Corporate storytelling – the what and the why


Corporate storytelling is important for companies of all sizes

How can corporations use storytelling to become better and more profitable? Well, in much the same way everyone else can do it. I’ve spent a couple of days this week at the Nordisk Panorama festival and have presented my company to a number of people. I’ve explained how we have a core competence spanning over quite a lot of fields, mostly rooted in one way or another in storytelling. I’ve explained that corporate storytelling is an important part of what we do, and that it is something that helps us become better in other fields as well. This is something that evidently has been a bit difficult for people producing in other fields to grasp.

See, the better we can help corporations tell their stories in unique and honest and engaging and exciting and informative ways, the better their business has the chance to become. The better their business becomes, the more contact they have with customers. The more customers they’re talking to and engaging with, the more and better stories they need. And so we circle back in.

The joy of corporate storytelling is that the feedback is generally very honest, sometimes verging on the brutal. If your story as a corporation resonates with your target audience(s) you will se increased visits, increased sales, increased opportunities and an increased loyalty among customers. If the story does not resonate… well, let’s just imagine the complete opposite of what you just read.

Yes, obviously the products or services the corporation offers need to match the stories told, but that should be taken for granted. Never create stories about your company or organisation that can’t be delivered upon when scrutinised.

Now what is corporate storytelling? The campaigns and stories I’ve been involved in creating are always rooted in the DNA of the client. What are the values? Who are the customers? Why do we do the things we do in the way we do?

Then they’re tempered and honed according to the wishes of the client. Who do we want to reach? How do we want to influence them? What is the desired outcome? How do we measure our campaign, and what would constitute success?

The stories themselves are most readily created by using transmedia storytelling methods. If your company today is the story, then what is the story world it exists in? What are the physical locations? Who are the characters worth telling about? What are the products and services? What does the customer base look like?

When you’ve identified all of these, and probably quite a few more while you’re at it, start to water the world around these stories and these nuggets of information. What other stories can grow from this same fertile ground? How can they connect to the other stories, and in which ways do they still stand on their own? What different audiences can you aim to reach with these different stories, and what platforms should they be told on?

Finally, never view your stories as stand alone, as complete ones, or as non-interactive ones. They should always serve multiple purposes – telling about you and your products and services, while at the same time reinforcing your brand and inviting your customers to interacting and engaging, commenting and celebrating.

Corporate storytelling pays the bills, that is correct. But it’s also a wonderful field to hone your audience engagement and storytelling skills in.

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