Storytelling is the oldest of all art forms. Dating back across eons, indigenous tribes roaming the globe kept the flames of their culture and history burning brightly from generation to generation through the magic and wisdom of storytelling. Through the centuries, storytelling was considered a sacred ceremony in most cultures, and storytellers were honoured as wise and knowledgeable. Today storytelling remains the key to unlocking experiences, emotions and knowledge.

Why Storytelling is key for your brand and profile.

In recent decades the world has experienced deep societal changes, most notably social media remapping our business landscape. Yet, one thing remains at the heart of business – the stories. Storytelling has not only survived, its thriving as the most relevant and authentic expression in social platforms for people to share their experiences.

Understanding the power of persuasion through storytelling is now the new art form.

People are 22 times more likely to remember a fact that’s been wrapped in a story, shares cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner. Why? Because stories allow developing a deeper connection with the audience. It triggers emotions and ignites the imagination of the listeners. It helps people visualise and experience the feelings and see themselves in the story.

By telling a story, people provide insights into their lives to listeners. It’s no different with a brand. We can try to convey the attributes of a brand in a customer’s mind, but to have our brand deeply seated in their hearts, we use storytelling.

Through stories, brands, and the people behind them, share their deepest motivations, their fears, triumphs and “why” that others are compelled by – and relate to. They make your brand, and you, human.  

For some, Storytelling is an innate ability from the moment they string their first words together. If that’s not you, never fear. To bring your brand story, or profile, to life, simply follow the archetypal story pattern of the Hero’s Journey where the ‘hero’ goes on an adventure, and in a decisive crisis wins a victory, and returns changed or transformed.

The four vital layers for your Hero’s Journey are:

  1. What was before?
  2. What was your Call to Adventure?
  3. What was that Journey?
  4. What is your New Norm or Victory State?

These 4 key components entice your audience to be on your journey at a level of deep inward emotion rather than appealing just to their intellect.

What journey have you had, and how do you Storysell those experience so others can be moved by them?  

Another driving force to lodge your message in the hearts of others is to leverage Archetypes. Archetypes were a concept introduced by the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, who believed they were models of people, behaviours, or personalities – or inborn tendencies that play a role in influencing all human behaviour.

The world’s most successful brands tap in this psychological perspective to position their brands with pinpoint clarity through human insights and instincts.

6 Storyselling Archetypes

When Storytelling has an injection of human reality to sell a concept, product or service, through experience, it becomes powered as Storyselling. We’ve uncovered the top Storytelling Archetypes to inspire your own story to ignite your brand.  

There’s something innate in us as human beings that responds to stories.
That’s why story and storytelling is such a powerful tool for building a company or personal brand.
Glen Carlson – Dent Podcast EP.70 Build Your Story Brand with Nicole Hatherly


  1. The Comeback

I was at the brink, but I found a way back. Now I’m in a better situation and I have got insights.”

Many can deeply relate to this archetype, making it an accessible and  effective tool in conveying a brand’s message. Great examples of these are Oprah Winfrey and Tony Robbins. Their journeys were filled with pure grit, determination, setbacks, and ah-ha moments. Just like Glen Carlson’s example on the Dent Podcast, “The fact is, Superman would be a pretty boring story if it wasn’t for Kryptonite.”

  1. The Transformation

“I was ordinary, I had an issue. I found a solution to change or heal myself. Now I’m transformed.”

Those who survived an issue like a health setback, sought an alternative to usual treatment, or found a way through – and are thriving are the Transformation archetype. A journey filled with research, lack of support, experiments, scepticism, wins, and setbacks reach the point you’re now transformed and help others do the same. Think Louise Hay (Hay House), or closer to home with Sarah Wilson (IQS).

  1. The Discovery

“I found this incredible discovery and it changed my perspective”.

Simon Sinek and Prof. Muhammad Yunus (founder of microfinance) are just some of the well-known thought leaders that personify the Discovery Archetype. Their journeys were filled with curiosity, experimentation, knowledge sharing, and most importantly enlightenment. These sage individuals discovered something remarkable while doing their day to day activity that changed their perspective and the course of their life. They are driven by the notion that everyone has to know, so we can all be better together.

  1. The Mastery

“I’ve worked deeply for in my area of expertise for many years and I have mastered my art.”

The Mastery Archetype is a persona that is often associated with successful athletes and Business experts like Nadine Champion and Tim Ferris. This brand persona embodies a journey filled with study/training, focus, repetition, research, wins, breakthroughs and celebration. Brands guided by this archetype are masters in their field and sharing their expertise.

  1. The Customer’s Shoes

“I had a need. I couldn’t find a solution, so I created one.”

There is no better example of the Customer’s Shoes Archetype than Richard Branson, the man behind one of the most successful airline companies that ever existed. Branson changed the course of the airline industry, when stuck in Porto Rico and forced to find his own solution – and in doing so realised it was a universal problem he solved for. The Customer’s Shoes archetype embodies a situation with a gap and someone who creates a viable solution.

This Archetype’s journey is filled with risk, determination, investment, research, setback and success and eventually sharing the breakthrough solution with others.

  1. The Insider Secrets

“I can tell what really goes on behind the doors in this industry.”

The Insider Secrets is commonly used in beauty, travel, real estate, and food industries. Those leveraging this archetype are successful through insider knowledge and tips. The journey is filled with tricks, tips, advancement, industry understanding, scepticism, and wins. Many social influencers are guided by this archetype as they share behind the scenes glimpses and insider secrets to help others succeed.

By Storyselling your audience is instantly at a depth with you. They see themselves in your story and become a part of it. Storyselling is what connects people to humanity. By harnessing this, you’ll be guided to position your brand story in a way that is as unique as you are. As Simon Sinek shares, “People don’t buy what you do, people buy why you do it.”



Nicole Hatherly is a leading Brand and Profile Strategist, international keynote speaker, facilitator, published writer and podcast producer. For over 25 years she has delivered award-winning strategies for iconic and international brands.

As Founder and Director of Brand True North, Nicole works with business leaders, thought leaders, founders and entrepreneurs to position their brands for maximum impact and their personal brands and profiles for high credibility and trust to deliver invaluable media exposure and prestigious business awards.