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this week's Marketing
Lots of smart
people say you should tell
customers the story of how your
business started. But why does
an origin story make you more
credible? I've been pondering
Not every story gives you a
boost. If you started your
company to spite your
sister-in-law or to afford a
drug habit, that might not go
The best getting-started tales
root you in reality and help
others see you as distinct human
beings. But by connecting you
with story lines that people
enjoy, they also put you into a
groove that is familiar and
comforting. "Once upon a time"
patterns resonate with us to an
extent we don't consciously
Our heads nod at a story about a
entrepreneur fighting hard and
succeeding (David vs.
Goliath), a grizzled veteran of
an industry mentoring others
(the sage), someone who
fearlessly ventures into the
unknown (the trailblazer), or
the kid everyone laughed at
becoming wildly successful (Ugly
You become a bit larger than
yourself when your origin story
echoes a cultural myth yet the
details are yours and yours
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