How Stories Drive Growth: Brit + Co.

By Jennifer Aaker, Debra Schifrin
2014 | Case No. M348C | Length 11 pgs.
Stories play an important role in business. They are a powerful tool for persuasion and useful in the context of understanding customers, building brands and leading teams. The case explores how stories can drive the growth of a company, focusing on Brit + Co., the online platform and e-commerce company founded by Brit Morin in 2011. Used by millions of people, the site combines the digital world and the maker movement in one place, showcasing the latest trends and sharing ideas about how to make everything from domestic products to technology. Morin’s personal story of a lifelong passion for bringing technology and making together was foundational for the company and acted as a continual driver of its growth. The company used highly stylized “how-to” and product stories to attract consumers to its site. It also generated sales from brands that wanted Brit + Co. to use their products in some new or interesting way and tell a story about them. Technology companies especially turned to Brit + Co. to help them create a personal connection with customers. To maximize impact, Brit + Co. developed criteria for good stories: use great visuals, focusing on Brit + Co.’s specific visual style; use Brit + Co.’s distinct voice; be authentic and simple. The company also increased interest in the brand by creating a participatory culture through stories. It cultivated and harnessed user stories, featured the best ones, coached users on the best way to tell their story, and promoted them as storytellers.

Learning Objective

The learning objectives are for students to: • Gain insight into what makes a good (or bad) story in business. • Better understand how to use stories to gain strategic advantage and further business objectives. • Acquire practical tools to hone and focus stories.
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