Gabrielle Dolan (main photo) is a global expert on business storytelling and real communication and author of the book Magnetic Stories: Connect with Customers And Engage Employees With Brand Storytelling. In this guest post, Dolan offers five easy tips for brands wanting to share their stories…
When it comes to brand storytelling there are various ways companies can share their stories that moves beyond the obvious. For example, a footwear company based in Melbourne has the backstory for the name of their company written on a pair of shoes. Another company in Florida has stories on their menu and wine list. There’s also a fifth-generation family-owned bakery that include micro stories on their coffee cups.
Printing stories on shoes, menus or coffee cups may not be an option for your business so let’s explore five typical ways companies can share their stories
Many businesses miss a great opportunity by not putting why their company started on their website. Including why the company started or a product was developed can provide insights to the purpose and values of a company. However, the biggest mistake companies make when sharing their story on their website is to provide a timeline or a jargon filled explanation that does little to engage and connect with the customer.
The whole purpose of induction programs is to integrate new employees into the company in the most effective and efficient way. While induction training should cover the processes, systems and include key information on health and safety, it should also cover the values and behaviours expected of the new employee… and stories are the most powerful way to do this. Good induction programs will have senior leaders sharing personal stories of what the values mean to them and be full of examples of employees living the company values.
Social media is a format that lends itself to stories and people sharing stories. When it comes to social media you should include your internal and external channels and encourage your employees to share stories on their own platforms. As social media platforms evolve it’s a good idea to keep abreast of what platforms allow you to more effectively share your stories. For example, Instagram and TikTok are increasingly being used by businesses to share brand stories in a more creative and engaging way.
Interacting with customers is a great time to share stories that demonstrate the values of the company. Relationship-based customer interactions, such as those that happen in the hospitality industry or professional service firms, provide more opportunities to share stories. I don’t need to hear a story every time I buy a carton of milk or fill up my car with petrol, but it is worth considering what stories your customer facing employees could be sharing to better connect with customers.
Newsletters or emails
Many companies are starting to realise the importance of including stories in their written publications such as newsletters, emails to employees, as well as annual reports. Stories in these formats are far more engaging, which means employees are more likely to read them, but also the stories shared can communicate the desired message. Increasingly these newsletter stories are then being communicated externally via social media.
Of course, there are many different ways to share brand stories, such as presentations, interviews, sale pitches and physical locations such as company foyers. You can be creative when it comes to sharing stories. Some companies have even produced coffee-table style books or short movies to share their stories.
The key when it comes to sharing stories is to find the ones that communicate your brand and share them in a variety of ways, both internally and externally. These stories have the potential to connect and engage both your customers and your employees, as well as your potential customers and employees.
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