Story Teardown Time: How To Craft A Connection Focused Story
Updated: Sep 10
Karen doesn't have a clue
You know its importance but don't where to begin.
It's not your fault.
They don't teach this stuff in elementary school, let alone business school.
And when Karen floats around your office giving empty advice like:
"Just use storytelling, that'll do the trick!"
It leaves you feeling more helpless than a turtle on its back.
Let's change that.
In today's release, we're going to dissect a company's "About Us" section, assess whether it qualifies as a story and uncover some communication strategies along the way.
This company's marketing is filled with personality...
Their brand is dripping with swagger...
And their Founders stink of authenticity!
I'm talking about the foodies at Omsom.
The question is, do they know how to tell an impactful story?
Let's set the scene
I didn't have a Scooby Doo as to who Omsom were until a few months ago.
I stumbled upon them through a random article on the internet raving about their branding.
And took a deeper look.
P.S. According to Crunchbase, "Omsom is a venture-backed CPG brand bringing proud, loud Asian flavours into American homes."
As I cruised through their website, I found their "About Us" section:
At first glance, what do you think?
Would you buy from them?
Here's my 2 cents.
They get straight into the "context" and introduce themselves as the narrative's main characters:
"We're Vanessa + Kim Pham, the sisters and co-founders behind Omsom."
For me, kicking off with an attention-grabbing "hook" is what's missing.
"What do you get when you combine 2 Vietnamese sisters, Silicon Valley and a bowl of saucy noodles? Hey, we're Vanessa + Kim Pham and we're the co-founders behind Omsom."
It's not perfect, but hey, it's good enough!
A good hook is mission-critical in a world where attention is the modern-day currency.
They instantly humanize themselves, unlock relatability and begin to summon their ideal audience:
"We're daughters of Vietnamese refugees, who grew up at our family's kitchen counter, watching our Me cook Viet dinners from scratch every night."
There's so much beauty in this sentence and the pictures on the right-hand side:
They take you back to where it all began.
Spark emotion in the visual learners.
And vividly call out their family-orientated values.
They focus on "showing versus telling" with the pictures and text which is significantly more impactful.
Also, phrases such as "... family's kitchen counter" + "... Me cook Viet dinners from scratch" begin to call out their foundational audience:
First-generation Asian Americans (and beyond).
We get you
They make their ideal audience feel seen, heard and understood:
"Like so many Asian moms, this was her love language to her children."
We're just like you... we get it! That's exactly what they're saying, without actually saying it.
The punchline: Understanding cultural nuances is where true connection lies.
Conflict is king
They give you the "why" and meaning behind their mission:
"In our past lives, we cut our teeth in startups and consulting. We returned to our roots to finally build the company of our dreams — one that proudly reclaims + celebrates the multitudes to be found in Asian flavours, stories, and communities."
They tell us they briefly followed "society's version of success" which is highly relatable, however, they're missing something important.
Here's what I want to know as I read the above:
"What or who was the villain that drove you to build the company of your dreams?"
Remember, every good story needs a hero AND a villain!
Tension forces your audience to pay attention, whilst allowing them to see themselves in your pains, struggles and transformation.
Oh, and another thing...
Without sounding more judgemental than Simon Cowell on The X-factor...
They're missing a simple "aha moment" that triggers the start of their transformation.
Meaning, at the peak of their (internal or external) conflict...
What was the "moment" that led them to go ALL IN on their business?
I can feel the warmth
They finish up with a warm and inviting message:
"This is our fiery love letter to our people (that’s you!), our food, and our Phamily (both ancestors and chosen).
Firstly, they define YOU, the reader, as their people and main priority.
Secondly, they outright tell you about their passion for food.
Thirdly, they drop another "we get you moment" with the word "Phamily" and extend their love to the masses.
I like that they describe their message as a "love letter", but I wouldn't necessarily call it fiery.
But hey, that's just me!
The call to action (CTA)
There's nothing better than a heart-centred CTA:
"Pull up a stool and grab a bowl – welcome to our house."
Notice their CTA isn't a product pitch.
I like it.
(One could argue that "grab a bowl" means "buy our product", however, I don't see it that way).
Instead, they meet you with where you're at today and invite you into their home.
They clearly believe in the power of community.
Funny enough, the lack of a direct product pitch actually had me eager to learn more about what they offer!
Is their love letter a story?
Omsom does an INCREDIBLE job of making us feel connected to Kim and Vannessa.
Undoubtedly, you can feel their passion, values and heart.
However, to take it back to our original question:
Can they tell a good story?
The truth is, not every narrative is a story.
And Omsom's "About Us" section on their website doesn't qualify as a story (in my books).
They're missing a few important principles and ingredients.
However, were Omsom even looking to share a story?
Given they called their message a "fiery love letter", possibly not!
The punchline: They've done an incredible job at keeping their message heart-centred, focused and punchy.
Transform any message into a story
If Omsom were looking to transform its message into a connection-focused story, I'd recommend a story framework like the one below:
Hook - Grab the attention of the reader.
Context - Introduce the protagonists and set the scene.
Conflict - Unveil the villain.
Turning point - Have the protagonists experience an "aha moment".
Transformation - Ensure the hero goes from pain to glory.
Impact - Explain what this story means for your ideal audience.
Call to action - call your people to take a specific micro-action.
Many companies can take a chapter out of Omsom's book.
Especially in the world of B2B (often called Boring 2 Boring lol).
I hope you enjoyed today's release.
I'll see ya next week my friend.
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