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Eye of the Cobra

Everyone likes a good story. Whether it’s funny, sad, gives hope or leaves you feeling seriously depressed, a story captures an audience and helps them to empathise with the teller. In the same way, the story of a business has a hugely significant role in defining its brand values and capturing an audience.

A gripping, authentic and inspiring history – or even a story about one small detail of a brand – has real appeal to consumers. Give them something, even if it’s just one thing, to remember.

At Stratton Craig before anything else, we want to know our clients’ stories. We’ll help tell them in the best way and to the right people. The story of Rapunzel told by the Prince to his mates would have been very different to the one told to her father!

We’ll be looking at different stories over the next few months but we thought we’d start with the inspirational Cobra Beer.

Cobra founder Karan Bilimoria was up against quite a few obstacles when he began in business in 1990 – a recession, £20,000 of debt and an established brand leader in the market.

But Bilimoria’s success came initially from recognising opportunities and focusing his sharp intellect on turning negatives into positives.

Cobra was originally brewed in India and shipped to the UK in large bottles. As a newcomer, Cobra had to compete with an established beer in the Indian restaurant market. Diners in Indian restaurants were also more used to drinking smaller bottles of beer with their curry.

But Bilimoria pointed out to his potential clients just how authentic the larger bottle was and stressed the benefits of sharing one bottle and two glasses. It worked and the cases began to shift. After five years his revenue hit the million pound mark.

Unfortunately not every story has a happy ending and Cobra Beer recently went into administration. But we think the early story behind this company proves the importance of making the most of opportunities and communicating your unique offering effectively.

To find out more about our storytelling process, please call us on 0117 937 1383 or email harriette@strattoncraig.co.uk.

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