Great business stories engage with us because resonate with our values, with the way we see the world, with the things that matter to us. Patek Phillipe watches talk about tradition and legacy, Nike campaign about equality, Airbnb about belonging anywhere.
We don’t buy their products, we buy their stories and the way they make us feel about ourselves, about the people and the world.
This sense of connection is not created with a tagline. It takes time and courage to come with a great business story because it requires putting your values up front.
During the nineties, Nike was accused of allowed children and women to work in terrible conditions. At that time, Nike had been outsourcing manufacturing for quite a while and when reports about the abuses started to appear in the media, the company had to make some decisions.
In 1998, Nike CEO Phil Knight stated that “The Nike product has become synonymous with slave wages, forced overtime, and arbitrary abuse,” He realised that consumer didn’t want to buy products made like this.
Nike decided to acted on it. They didn’t hire clever marketers and PR to clean their image and reputation. They did something about it and committed to change the culture of the company. Now, Nike is at the top of lists for sustainable companies.
When things go wrong, it might be useful to think about what we would love our customers to think about us, what values, what story we want them to tell about ourselves. Once we get it, we just need to start acting on it.
A great business story makes us proud of using their products or services because they clearly act on something we believe in.
What are your customers proud about your product or service? What is the story that they would love to tell about your business?