My wife bought salt from San Juan Island Sea Salt, recommended by her friend (and ConvertKit Customer) Shaye Elliott. In addition to delicious salt, we also got a masterclass in storytelling for your business.
When the package arrived it came with a card that shared not only their process (moving filtered seawater into greenhouses to let the sun do the hard work of turning it into salt), but also their journey to learn that method.
Here’s what the card says:
Howdy my name is Brady Ryan! I first tried making sea salt years ago when my best friend and I decided we’d save money by collecting seawater from the beach and making salt. The only problem was that to make it we boiled the water on our parents’ stoves, which used tons of electricity! Boiled sea salt (the norm for artisan salt) can require as much as 2 lbs of liquid fossil fuel to make 1 lb of salt! After working on vegetable farms for several years after college, I have found a better way. Now our process uses the power of the sun to slowly evaporate large ponds of seawater inside greenhouses, without any fans, heaters or boiling!
Unlike many sea salt farmers, we let our seawater evaporate all the way down, bringing the whole wild and briny mineral rainbow of the ocean into our salt to broaden the flavor. While store bought sea salt is chemically refined to be 99% sodium chloride, the ocean itself is much more diverse in its mineral makeup and we let those trace minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium, and much more) into our salt so that when you eat it, you are reminded of the sea from which it came!
Then they make it personal by including a family photo. Too many small businesses pretend to be bigger than they are. Brady and Leah have worked their story through everything and it makes me love their brand even more!
They even go so far as to print their process as a label on their packaging, so from the moment the box arrives you are building affinity for them. I love the little touch of including who packed the order.
Too often we think about our product as just a product. The thing you buy to accomplish a task. But the best brands think about it as an experience. A story that you can tell to make your product even more appealing. Not only do you feel better about your purchase, but you’re more likely to tell a friend.
What’s the best example you’ve found of storytelling in business? Share it in the comments.
5 Responses to “Tell stories”
Your story about the founders of San Juan Sea Salt, and how they share their story with the public, has got to be the best.
Thank you so much for this insightful information.
Jeff Sheldon — Ugmonk — is fantastic at this as well. His email welcome series (after you buy a product or sign up for his newsletter) does a great job at introducing him and his family and his company and the values behind Ugmonk.
And, any time he is launching something new, he does so great at sharing the story behind it. It not only draws you in and makes you pay more attention, but it also gives you a deeper appreciation for the products and his company.
The best storytelling in business I’ve come across are both by Derek Sivers. Little Things Make All the Difference https://sive.rs/cdbf and The Most Successful Email I Ever Wrote https://sive.rs/cdbe
With fish loaded with mercury these days, and God only knows what else we’re dumping into the oceans, I’d be curious to know how this process exacerbates the problem…or not.
I recently read the ‘Our Story’ tab of this new kitchen brand and enjoyed it so much I pledged to their Pepper Cannon kickstarter! Oddly enough, even though my last name is “Mann,” I have no affiliation with the brand. But you know I bought the hat.