Your Independent Great Cup Origin Story

Good storytelling is a vital part of good selling.

So here in a provincial (excellent) English coffee shop, inside the smallest room, was this huge blackboard of chat. It clearly detailed their ‘start’. Or as creatives call such beginnings mythology, the origin story.

I was first most pleased that the space was put to interesting use.

Then I read it.

Unfortunately, it’s not a story that’s told at all well.

Top marks for intent. Execution though, aargh!

Stories around how the idea came about, or how tough the baby steps of pursuing the dream are wonderfully fertile ground for a sales tale.

Yet the crucial element is to make sure the audience – your intended client – can relate to it, can feel they’ve found a kindred soul, or want to champion your cause too.

The above example almost made me stutter, ‘so what’. When the scope is surely there to make me want to grab my scarf and wave it wildly from the sidelines.

Who cares that they were in IT. Not many of their potential customers would share that trait or appreciate it. Hard working desk-chained rarely seeing daylight office workers, on the other hand…

Who cares about London if you live miles away. Totally no-one.

What about the fast-food-ification of cafes? Well, there’s a tuneful chord to strike.

But if all they wanted to provide was a decent cup of coffee, then really why bother? The array of beans you can get from the supermarket these days is, as a recent editorial in The Times reminded me, of such quality and choice that people can now hunt down even a specific bush for their shot. Possibly worse, the proliferation of ‘independents’ mean too many are sadly indistinguishable from their chain nemeses.

To make this story sing, they need to pick up on one single factor and hammer at it. Ensure it has real emotional resonance. And for good measure, I’d write it as a rhyming sonnet too.

Sales stories are there to create a real connection with a buyer. Specifically they absolutely nail the shared problem that both you sought to resolve and which the reader also recognises as one they rub up against. Done properly, it sets you apart and really gives the groove of what you stand for. Where’s yours and does it fit the bill?

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