Your Origin Story: How to Tell It and Why You Need To

Telling your origin story can be tough – but doing so is more important than you think. In today’s hyper-connected world filled with choices and savvy consumers, you never know what might be the deciding factor a potential customer.

 

In most instances, people try to learn as much as they can about a business before deciding where to spend their dollars. Why does the organization exist? What do they offer? What do they stand for? How can they solve my problems? More and more people want to hear about why a business exists and what challenges the founders were attempting to solve. 

 

This explanation is called an Origin Story. 

Simply put, an origin story is the story of how your company came to be. The who, what, when, where, and how of the way in which your business began is your brand’s most precious story – the backdrop against which all of your company’s future chapters will be written. 

 

Some things that an Origin Story is not….

 

Many people confuse an origin story with general “About Us” information. It’s not that page of your website, or the professional biographies of staff, or an overview of the founding of your company. An origin story is not an avenue to explain how great your company is or why it’s the best choice for customers. To create a strong origin story, think of how your company truly came to be – not just what you want people to think you are. 

 

Do you really need an Origin Story? 

 

A relatable origin story helps you to connect with people. By explaining who you are and why you do what you do, you are displaying vulnerability and establishing credibility. Every business wants to generate trust and build relationships, and sharing your origin story is a good place to start. 

 

Your story is one way to stand out in a way no other company can compete with. Not only giving people a sense of who you are, your origin story shares what makes you different. After all, no one else has had your experiences, challenges, or perspectives. A strong origin story can not only attract people, but it can make them more likely to say “yes” to what you have to offer and to remain loyal following their initial decision. 

 

Essential elements of a compelling Origin Story

Interesting origin stories tend to have a few things in common. The essential elements you should consider include:

  1. Using a tone of voice that matches your business and culture. 
  2. Being honest and vulnerable – telling the truth about your failures and successes. 
  3. Writing in first-person.
  4. Be succinct but include enough detail to cover the real ups and downs of your business. 
  5. Use storytelling to ensure you aren’t simply listing facts and dates. 

When in doubt, reflect on the traditional Hero’s Journey: Stage 1 (the Beginning), Stage 2 (the Battle), and Stage 3 (the Return).

 

To get a feel for origin stories that are resonating, check out these examples from Patagonia, Starbucks, or Slack.

 

Always remember that people care most about the true content of your story – so just start small and don’t worry too much about crafting an epic tale right from the beginning. 

 

Need help?

 

Your story is worth telling, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. No one knows your journey better than you, but translating those perspectives into a story that resonates is an art. If you need some guidance in crafting your own origin story, reach out to the experts at Wonsupona. We specialize in transforming words and ideas into compelling stories worth remembering.