Once upon a time there was a boy who wanted to go to space.

Once upon a time there was a little boy who liked to draw pictures.

Once upon a time there was a woman who didn’t want a VPL under her white trousers.

Once upon a time there were two men who wanted to make money and change the world.

Every single successful business person has a story.  Inevitably that story becomes part of the brand that they develop. It is their personalities, their drive, their vision, their definitions of success that shape the company as it grows from an idea to a reality.

And no matter how big that company grows, it is the story that lies at the success of all customer engagement.

People don’t just love Virgin because it’s big. They love it because it’s brash, it’s bold, it’s fun. Virgin’s brand champions feel part of something global, something forward thinking, something relevant.

People love Disney because it’s creative. It’s out of the box. It’s traditional and yet contemporary. It appeals to individuals. It appeals to families. It is commercial but strangely magical.

People love Spanx because it makes them feel good. It appeals to super models and model superintendents. It can be a closely guarded secret or flashed to Oprah’s audience. It’s big.

People love Who Gives a Crap? because they can buy toilet paper and fund water aid projects in developing countries all by ordering toilet paper and tissues to be delivered to their door whenever they need it. It’s edgy. It’s doing good. It wipes bottoms.

How do we know the stories of brands? Because they share them. Sometimes they blog about them. Sometimes they share a customer review. Sometimes they do an advertising campaign. Sometimes it’s word of mouth. Sometimes it’s a media release. Sometimes it’s an image. Sometimes it’s recognising employees. Sometimes it’s social good. Sometimes it’s negative feedback. Sometimes it’s an event. Sometimes it’s political. Sometimes its insight. Sometimes it’s competition.

Every single business has a story – each year is a story. Each month a chapter. Each employee or customer a character. Each product or service a device that keeps readers interested. Each new development a plot twist.

You just need to plan it out. Write the plot. Sketch out how it unfolds. Is it going to have a sequel or are you just aiming at selling the rights to make a film. The story sits alongside your business objectives as seamlessly as your trousers fit over Spanx.

The only question left is how are you telling your story?