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  • Writer's pictureAyyappan Ramachandran

Helping executives at an emerging startup tell a consistent story

A curious client

In the month of February this year, we were approached by the startup LeMiRide in Goa, a bike rental aggregator platform focusing on experiential tourism. Unlike other organizations who come to us for story consulting or brand storytelling after years of experience and multiple marketing stints, this team approached us while they were still building the product, putting together a team and formulating their vision.

While we were happy to find that entrepreneurs today wished to get their story right earlier in the life of their organizations, we couldn’t understand why this young team sought storytelling much before they had an MVP.

We discovered a very unique need for storytelling for startups.

Our opinions are busted

Between the time the founders messaged us and the first call we had with them, our team formed a lot of assumptions about what LeMiRide’s motivation could be.

  • Have something to describe LeMiRide?

  • Get the USP right?

  • Be consistent in advertising?

  • Build long-term connections with customers?

But during our introductory call, as we listened to them, we discovered a very unique need for storytelling for startups. “In these early days, members of our executive team are continuously pitching LeMiRide to potential investors, partners and mentors. While our individual minds are aligned with the brand’s mission, our words differ when we speak, and so do the meaning and the purpose of our startup that comes across to the listener,” says Anushka Karmakar, co-founder of LeMiRide. “In fact, we received feedback from an external consultant,” she speaks frankly, “that the C-suite did not seem to have coherence and consistency in their vision. While we all agreed to achieve the same goal, we did not communicate it in the same way. According to our roles and priorities, we presented our goals differently.” We could immediately imagine how a well-rehearsed story could solve this problem - an application we had not realized in our several years as practitioners of storytelling.

Different voices. One story.

Soon, we conducted our brand storytelling workshop, where we interviewed each executive team member and a few newly joined interns. Over the next couple of weeks, we brainstormed and weighed several stories, and took a shortlist to the LeMiRide founders. From there, it wasn’t long before we collaboratively finalized the story and the narrative for each stakeholder. The LeMiRide team, which was once too busy stating arbitrary facts and figures in the hope of persuading someone, was now rehearsing their brand story like stage actors in the green room. We will never deny the importance of factual information, but we are talking about making that first impression! For startups, one conversation with the right investor, the first few customers and effective partnerships can make or break their fortune. And to make sure that all the stakeholders, both internal and external, are on the same page, nothing can beat a thoughtfully strategized story, which touches the heart while communicating the same facts and figures!


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