Storytelling in Startups: We Can Relate

Posted in Company
By David McMichael on March 17, 2017

Most of us remember childhood bedtime stories or amusing renditions of a night out with friends. These stories have helped shape who we are, and they reinforce our existing relationships. By telling stories of their own, startup businesses can create lasting impressions and personalized experiences to drive an impactful brand experience. In the highly competitive startup environment, this is fundamental for a company looking to gain an edge on competitors who are fighting for the same slice of pie.

For a highly technical startup like Rubikloud, storytelling is a perfect tool to normalize the deep level of technical knowledge associated with the product. Because let’s be honest, enterprise software solutions and machine learning algorithms don’t necessarily translate fluidly to the everyday consumer. Using storytelling, Rubikloud can simplify high-tech jargon, and provide you with a relatable story that includes themes like the struggles of early startup life or the reward of finding the right product version and moving forward.

The basis of storytelling lies in the adage “show, don’t tell.” Listening isn’t easy, and realistically, people won’t attribute meaning to a brand unless they have a way to relate to it. So, if you’re a startup, your advanced technical vocabulary likely won’t translate well. The gold lies in the story of things like your struggle, your team, and the philosophy that’s backing your future goals. These are the elements most likely to hit that sweet spot of evangelism in the customer journey. Don’t go thinking that your startup has nothing to work with, either. No matter how complex the product, the basis for a good story lies at the beginning (origin), middle (current state), and end (future goals) of your company.

What’s also amazing about storytelling is that it can come in a variety of formats. Video provides a distinct advantage with how it conveys ideas quickly in a way that is consumable, but there are others. Micro-storytelling is one that probably affects you more than you even realize. While many Fortune 500 companies invest big money into large omnichannel campaigns, micro-storytelling proves that simple use of powerful language in taglines and slogans can be just as effective.

It’s important to keep in mind that while storytelling is an excellent way to establish a connection, startups must use it carefully. Today’s empowered consumer has access to an abundance of information and multi-channel content. The story should be concise, accurate, and depict a carefully crafted tale that cuts out noise. The popularity of storytelling has led to the creation of well-constructed “formulas for success” using an origin story followed up by a vision story. Alternatively, the story could follow a format that best suits the brand. For example, some may have specific anecdotes to mention whereas others may go big with an overall story of progression from the past to future. Either way, it’s crucial that the story comes across as authentic.

As a four-year startup providing big data machine learning solutions, Rubikloud aims to empower retailers with better consumer predictability and personalization. Yes, this is a mouthful. CEO Kerry Liu has used storytelling through different channels as a means of sharing the Rubikloud brand. At the current stage of brand-building, Rubikloud has connected with enterprise retailers across the globe. For Rubikloud, Storytelling is a means to narrow in this global presence and focus on building a community in the much more immediate area. Community-building is an important strategy for Rubikloud considering Kerry’s level of faith in the top-end talent coming from Ontario universities. Increased awareness will aid in continued efforts to attract the right talent to grow the company. Rubikloud also hosts the data-driven decision meetup group in Toronto, ON – a place where data-junkies can share stories and learn from others.

Another great advantage of digital storytelling is that it lives on the Internet forever. Tell great stories within your content, and meaningful connections will continue. This is even truer if that content is evergreen. Here are three instances of Kerry & Rubikloud using storytelling to share their message:

Kerry presents Enterprise Lessons at Tech Toronto.

“Lesson’s Retail Marketers Can Learn from HBO’s Westworld”

“CEO Kerry Liu Predicts that Rubikloud will grow to 100 in 2017.”

For companies like Rubikloud, storytelling is not only a great tactic for making connections but a necessary one. If mastered, it will take care of the fundamental challenge of building a brand around complex technology. It will make deep, meaningful connections with not only the tech-savvy but the average joe too.

Be sure to stay tuned to Rubikloud’s social media channels as they continue to tell their story. Find them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & LinkedIn. Or, follow the blog.