I was in Newcastle last week, and en route to the university, this sign in the Fat Face window grabbed my attention:
In fact, I walked past it, then walked back because I didn’t quite believe it. Given we’re in the full throes of Black Friday Week/Fortnight, I thought what a brave move this was.
Brave, or stupid.
I mean, it takes guts to tell a different story to everyone else. To really go against the grain. But when you’re going against the grain, then you’ve got a real chance to tell your story, say why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Except I can’t find much of the story. There’s this bit on the website:
And some of that imagery turns up on Facebook. And there’s a post on Instagram and one on Twitter. Which all feels like a distinctly wasted opportunity. In fact even more so when I found out it was something they’ve been doing for over five years.
Completely passed me by. And I shop at Fat Face from time to time.
What’s surprised me is that Fat Face doesn’t do more storytelling, more engaging content. They choose not to offer seasonal sales or discounts before Christmas, choosing to donate money to local charities instead. Now, I get that there are some things that you want to be modest about. But if you’re choosing to do this kind of thing, why not be loud and proud with the story?
If you’re going to go different, then there’s probably a good reason why you’ve chosen to do so. And if you’re not doing it for the right reasons, then keep quiet because you’ll get found out. Which is surely another reason to be louder and prouder if your intentions are good. And I have no doubt at all that Fat Face’s intentions are good.
I mean, isn’t there a whole story in this quote from the Chief Executive: “Cynical discounting is not a sustainable model for UK retail. It leads to a lack of creativity, newness in fashion and joy.”
Anyone who deals in joy has stories to tell. Anyone who goes against the materialistic hoo-ha of Black Friday has stories to tell. If you’ve got half the stories to tell, then your business has got a real advantage.
If you tell them.
So, what stories do you have that you’re not telling? What’s stopping you? Telling stories is a hidden asset in your business that can really make you stand out. Why wouldn’t you want to do that?