Becoming a Storyteller

Something that I have noticed as I travel about visiting various organic food retailers is the lack of (or incomplete) in-store messaging. Perhaps it’s just a reflection of the various places I’ve been recently, but I am going to extrapolate from those visits that we all need to do a better job of “Telling the Organic Story”. If that phrase sounds familiar, it’s because I periodically tend to get on my soapbox about this issue.


We have an amazing story to tell about organic food, and yet, I don’t really get a sense of that story when I go into most stores. I tend to think it’s because we are all so involved on a daily basis with this story: that we are so immersed in the products and activity of the organic foods industry, that somehow we assume our shoppers are hearing the same story as we are. Talking about it with each other and being immersed in it are really not the same thing as sharing it with the community of shoppers who come through the door. They need to get it too.


One of the easiest and most effective methods for getting the Organic Story out there is through in-store signage. When a shopper walks into your store, it should immediately be apparent to them that your operation is a destination point for organic food. It’s easy to think, “If they’re already shopping here, then they must be fairly aware and educated about organic food”. This may or may not be true. People are constantly coming to your store for the first time – and some because they are interested in organic food and are looking for some assistance and expertise. Although seeing and enjoying wonderful food will certainly be a major part of their experience in your store, knowing that they have come to a place where they can learn about the product will certainly be comforting and reassuring to them as well. All of which makes your store a desirable place to shop.



Information is power – for both you and your customers. Your store should be a visual playground of information for your customers. To help you with this, click here or on the image above to download a poster that we’ve created (with the help of The Organic Trade Association) that lists 10 great reasons to shop organic. You can download the PDF file and print out the poster. It’s large enough (21.25″x14.5″) that you may need to find a Kinko’s or sign shop for the output, but the expense should be pretty minimal. It’s not a panacea for all your signage needs, but it’s a good start, or If you’re already further along with your in-store signage, then it will be a nice addition to your storytelling process. On the same website page where you will find this sign, there are also many other posters, signs, and banners you can download for your storytelling enjoyment – so help yourself!


Happy storytelling.