Why stories matter

Tim Rich

Tim Rich believes that as businesses compete in an increasingly contested space, the power of compelling brand stories to connect with customers has never been more important.

Walking up London's Regent Street the other day, I noticed a distant sign saying '& Other Stories'. At first I thought it might be for a new chain of bookshops – what an optimist! A few steps later I saw that the shop's windows were full of dresses, jumpers and knickers. A smaller sign inside read: 'Personal style tells a story'.

Being a business writer and communications consultant – and something of a narrative nerd – I went inside in the hope of finding some interesting story-led writing. I encountered plenty of colourful hyperbole but, alas, no narratives. Despite its name, and its website URL stories.com, nothing I read in & Other Stories was actually a story.