Marketers often talk about story as if it is one thing. But corporations and brands with multiple stakeholders need to cater for different responses and priorities by streaming a range of stories to a range of audiences at different times. The reason is simple. The things that make a brand attractive in one context are different from what they might be in another context. Inclination changes, sometimes markedly, depending upon what people value.
With this understanding The Blake Project developed the Corporate Storytelling Workshop.
Building And Communicating Brand Value Through Story
In this unique strategic storytelling workshop for one client brand, experts from The Blake Project utilize 7 proven models, techniques and best practices in brand management to build the most advantageous story structure.
Through highly facilitated exercises, teams build a brand story structure that motivates target customers, provides strategic clarity, builds emotional connection and most importantly, identifies the unique and authentic company characteristics that drives all brand story execution.
This workshop can be delivered online or in person and is designed for 8-15 people. It can be equally effective with only marketers or a cross-functional group. (Note: if the workshop end product is to be utilized beyond marketing, we recommend that other functions participate in the workshop itself.) Each Corporate Storytelling Workshop is customized to meet client needs. With the optimal blend of methodology education and hands-on creation, this workshop gives marketing teams a repeatable method for brand story design.
In this essential workshop, marketing teams build new skills and develop a story structure that guides all brand and/or organizational storytelling. It manifests in an executive summary that often plays the role of the brand creative brief to support teams. The demands associated with this decision document produce very critical thinking about what is truly most important to the brand and its audience. By practicing this level of focus upstream in the strategy process, all downstream execution – both product and marketing – becomes much more consistent and resonant.
Successful Brands Always Need New Conversation Points
For brands to tell all of their stories effectively, they need to not only identify the different story streams (and who they appeal to) but also look for common reference points. Achieving equilibrium requires enough uniformity across the different streams to provide consistency while at the same time making each story stream specific and credible in its own right.
In working with corporations and brands from Wall Street to Main Street we’ve identified six streams of story; each are considered in the Corporate Storytelling Workshop.
1.Product – the story of what you sell is the story to consumers of why they should love what you offer. This story focuses on desirability and distinction. It explains why your products or services should receive priority of pocket and loyalty over rivals.
2. Leadership – the story of how and where you lead is often circulated through the media and addresses influence, attention and innovation. Brands with strong leadership stories are newsworthy and interesting because they are the opinion makers. These are the brands breaking stories that turn heads their way.
3. Culture – This is the story of how you work. It spells out what all your people agree on and where you are going together. At its best, this story inspires and guides sometimes vast numbers of people spread across huge areas to work together in ways that are galvanizing and rewarding.
4. Community – the story of who you choose to interact with and what you choose to converse with them about. Every brand works with a range of communities – through its various sponsorships, philanthropic activities and online – and each community must see within that story aspects that are specific and important to them. The choice of communities and the nature of the interaction speak volumes.
5. Ethics – the story of how you work. Reputation is now dependent on more factors than ever. Ethics has tended to encompass environmental impacts and supply chain integrity, but the criteria are widening to now include diversity and safety. These are important storylines for regulators and government.
6. Investment – this is the story of how you are funded and what you return. The emphasis of the story will depend on how you are owned (publicly listed, private equity, VC, private ownership) because the story needs to revolve around the performance and reporting expectations of investors.
Find Bold Ways To Connect In The Corporate Storytelling Workshop
Finding new and bold ways to connect the competitive, the altruistic, the ambitious, the social, the collective and the financial stories of a brand is really about treating the brand as an interdependent ecosystem; one that is perceptually independent of the way it is organized in terms of corporate structure.
Such an approach reconciles and balances the priorities of different stakeholders with potentially very different agendas, providing a wider and richer context for conversation, opinion exchange and decision making. Most interestingly of all, it opens up the opportunity for previously unrelated storylines to work more closely together and therefore for brands to tell fuller stories overall.
The outcomes of The Blake Project’s Corporate Storytelling Workshops have proven vital for startup, emerging, regional, national and global B2C and B2B brands in:
- Capturing engagement
- Defining winning narratives
- Responding to competitive threats via brand messaging
- Building emotional connection
- Ensuring internal and external communications stay on brand
- Shaping perceptions that the value of products and services are high and unique
- Developing the next generation of selling points
- Anchoring the brand culture with one ‘ownable’ story
- Educating organizations and brands on the best practices in storytelling strategy
Developing a compelling story for your brand is not an exercise in copywriting, instead strategic brand storytelling expresses the universal and differentiating truths behind your marketing.
Please email us for more about how this strategic workshop can help your brand use the power of story to move its target audiences. (NOW DELIVERED ONLINE)
Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Licensing and Brand Education