Do you know your company’s story?

2530928014_a5eceec84b At McLellan Marketing Groupwe help clients discover their story so they can create love affairs with their customers. 

That’s where it all starts and ends at my shop.  Story = brand which probably equals USP (but deeper) or really….the heart and soul of the organization.

Why do you exist?  If the earth were to swallow you up — what would everyone not be able to find anywhere else?  When the clients that love you (you have some, right?) rave about you — what do they say?

If you think you know the answer….do your employees?  Do they tell the same story?  How about your vendors/partners?

Think back over your education.  Do you realize that we learn via stories.  Think of how you learned about history or sociology.  How about psych or Brit Lit. (what we Americans call it!)  We listen to and learn from the stories.

When I construct a presentation, for each main "lesson" I want to share with the audience, I ask myself…which story should I tell.  I never try to teach without stories.

So…stay with me here — when we want our clients to get it, to understand how we can help them, to create and spread word of mouth — how do we think they will do that?

Right!  Stories.

But, they can only know and tell our story if:

  • We know it
  • We share it with them

Over the next few days, we’re going to explore the MMG definition of story (brand) and what elements your story needs to include, if it’s going to be the marketing tool you want it to be.

Flickr photo courtesy of Scottish Libraries

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7 comments on “Do you know your company’s story?

  1. Karin H. says:

    Hi Drew

    “Story = brand which probably equals USP (but deeper)”

    = Unique Buying proposition, which goes deeper 😉 and focuses the story towards the client not towards yourself or your business.

    Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

  2. Karin,

    Exactly! Which is what a brand does…tells the prospect what you can bring to their world/work that they really cannot do without!

    Drew

  3. Lewis Green says:

    Hey Drew. Maybe I’m confused about what you are saying but I think the value proposition is not the key element in a brand story. The value proposition is best shared in a simple statement (as Karin says).

    Brand stories should, instead, resonate emotionally with those reading, seeing or hearing it. They should be personal and tell us the unique personality of a business and the underlying values and philosophy that forms that business.

    Disney does this well as does Starbucks and Apple. But their stories are less about UVP than the who. UVP is about the what more often than about the who.

  4. Lewis,

    Without a doubt — your brand story is all about connecting at an emotional level. That’s my point. Many people think a USP/UVP is enough. The story/brand should wrap around the USP/UVP and create the emotional charge.

    We’re thinking the same thing, I think.

    Drew

  5. Liz Walker says:

    The cool thing about stories is that you can use them where traditional marketing materials don’t apply. Our clients put the story on the back of their invoices, framed and on the wall, in new employee kits, in new client welcome packages, on holiday greetings…they want to engage people in their core narrative, communicate the values and vision that drive the company and simply get a human response from the people who are vital to their continued well being. It’s a really powerful – and under utilized – tool.

  6. Liz,

    Very true. Stories are not assuming or intrusive. So they’re always where ads or traditional marketing tactics are not.

    So why do you think it is so under utilized? Why doesn’t every business do this?

    Drew

  7. NRI says:

    It was so interesting to read this post.

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