If you’re interested in powerful communication for your business, you’re probably aware that storytelling is a vital tool at your disposal.

Whether you’re scripting a video, writing a social media post, or presenting to a live audience, stories help your message land with impact and build empathy with your audience.

But where should you start when telling stories about your business?

Well, it really is as simple as ABC.

The ABC storytelling framework

This simple framework distills storytelling into 3 key elements found in all stories, from a 3 Act Shakespearean tragedy, to an action-packed Hollywood blockbuster, to a 1 minute Nike Ad.

And it goes like this: A wants B despite C.

Let’s take my favourite film example, Star Wars, and break down the algebra.

A = Luke Skywalker
B = Save the princess and destroy the Death Star
C = Darth Vader

A wants B despite C. Do you see what’s happening there?

If you don’t know Star Wars let me put it even more simply:

A = Hero
B = Goal
C = Villain/or obstacle

A wants B despite C. This, in a nutshell, is storytelling.

We, the audience, invest in a hero who has a mission, a goal they have set their heart on. The loftier the goal the better as this drives us to cheer our hero on as they battle against the evil villain who is hell bent on obstructing their path to victory.

A wants B despite C. Simple.

What does that mean for your brand story?

You may not be swishing a light saber, rescuing a Princess or channelling ‘The Force’ to destroy a weapon of mass destruction, but you can certainly be the hero of your brand story.

You just have to ask yourself a two simple questions:

Question 1
Do you have a goal? A mission? An objective? A grand plan? A dream?

Of course you do!

Goal setting, to move from point A to point B, is a human universal. From grand mission statements, to just-out-of-reach dreams, to daily operations tasks that keep the cogs of your business running smoothly, human beings are goal oriented.

We’re all on a journey, motivated by a sense of purpose. Sharing his goal is the first step to telling your brand story.

Question 2
What are the obstacles that you have to overcome before you can achieve your goal?

These obstacles can take many shapes. They can be physical or psychological; internal or external; individual or societal; big or small. Identify these obstacles to help shape your story and and build the tension needed to engage your audience emotionally.

Take 2 minutes now to answer the questions and solve the ABC algebra for your brand story.
A =
B =
C =

Congratulations! Now you have the beginnings of a story.

I told you, it’s as easy as ABC…

(…or is that ABT? No, I’ll save that for the next blog.)

Check out ABC storytelling on TikTok

Not sure how this basic framework can really work for your business? What does it look like in practice?

Take a look at this bitesize business storytelling on TikTok, from Tim Hayden, CEO of Hadley West.

As you watch, identify the ABC of these stories: Hero, Goal, Villain (obstacle)

This fundamental brand story is told throughout the TikTok channel as well as on the Hadley West website.

Storytelling for business webinar

Want to improve your storytelling skills? Check out our introductory webinar: Storytelling for business or get in touch to find out about bespoke training for your team.