THREE business chiefs have quit their jobs to form what they describe as a behaviour change consultancy.

And their message is: everything you think you know about communications is wrong.

Brighton-based Foco, which launches this week, aims to revolutionise the way businesses all over the world engage with their audiences – including customers, clients and their own staff – by teaching them to be storytellers.

The co-founders, Michael Taggart, John Shewell and Nick Sturman, claim 95 per cent of corporate communications leave people cold and fail to inspire action because they don’t arouse emotions such as love, excitement, fear and happiness.

Mr Taggart, Foco’s director of storytelling, said: “The corporate language of facts and figures isn’t inspiring anyone.

“If you want to plant an idea in someone’s head – an idea that will inspire action – you have to wrap it up in a story.

“This is not a new idea, we were huddled around campfires regaling our rapt kinfolk with scary and amusing tales at least 100,000 years ago.

“But storytelling has somehow been smothered in the dead hand of turgid press releases, dull websites, jargon-loaded social media updates and self-obsessed blog posts.”

Foco will work with public, private and third sector organisations in health, the environment, finance, education and civil society to produce all sorts of results, from increasing recycling and improving financial literacy to tackling crime and encouraging healthy lifestyles.

It will only work with organisations on projects that create social good and will rule out clients who are not obsessed with understanding the people they aim to reach.

Mr Shewell, Foco’s director of business strategy, said: “We’ll tell our clients they must grasp the core beliefs, hopes and fears of their audiences because that’s the way they will tell stories that matter.

“Our core idea is so resonant, we’re confident we’ll be working with some of the biggest names in business, the charity sector and the public realm within a year.

“We also want to be a major employer in Brighton.”