We wanted to tell our founder’s story as part of our rebrand. As an animated video production company, it just made sense that we use animation to do it. But you don’t have to be the leader of an animation studio to tell your founder’s story with animated video. This flexible and expressive format is the right choice for all kinds of businesses.
What is a founder’s story?
A founder’s story is a narrative that describes how the business was founded and how it has evolved. Think of it like the origin story for a superhero. What set your intrepid hero on the path to business leadership?
You can tell your story in text or video formats, although we obviously prefer video. Like any story, it should include a compelling character that the audience can empathize with, usually your founder or founders.
Despite the name, the founder’s story is more than a biography of your founder. The goal is to communicate something about your brand identity. At the same time, it can help the founder build their personal brand, with a trickle-down effect that improves the overall perception of your business.
“People don’t do business with businesses,
they do business with people.”
—William Gadea, Founder & CEO
As our founder William Gadea likes to say, “People don’t do business with businesses, they do business with people.” Telling your founder’s story reminds your clients that your business is made up of real people. It humanizes the brand and helps you connect with your audience.
Your founder’s story can also differentiate your brand by highlighting what makes it unique. In our founder’s story we shared that our business is employee-owned. It’s also the only US-based animation company with a production facility in Buenos Aires, where animation is growing rapidly. Of course, we could include those facts as bullet points on our website, but our founder’s story allowed us to quickly explain the context that makes those facts so powerful.
When to share your story
There’s no wrong time to tell your founder’s story. Some businesses make it part of their initial branding package. This is especially true of organizations with a strong public good mission. Brands focused on environmentalism, social justice, or health often have compelling stories to tell about what inspired the founder to pursue this mission.
You might also tell your founder’s story later on, as part of a rebranding package. Gadea explained that it took almost nine years for our organization’s true differentiators to emerge. If we had tried to tell our founder’s story before now, we wouldn’t have had a complete story to tell. After years in business, telling our founder’s story in animation helps us reaffirm who we are and reconnect with our customers.
3 Reasons to use animated video for a founder’s story
A web search for “founder’s story” brings up a mind-numbing wall of talking head videos. There’s nothing wrong with recording a simple video of your founder telling their story, but animation allows you to accomplish so much more.
1. Animation brings your founder’s story to life. You can instantly bring your viewer back in time or halfway around the world to see where your business started. No fancy sets or travel budget required. Character animation enables viewers to see your founder as a child, teen, or young adult, even if they’ve long ago gone gray. It can resurrect buildings that are no longer standing and settings that have changed beyond all recognition.
2. Animation is accessible. Businesses of any size can tell their story through animation, even if the founder and team members are scattered all over the world. Especially today, when in-person recording presents special challenges, animation can help businesses tell their story safely and effectively without leaving their office.
3. Animation is inviting. A talking head doesn’t capture the eye. It doesn’t invite the viewer to engage in a story. Animation does. Thoughtful choices around color, movement, and character design can make a founder’s story as engaging as any Saturday morning cartoon.
How to tell your founder’s story as an animated video
First, find your story. Identifying those parts of a founder’s life that directly influence the brand may not be as simple as it first appears. Life is complicated. Deciding what to include and what to leave out, is the first major step.
You can start by just telling the story as you remember it. Write it down or record it. Then look for the story beats. Where’s the inciting incident, the conflict? How much backstory do your viewers need to understand what’s going on? Pare the story down to it’s essential elements. Get the whole team involved here.
Next, work with an animated video production company to choose styles, colors, and character designs that convey your message. You might provide the animation team with photos of your founder or relevant settings.
Then, work together to refine the design and story. Add voiceover, music, and dialogue.You might end up making additional cuts late in the process. Instead of focusing on a particular video length, just aim to tell a story that is both concise and interesting.
Finally, share your founder’s story. Post it to social media, share it on your website, send it out in an email.
If you need help to tell your founder’s story with animated video, reach out to the animation experts at IdeaRocket.