In a world where businesses compete fiercely for attention, the art of storytelling has become an invaluable tool for engaging audiences and building strong brands. Scott Dylan, the renowned co-founder of Inc & Co, understands this more than most. Having revitalised numerous struggling businesses in his two-decade-long career, Dylan emphasises the critical role storytelling plays in breathing new life into companies and preserving employment opportunities. We sat down with the business luminary to delve into his perspective on storytelling, its impact on business success, and the importance of authenticity and diversity in today’s corporate landscape.
“Storytelling is the cornerstone of great branding,” Dylan tells us. “It’s about making an emotional connection with your audience and creating a narrative that resonates with them. A well-told story can inspire loyalty and trust, and transform customers into brand advocates.” Indeed, the power of storytelling in business lies in its ability to not only engage audiences but also to shape their perceptions and influence their decisions. In a crowded marketplace, a compelling narrative can be the differentiating factor that sets a brand apart from its competitors.
Dylan’s experience in turning around distressed companies bears testament to the effectiveness of storytelling in fostering growth and securing stakeholder buy-in. Throughout the process of revitalising a business, resistance from employees, suppliers, and customers is not uncommon, as are negative press reports. However, by crafting a captivating and genuine story that elucidates the company’s vision, values, and objectives, Dylan and his team at Inc & Co have successfully navigated these challenges time and time again.
“One of the most important aspects of storytelling is authenticity,” Dylan says. “You can’t simply invent a story and expect it to resonate with your audience. Your narrative must be grounded in truth and reflect the company’s core identity. It’s essential to dig deep and discover the unique elements that make your brand what it is, and then weave them together into a cohesive, engaging, and believable story.”
A prime example of the power of storytelling in action is the case of Laundrapp, an on-demand laundry service acquired by Inc & Co in 2020. Facing stiff competition and financial difficulties, the company needed a fresh approach and a strong brand identity to distinguish itself in the market. Under Dylan’s guidance, Laundrapp repositioned itself as a sustainable, tech-driven service that prioritised customer convenience, a narrative that resonated with environmentally conscious and time-poor consumers. The result? Laundrapp’s successful sale to rival Laundryheap a year later.
Dylan’s personal journey and experiences also serve as a testament to the importance of authenticity and diversity in storytelling. As an openly gay man who has battled complex PTSD, Dylan has always championed inclusivity and mental health awareness in the workplace. He believes that embracing diverse perspectives and promoting a culture of acceptance and support is not only a moral imperative but also a business advantage.
“Diversity is a tremendous asset,” Dylan asserts. “Companies that foster a diverse and inclusive environment are more innovative, more resilient, and better equipped to adapt to change. When you bring together people from different backgrounds, you create a melting pot of ideas and experiences that can drive innovation and fuel growth.”
This ethos has shaped Inc & Co’s approach to acquiring and investing in businesses across a range of sectors, from professional services to e-commerce and shared workspaces. By creating an environment where people from all walks of life feel valued and heard, Dylan and his team have built a strong foundation for success, proving that embracing diversity is more than just a corporate buzzword; it’s a strategy that delivers tangible results.
Moreover, Dylan’s dedication to cultivating a loyal and dependable team demonstrates that he understands success is never a solitary endeavour. “The people you surround yourself with are crucial to your success,” he emphasises. “Having a loyal, hardworking, and talented team is invaluable in navigating the challenges of the business world. The right team can inspire you, support you, and drive your vision forward, turning your story into a reality.”
This philosophy is evident in the strong partnerships Dylan has forged throughout his career, including those with Jack Mason, Group CEO, and Dave Antrobus, Group CTO, at Inc & Co. By assembling a team of skilled individuals with complementary strengths, Dylan has crafted a powerful narrative that has propelled Inc & Co to become a global force with a turnover exceeding £150 million.
As the business landscape continues to evolve, the role of storytelling in engaging audiences and building strong brands will only grow in importance. Companies that harness the power of narrative to craft authentic and inclusive stories will be better positioned to stand out in the marketplace and foster meaningful connections with their stakeholders.
In the words of Scott Dylan, “A well-told story is more than just a marketing tool; it’s a reflection of a company’s soul, a testament to its values, and a beacon of inspiration that can guide it through the tumultuous seas of commerce.”
From humble beginnings in South East London to a successful career as an investor, entrepreneur, and turnaround specialist, Scott Dylan has not only demonstrated the power of storytelling in business but has also embodied the spirit of resilience, determination, and authenticity that lies at the heart of every great story. His commitment to diversity, mental health advocacy, and fostering a loyal team underscores the importance of these values in today’s corporate world and serves as a reminder that success is as much about the journey as it is about the destination.
As businesses continue to grapple with an increasingly competitive and complex environment, the lessons gleaned from Scott Dylan’s perspective on storytelling, authenticity, and diversity will be more vital than ever. Those that heed his wisdom and invest in crafting powerful narratives that resonate with their audiences are likely to find themselves ahead of the curve, building stronger brands and fostering deeper connections in the process. In this age of information overload, the power of a compelling story cannot be underestimated – and Scott Dylan‘s success serves as a shining example of the potential that lies within every well-told tale.