all be Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, and so the brand’s story needs to live and breathe for customers.

So, how do you get started? First, start with your why. Why are you doing this? What problem are you solving? Whose lives are you changing? Now you’ve got the foundation of your story.

Next, don’t try to share that message in a single idea or advert. Stories are built upon, step by step, entrenching your messaging and values. This doesn’t require huge billboards, but consistent messaging on platforms where your target audience consume content.

Finally, people want to know that you understand their pain. Understanding builds trust. More importantly, if you can let your customer know that you understand their problem best, they will accredit you with the solution.

In the news

Digital Kungfu - Expands into the UK

After generating sales qualified leads in excess of £12 million in under 12 months for its clients in Africa, Digital Kungfu is launching in the UK.

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The storytelling differentiator

Our niche is the technology space. As a team we have a background in tech, and we’ve found that we make the biggest impact when we work with technology companies. We believe that this is because we understand story, while many tech companies don’t – even though the ability to tell their story can be their biggest differentiator.

We recently launched Microsoft’s Head Start initiative in South Africa. It’s a program designed specifically for tech startups to help them scale, and offers support in the areas of technology, partnerships, mentorships and a global network. Microsoft’s challenge was that there are a number of brands also vying for the attention of the startups in their space.

Talking product and service didn’t differentiate them – customers no longer pay attention to features and benefits. They want to know that you understand them, their needs, challenges and pain. And the only way to do that is to make them the hero of your story.

Using storytelling, we didn’t just deliver one single idea or message, which is what traditional advertising does. Instead, we created a campaign that delivered multiple ideas, using multiple messages on several mediums in an informative, educational and entertaining way. Ultimately, a story is just a sequence of events that leads to something.

Digital Kungfu - Share your story and catapult your brand’s growth

3 steps to getting started on your story

People like to buy from people they know, like and trust. The irony is that most businesses do not have a face – Someone at the helm of the business that is defining a new vision for their customers and helping them to make that vision a reality.

Salesforce’s Marc Benioff, Tesla’s Elon Musk and Steve Jobs and Apple are great examples of CEOs who used stories to convey the value of their products and services to their customers.

The problem is that we can’t all be Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, and so the brand’s story needs to live and breathe for customers.

So, how do you get started? First, start with your why. Why are you doing this? What problem are you solving? Whose lives are you changing? Now you’ve got the foundation of your story.

Next, don’t try to share that message in a single idea or advert. Stories are built upon, step by step, entrenching your messaging and values. This doesn’t require huge billboards, but consistent messaging on platforms where your target audience consume content.

Finally, people want to know that you understand their pain. Understanding builds trust. More importantly, if you can let your customer know that you understand their problem best, they will accredit you with the solution.

Campaign in mind?

Our Ninjas are ready and waiting to welcome you to the dojo as we deploy a solution that solves your lead generation challenges.