Re-Engineering the Corporate Narrative
Does My Company Need a Corporate Narrative?
A corporate narrative is an integral component to your organization’s success and differentiates you from your competitors and stakeholders. First and foremost, it drives the overall perception of who you are and what you stand for. Furthermore, companies that have strong narratives have an easier time launching and encouraging the adoption of new products or services.
It’s important to know, however, that a narrative is completely different from storytelling. A narrative, by definition, is open-ended with neither a beginning nor an end and focused on the people the organization is trying to reach.
In 2020, the combination of the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact it’s had on the economy, and the upcoming presidential election has sparked more than its fair share of high-impact narratives, so a strong corporate stance is more important now than ever. Things are going to look a little different from now on as organizations adjust and evolve. The question for communications professionals is how to re-engineer and present a narrative that can compete with the “new normal.”
What’s the Best Way to Construct a Narrative?
Your brand is the narrative you create, so make sure it’s representative of who you were, who you are and where you’re going. Here are three tips for re-engineering your corporate narrative:
- Your narrative needs to align with your brand’s “DNA” – i.e., its purpose and culture. Companies don’t fundamentally change. If your messaging doesn’t align with your original purpose and the customer experience you actually deliver, the narrative might be perceived as inauthentic.
- A unified purpose will help assure your audience that they are heard and understood. As such, it can also make them feel as if they are inciting change, shifting their role from “consumer” to “co-creator.”
- Most importantly, your narrative should say who you are, not just what you sell. Your audience wants to know and relate to your brand at a deeper level. This is the key differentiator that drives brand loyalty.
Brands to Watch.
- Just Do It: Nike offers one of the most impactful and recognized examples of a corporate narrative. “Just Do It” is much more than three words on a t-shirt. In fact, the original campaign was so powerful that people began to contact Nike with personal stories about how they “just did it.” Ever since the phrase was coined in 1988, Nike has sewn it into the fabric of the entire company – and in so doing has changed the way many other brands market.
- Think Different: Does Apple really think differently than any of its competitors? Maybe, or maybe not. It really doesn’t matter, because Apple has captured the attention of people all around the world. The company’s narrative perfectly captures its culture and its focus on delivering innovation and empowerment.
- Mbroh Electrical Engineering: Chances are, you’ve never heard of Mbroh Electrical Engineering, unless you happen to work in an industry that requires complex, precise and unfailing power generation and distribution. That’s why the company’s leadership team turned to HCK2 for help in creating a narrative that would articulate Mbroh’s value, help it stand apart from the crowd, get noticed and win business. Our process began with a thorough “get to know you” experience that allowed us to articulate the company’s bragging rights from an objective, third-party point of view, identify the rational and emotional benefits that it delivers to customers, create a hierarchy of key messaging that would serve as a roadmap to pull audiences deeper and deeper into the company’s story at each touchpoint and – ultimately – develop a tag line that spoke clearly and powerfully to Mbroh’s purpose: “Giving you the Power to Deliver.” More than a statement of what the company does, it’s a promise of what it provides to each and every customer and the audiences that they, in turn, serve.
It’s no coincidence that leading companies create powerful narratives that energize employees, promote a movement and create enduring identities that attract customers and followers. As we all navigate through the pandemic and beyond, this could be the perfect time to revisit or re-define your brand’s purpose.
Here at HCK2, we’d love to be part of your journey! Please reach out, and we’d be more than happy to set up an introductory call.