Delivering An Origin Story With Punch: 5 Things Leaders Can Learn From The Shopify Story Video

In July 2023, Shopify released The Shopify Story. The nine-minute video delves into founder Tobias Lütke’s early process, the Canadian company’s origin, and Shopify’s impact on the lives of its users. The result is an emotionally impactful story that business leaders and entrepreneurs can learn from.

Starting somewhere is key to being a successful entrepreneur

Tobias “Tobi” Lütke’s world shifted 180 degrees, literally and metaphorically in 2002, when he moved to Canada. Not having a work permit halted his traditional job search but not his zeal for working. “I was like, I’m going to build like a really, really, really good online store selling snowboards.” Lütke built his online store called SnowDevil. While he beavered away at generating his first sale, he remoulded SnowDevil as Shopify. This couldn’t have happened if Lütke didn’t start somewhere and try turning his love for snowboarding into business.

Reorienting strategies is important to thrive as an entrepreneur

Lütke resorted to off-the-shelf software options only to realize that this was an ordeal. Deploying the then existing software to design his store didn’t render satisfactory experience. As always, he didn’t let it draw him off course and used his own software engineering expertise to build a completely one-of-a-kind software solution for his online shop. “I sat down and just built the software that I wished someone else would have built for me.” He saw limitless potential in his retail software, more than what it was built for and, in 2006, launched Shopify.

Being in the customer’s shoes can help with the business USP

While initially Lütke built the software for his online shop, his first sale altered the course of his entrepreneurship journey. He wanted to transmit the emotions his first sale provoked to others. Shopify came to fruition only because he took cognizance of his customers’ pain points even before launching it. “We decided, like, we need to build a software company. We need to build a company that helps other people have this profound experience of putting themselves out there and having their first sale. And someone needs to make it easier for people who aren’t programmers.” That birthed an online customizable store builder solution that’s now known as Shopify.

Sharing your compelling personal story helps connect on a deeper level

Shopify’s video is proof that sharing your personal story, the “why” for starting your brand, can fetch customers closer to your business authentically. The comments the video has received substantiate the aforementioned statement. The video straightforwardly but effectively weaves in Lütke’s story with the customers’. His “why” of starting Shopify achieves three of the most important things: it draws in new customers, strengthens trust in the existing customers, and projects confidence to future business partners. “I remember the same moments that Shopify’s customers experience. I love this so much. The mission is to have people experience this.”

Sharing emotional customers’ success stories can be convincing

Shopify’s video isn’t about Shopify only. It’s also about those customers who made this video possible. When founders share their customer’s success stories, it’s laden with marketing speak. While there’s nothing wrong with corporate jargon, sometimes the human/emotional aspect of how your company has truly transformed your customers’ life can hit it big. Shopify’s video acts as an organic lead magnet without even asking for customers’ details. Its powerful enticing factor is its customers and their emotional contentment with Shopify. “And we do not want to be written into your story. We just want to push it from behind.”

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