Storytelling, as I previously wrote about, is the story behind the valued proposition of the brand/company. It is a narrative that connects your brand with your customers, communicating what you stand for and focusing on the values you share with them.

“A company without a story is a company without a strategy.” – Marc Andreessen

However, nowadays, customers are not satisfied with just hearing a story. Actions will always speak louder than words, and they want brands to put up or shut up. In other words, no more talking the talk, but instead walking the walk.

For this reason, storytelling is evolving to story doing. That is, brands are now not just telling stories, they are acting on them. These brands are creating better client involvement and growing an active fan base for their companies.

Some recent market research has revealed interesting data surrounding the impact of online customer recommendations:

  • Nielsen reported that 92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than advertising.
  • Beyond friends and family, 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts.
  • 74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decisions.
  • But only 33% of businesses are actively seeking out and collecting reviews.
  • Despite that fact that a little, can do a lot. When specific case studies were analysed, researchers found a 10% increase in word-of-mouth (off and online) translated into a sales lifts between 0.2 – 1.5%.


These findings demonstrate that brands that use their narratives to create better products and services will have more customers wanting to involve themselves in this process and become brand ambassadors. It is a great thing for a company when they have thousands of people advertising them without having to spend a penny. However, these narratives must be genuine, meaningful and deliver an extra benefit to society.

Some examples of story doers are TOMS Shoes, IBM, Nespresso, and Red Bull.

But let’s not go too far. I recently interviewed an incredible woman, Luz Restrepo, on my Spanish-speaking podcast, No es Gadejo, who told us her story of success. Luz revealed how with little English, no Australian connections and very little money, she was able to reinvent herself as a leader, founder and a social entrepreneur. Her business went from nothing in 2010, to having a turnover of $1.4 M in 2019, employing 20 women and having supported more than 900 migrant and refugee women from 70 countries. Luz also developed partnerships with local and global organisations such as Ritchies IGA, Australia Post and UN Women.

If you speak Spanish and want to listen Luz Restrepo’s story, please click here

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Sister Works, a not-for-profit social enterprise based in Melbourne, started as an initiative of 3 migrant women lead by Luz, selling handcrafts in community services under the business name of Handmade by Multicultural Women. These women had four things in common: they were migrants; they didn’t speak English; they were unemployed; and they needed to do something about it. Luz understood that if women support each other, they also strengthen each other. She asked her daughter to paint a logo with different cultural backgrounds of women and added a message on the back of the package that read,

“You are not only buying something made in Melbourne but you are also buying the dreams of migrant women who want to thrive in life in a foreign country “

Some would say this is a perfect example of storytelling. Luz was getting her customers to understand the importance of their purchase and involving them in a great action by supporting these migrant women. But she didn’t stop there. Over the next 10 years, Handmade by Multicultural Women became Sister Works, and Luz developed a business model that empowered women through learning, creating communities and accessing financial incentives. Sister Works aimed to create opportunities for all migrant women to become economically empowered. This is the precise definition of story doing.

At the start of 2020 Luz decided to leave Sister Works end to embark on another adventure. She created a new company called Migrant Women in Business, a for-profit social enterprise that nurtures the leadership and entrepreneurship of migrant women.

Luz’ story remind us that even in the worst circumstances, you can thrive if you believe in yourself and the impact brands could have when they have a purpose beyond sales.

If you found this article interesting, please leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks very much and have a great day!

To contact Luz you can follow her in her LinkedIn account Click Here or write her an email to [email protected]