The insider’s guide to a perfect story engine
Recently, Capstone teamed up with FIT, New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology, to turn a hit feature story in their alumni magazine hue into an ongoing department.
FIT is known as a design school, so hue managing editor Alexander Joseph has no shortage of visually beautiful stories to tell. But those captivating design students and alumni are just one part of their student and alumni body.
“A huge percentage of our graduates are business grads,” says Joseph. ”But it can be tough to turn business concepts into truly compelling storytelling and design.”
Still, he couldn’t just ignore that huge swath of alumni.
He came up with a straightforward roundup concept: profiles of FIT grads who’d gone on to own their own retail shops. These alumni owned stores across the country that sold everything from clothing and gifts to jewelry and cosmetics.
Joseph enlisted Capstone to tackle the stories.
It could’ve been a snooze: would these business-minded folks want to talk about nothing more than inventory management and profit margins?
Yes — and no. These grads did want to talk about business principles, but they also wanted to talk about the emotional highs and lows of business ownership, from skating on the edge of bankruptcy in the early days, to dealing with nutty customers, to dreaming up gorgeous display windows that become Instagram sensations.
They told their stories in ways that were frank, funny, and human. Even better, as FIT grads, these alumni had been steeped in design culture, so their stores were picture perfect.
The story was a smash.
For most editors, that might have been enough. Joseph, however, saw engine-building potential.
A few months later, he contacted Capstone again. “Your last series about stores was so successful (and ticked so many boxes for us) that we’ve turned it into a department — Counter Culture!” he said.
With a tested idea that had worked, FIT could build a story engine that delivered issue after issue. By adding just a little fuel — the steady stream of alumni store owners who were happy to share their stories — FIT could run fun pieces that supported their strategic priorities and that readers loved.
Capstone and FIT will now work together for at least a year’s worth of additional issues. Joseph will receive stories that have been proven to succeed, like clockwork.
What you can learn from FIT
Joseph and his team developed a killer story that worked, then capitalized on it successfully.
You can do the same.
But you don’t have to cross your fingers and wait for lightning to strike.
At Capstone, we also work with clients to develop these engines from the ground up.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.