In today’s busy market, customers are seeking more than just products and services. They want unique experiences that appeal to their deeper emotions and beliefs.
When customers identify with a brand, purchasing something from that brand helps them reinforce and express their self-image.
When companies and brands communicate through stories they help customers add meaning to some parts of their lives.
The stories gradually become synonymous with how customers define themselves as individuals, and products become the symbols that they use to express themselves.
Hence the power of the founder story.
A founder’s story is the story of the origin of the company. It conveys the journey of bringing the brand to life through the product or service.
The CEO Activist
Anita Roddick was wanting a way to look after herself and her kids when her husband was working in South America. It was 1976 when she founded The Body Shop.
The company was created with a strong purpose that sent a hard-hitting message in the industry. Besides fighting for a number of political and charitable causes, The Body Shop took a stand against animal testing, a practice that had plagued the cosmetics industry for years.
The Body Shop’s first outlet was as unorthodox as the philosophy the company embraced. Wedged between two funeral parlours, it enticed customers with products that were sold out of refillable urine sample bottles.
When The Body Shop was started, the beauty industry had been propagating fixed ideas on how women should look. But Anita believed that beauty was highly personal and does not have to conform to pre-set ideas. The philosophy that beauty should be an individual’s source of joy and comfort resonated with a lot of women.
Today, The Body Shop is a popular brand with stores all around the world.
A founder’s story and the steps taken by their companies in the early stages reflect their core values and purpose.
When the founder’s story resonates with people (both employees and customers), they voluntarily want to be associated with the brand due to the more significant cause the business fights for.
And the most visible way is by buying products from that company and supporting it publicly.
Vinod Krishna is founder and storytelling trainer at DustyPaths. He brings 3 decades of experience in leading people, projects, and businesses to forge new paths in storytelling, communication and leadership development.
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