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Build a culture of brand storytelling

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A wise Hopi once said, “Those who tell the stories rule the world.” 

In our technology-driven era, the bare facts about a company do little to help it stand apart and succeed. When you start to dig deeper into your company story — its personality, promise and potential — your brand comes alive. 

Stories engage individuals and elicit interaction — it’s that simple. But to tell memorable brand stories, organizations must commit to creating a culture of storytelling. 

Start with these five steps.

1. Communicate how stories build your brand.
Stories become meaningful when they help the public connect to a brand. Your entire team must understand the value of telling strategic stories — and it’s not about entertaining. Your stories should articulate why you exist, focusing on what you do and how you make the world better. Every strong organization has a philosophical reason for its existence. Your origin story becomes your narrative anchor. The stories that you tell on a continual basis support your “why.”

2. Understand your transformational narrative.
Your master narrative doesn’t have to be elaborate. At its core, it tells people why you matter and how you can help them. 

Take, for instance, a computer repair store called “It’ll Be OK Computer Repairs” that explains how techs understand that laptops are more than just technology tools — they’re lifelines that need prompt attention. 

With your narrative in place, it’s much easier to string together stories, each with a different function and purpose.

3. Set defined and measurable goals for your storytelling.
You can use stories in ads, case studies, videos, press releases, website pages, social media and more. If you plan to invest time training your team to identify and tell good stories, you should have goals. Do you want to use stories on social media on a weekly basis to drive engagement? Or will you only use them as success stories for your monthly newsletter to boost your click-through rates?

4. Train your team to identify stories and make them memorable.
Crafting a compelling brand story extends beyond requesting client testimonials. Brand stories show how your client (the hero) fought against a villain (the conflict) with the help of a guide (your organization) and reached success. 

Once your team members understand the brand storytelling framework, they can identify stories as they occur. While you train everyone to understand the elements of a strong brand story, you might invest in a smaller group to manage the storytelling process, from collecting ideas to writing, editing and measuring impact.   

5. Tell stories together as often as possible.
An organizational culture of storytelling leads to people who see higher value in the mission of the business. They get excited about seeing clients overcome challenges to arrive at a resolution, and maybe even inner transformation. A culture of storytelling leads to a more enthusiastic and dedicated team — and an organization that can rule its industry.

Patricia V. Rivera is a marketing consultant and founder of Hook PR & Marketing. Hook offers storytelling training for leaders and teams. Visit hookpr.com or call 302 858 5055.

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