Storytelling: It aint’ what you do.. it’s the way that you do it

2 February 2023

“It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it.” What a tune. 1982 apparently.

I say apparently, as I am far too young to remember the early 80s (cough, cough). My grandparents say it was a cracking time to be alive, though.

If you’re a fan of 80s music (no! come back, Millennials, this blog is for you too, honest), then you’ll no doubt already be humming it ain’t what you do. It’s a proper tune from pop giants Fun Boy Three and those era-defining dungaree-clad musical icons Bananarama.

Obviously, when the girls from Bananarama and the erm… boys from Fun Boy Three sat down to write it, they knew it was all about the secrets of successful and engaging storytelling for business. I mean, obviously, right?

You might need to bear with me on this one.

Imagine for a moment you’re a leading financial firm in a big city.

Your main rivals, Pugh, Hugh and McGrew down the road, are a leading financial firm in your city too.

You have similar clients, offer similar services and similar products at a similarly exceptional level.

There’s not much to choose between you. Maybe the biscuits you roll out for meetings are just that little bit more chocolatey. Gooier in the middle, maybe. Perhaps they just chose you because you’re right around the block from their office.

You’re going to need something to make you stand out from the rest (investing in even better biscuits ain’t going to cut it).

You need to be something different, so those big spending clients and all those shiny new graduates and talent just have to choose you over your rivals.

You need a story, a way to explain to people your why and how. Why are you here? Why are you different? How do you do what you do?

It’s all about the feels

The best stories are all about people. They’re about relationships. The relationship you have with your clients and customers and, of course, your people. They’re the ones doing your do, after all.

Through telling your story, you can create an emotional attachment – a feeling.

Tell a compelling, provable story, and it won’t matter what sort of biscuits you dish up; the power of who you are and why you do what you do will be what makes you stand out, be different.

If it’s genuine and you back it up every day, if it’s something your people can believe in and talk about with passion, then your employee engagement should soar too.

Stories are powerful stuff!

Of course, your what is important, but it’s the why that gets those neurons firing. See? It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it. The next line after that one? And that’s what gets results! Bananarama and Fun Boy Three really were way ahead of their time.

I wonder if all 80s songs had a subliminal business message?

Maybe Rio by Duran Duran is actually about creating a growth mindset in a stagnant and destabilised marketplace. Maybe not.

Here’s three things to help you bring storytelling into your business;

  • Remember, it’s about EMOTION. Get them laughing, smiling, crying, nodding along in agreement. Your story needs to connect and move people.
  • LOGIC is important too. Your why and how are the connectors, your logic, the rational sense behind your story, is your anchor.
  • Give it some CREDIBILITY – make sure you can prove what you say, back it up with tangible actions. It’ll help show you’re a source worth listening to.

If you’re struggling to unearth your why and your how, we’ll do the deep dive, find out who you really are and help you tell your story (we promise not to mention Bananrama and the Fun Boy Three ever again).

Get in touch today @

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