• jzitek@harborcapitalgroupinc.com
  • +1 612-978-7222
  • Bloomington, MN 55437

How do you create a core story?

 Your story cannot wait until you are ready to do marketing. It must be woven into your strategy from the very beginning.

Start by framing your story. Does it reflect the vision and values you are promoting?  You have to assume your competition has a story that you need to change. This analysis of the competition’s story takes time but is necessary. Then reframe the opponent’s story and reinforce your story to make sure you are not just restating your competitor’s story.

Keep it short and straightforward. Make sure it’s memorable and, therefore, easy to spread. Also, think about how you can encapsulate your message in a symbol, slogan, or metaphor that captures the essence of your story?

Make sure your story is emotional– includes values and deliver some emotional impact. One way is to articulate the  “hows” as verbs, not nouns.

You can start creating your story by going through the following suggestions. These are from Wodenworks, a brand strategy company. Start building your story by:


  • Identify the critical components of the company’s journey from initial problem to solution to results and transformation,

  • Define the “Whys” behind the story ( Why are we doing this? Why should I join the company? Why should I invest in this company? Why should you buy from this company? The answer to why is the company story.

  • Organize, arrange, and put the essence of your story in writing and share it with everyone and every department in your organization.


This process takes time, but the time required will more than pay you back for the time it took to complete this task, Once met it will give you direction, get everyone on the same page and help make decision making easier.

Here s another way to go through this process. Jim Logan, a long-time ma\rketer, offers this kind of approach to get at your core story.   y


  • Profile your best customers. That customer group can breakdown into smaller sales funnels.

  •  Identify the things you do for customers.

  • list all the things that are meaningfully different about your offer compared to other offerings with similar benefits (including every facet of your product and business operation from manufacturing to experience to responsiveness to the comprehensiveness of your solution to service and support),

  • list key features and functionality of things you sell ( and tie a benefit to each element and function)

  • Answer the Why question: should I believe you and why should I buy from you.

  •  Create your story from the material you have gathered

  • Test your story to make sure it does what you expect it to do. If not, revise it.

Next, let’s cover some of the story structures that will help you tell your story.

Story Structures

Several traditional story structures have been proven to work. Sometimes they have different names, but the structure is the same. At this point, we are using the core story we constructed to put that core story into a bigger picture.

You can use one of the traditional story frames that have proved themselves over the years, Here are the five frames you can use.

Quest is the most fundamental frame. In this scenario, the hero goes off to achieve a positive goal, but runs into a problem(s), generally finds a mentor, and then throughout the story reaches the goal.

The Stranger in a Strange Land is a much different story, The hero finds himself in a strange place where he is unsure of what to do (e.g., maybe a research task without any defined criteria), what the rules are, or even the path forward. But he runs into a mentor and finds a solution to something he didn’t know he was looking for in the beginning.

Rags To Riches is the classic story of stating out with nothing, and through hard work and some luck, you end up with fame and fortune.

Revenge is simply about a wrong done to the hero who, through no fault of his own, loses everything/. Then he prepares a plan and sets out to get revenge for the wrong done to him.

Love stories can be about both love found or love lost. For example, a new great partnership or a partnership being dissolved,

The main point here is that you can use one of these traditional story frames to help you create your own story without having to create a new frame of your own. Also, these are familiar frames that people know and understand, which makes your job and their ability to follow your story easier.

You now have a testable hypothesis. Does the story support the business model?


You will be more than happy