Is your business self-aggrandising?

Is your business self-aggrandising?

Is your business and brand trying to communicate by simply saying how good you are?

Often, companies think by telling everyone how great they are, they will get results.

The reason you may not be getting the results you want, you are not telling a story. Relationships are built on connection. Your audience want to feel connected to your brand and this connection is built on the stories you share with your audience.  

Corporate storytelling is about creating a connection and driving action. Through compelling narratives, corporates can transform their communications, making them more effective, memorable and importantly shareable.


A recent example of this is a safety campaign by a medium-large company in Australia. The company produced multiple videos, stills and graphics showcasing their dedication to safety and their people, this was shown internally and through LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

The problem is, they talked about the processes they have in place and how seriously they take safety as a business, using words such as our… we… etc as they ran us though what they do.

 No one cared… Why?

By having senior and middle management pop a hard hat on and tell the audience they believe in safety while telling us about their values and processes, is immediately de-prioritised due to the way we humans prioritise information.

That is, is it a threat? Is it boring? Is it too complicated?

To effectively communicate, you need to activate our dopamine or serotonin responses. You can do this through either entertainment (dopamine) or by informing audiences with the information they seek (serotonin). By telling your audience how great you are rather than showing through a story, the opportunity to make a connection has been lost. 

So, what is the alternative? Show, don’t tell. 

If the company had used a near miss or incident, then re-enacted these; shown the people; the implications in an emotional way, then shown the steps the company took to ensure it will never happen again.  This story could have talked to our emotional side and cut much deeper internally and externally to the organisation.


Whether you’re launching a new product, creating a brand identity, or communicating with your customers, storytelling can transform your communication efforts from mundane to memorable.

What can you do?

Here are some tips to create stories that will improve your communication efforts from your brand identity through to internal presentations.

First determine what the key concept or point you want to get across? Use this to guide your story and importantly finish here…

Then use a simple story structure:

 Some examples on how you can use this in business:

Brand story: This is who we were | This is what happened | This is who we’re now

Recruitment: Meet XX | This happened to XX (leadership training, major incident managed well etc etc) | This is where XX is now (promotion).

Product sales: The before (What your customers life was before) | The change (your product as a solution) | The after (What their life is like now).

Be Creative.

Another famous example is a successful Nike advert where they showed a boy jogging down an outback road with the end slogan “Find your Greatness”. This left the beginning and end of the story up to the imagination of the viewer while leaving us with enough visual information to place ourselves in the same situation to be inspired. They showed us.

Important points

Keep it simple

  1. Clarity: A simple story is a clear story. Focus on a single, clear message. Avoid unnecessary details and complexities that can confuse your audience.

  2. Relatability: Make your story relatable by using simple language and familiar scenarios. When your audience can see themselves in your story, they are more likely to connect. 

  3. Shareability: Your story is likely complex, simplify it down. If someone hearing your story for the first time can then repeat it, you are much more likely to have a story shared by others and expand your reach.

 Make your audience care.

  1. Explain Why It Matters: To make your audience care about your story, you need to explain why it matters. Highlight the relevance of your message to their lives. Whether it’s solving a problem, fulfilling a need, or providing a new perspective, your story should clearly articulate its significance.

  2. Create Emotional Investment: By tapping into your audience’s emotions, you can create a sense of investment in your story. Use descriptive language, vivid imagery, and relatable characters to evoke feelings that resonate with your audience.

  3. Show How It Improves Their Lives: Show your audience how your product, service, or message can improve their lives. Whether it’s through testimonials, case studies, or demonstrations, illustrate the benefits and positive impact.

  4. Solve Their Problems: Identify your audience’s pain points and position your brand as the solution. By addressing their challenges and offering effective solutions, you can create compelling narratives that resonate with your audience.

Incorporating storytelling into your communication strategy can transform the way you connect with your audience. By creating human connections, differentiating your brand, engaging your audience, and resonating emotionally, you can craft stories that captivate and convert.


Want to learn more? Below are some recommended resources:

  1. What Great Storytellers Know: Seven Skills to Become Your Most Influential and Inspiring Self
  2. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
  3. Screenplay – The foundations of screenwriting
  4. Storyteller Tactics

At The Ground We Walk On, we find stories and bring them to life.

Angus Downer



If you would like help to identify and bringing your story to life, reach out for a chat.



The Ground We Walk On is a creative digital media agency. We amplify the impact of brands building a more sustainable future.