Is Your Brand Story Documentary-Worthy (Like Shopify)?

Mitch JoelPosted by

Tell your brand story!

How often have you heard someone (usually in marketing) say this in a meeting? Brands have been trying forever to tell a unique, powerful and emotive story. The reason for doing this is simple: connection. A brand that can connect its story (attributes, values, benefits, etc…) to a consumer (and keep it) will win. It’s tough out there. There’s no denying that legacy doesn’t ensure your future (just ask the folks at Macy’s this week). Plus, every day more and more people are looking to grow their business… and it’s all happening online.

It’s hard to deny the power of Shopify.

Most people know Shopify as the company that just reported a 93% year on year growth. They have more than 300,000 merchants using their platform, generated over $86 million this year, with a market cap of close to $3 billion. I know Shopify since they were this scruffy little startup that my buddy, Harley Finkelstein, got involved with many years back, after trying to sell t-shirts online with their platform. He loved it so much, and saw the potential that he got in on the ground floor of Shopify. Now, Harley is the Chief Operating Officer, and he (along with Tobi Lutke – the CEO and founder – and an amazing leadership team) is trying to redefine retail… and it’s working.

It’s not just what you do, it’s how you tell the story. 

This week, Shopify released their Shopify Roadshow Documentary. It was created and presented to investors in May 2015, prior to their IPO. It’s awesome. Take a look. As a brand, it’s important to watch for the storyboard, the production quality, the arc of how they break up the separate components of the business and everything in between. Ultimately, what makes this work so well, is that it’s a real story. It’s not a PowerPoint deck. For me, it was emotional. I wanted to get on board. Not just to invest. I wanted to become a part of their community. I wanted to sell something on Shopify. I wanted to figure out a business model that I could bolt on to become a valuable partner (and build my own successful business). That’s what every brand narrative should do. It’s amazing how powerfully it speaks to both their B2C and B2B models at the exact same time. It’s a real documentary. It feels like it.

If you’re not motivated by this to tell a better brand story, I’m not sure what will motivate you: Shopify Roadshow Documentary.