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A Good Story

Establishing your company's story is an important part of your branding process

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What’s your company’s story? When you talk to people about your business, what is the story you tell them?

Every company has a story to tell, and increasingly it’s important that you be able to articulate it. There is a new movement in marketing called content marketing. The idea is that rather than just sell or pitch your product or service to potential buyers, you offer them something of value through your marketing effort. Usually, it’s something educational. In your blogs, your social media or even your advertising, you educate your potential customers about your area of expertise.

The idea is that you’re engaging them in a way that is deeper than just the passive receiving of a marketing message. And by positioning yourself as the expert in a given arena, you establish your company as one that can be trusted. Your customers will increasingly turn to you to look for answers.

In the construction industry this is an incredibly valuable approach. Almost everything we do in this industry is a solution to a problem. By introducing educational material to your marketing campaigns, you tell the market that you are well versed in solutions. You are the solution provider. Market research has shown that companies with successful content marketing programs gain higher levels of trust with their customers. That translates into longer relationships that are more profitable, less contentious and easier to manage.

But what does your company’s story have to do with content marketing? Simple. There are other things you can offer your clients than just education and information. You can entertain them, and that’s what storytelling does.

Humans love good stories, and we have since the beginning of communication. From ancient cave drawings to religious stories to tall tales, we love to be entertained. Pack some information and good education into that story and you have an audience that is engaged and wants more. So, what’s your company’s story? People want to know it, and they want it to be a good story. Of course, it has to be truthful. You can’t go down the path of fiction just to make your company story entertaining, but you do have to craft it.

The truth is it’s usually not hard to have a good story about your company. There are defining characteristics that say what kind of people you are, and every company has overcome some kind of adversity to achieve success. Those stories are the ones you want to tell.

I love reading the “About” pages on company websites because that’s where I learn what type of company I’m dealing with. Unfortunately, most of those pages are drier than dirt, and I often give up reading about a paragraph in.

What you think may be mundane isn’t. Can you think of anything less spectacular than starting a company in a garage? Disney, Apple, Amazon, Hewlett Packard all started in garages, and their company stories have raised those origins to mythical levels. Those start-ups are part of the ethos of each of those companies. So, what’s your company story? Write it out. Tell the story. Entertain us. I’d love to read some great “About” pages online.