Components of a Compelling Story
It’s more than a chronology. A good business story has:
And at the heart of it all should be your brand. What value does your company really produce? And how is it different from anyone else? Why should your audience care?
Engaging your audience’s imagination with words, images and actions that entertain, educate and influence.
Every day, in our news outlets, on social media, in our inboxes, we’re barraged with information that has no real purpose other than to create visibility for the author. To make matters worse, many B2B companies’ communications suffer from an “unconscious need to be boring,” as the Content Marketing Institute aptly puts it.
B2B audiences are real people. Sure, they want data. But they don’t want dull. Storytelling can help you grab and hold their attention by saying something more meaningful and memorable.
To battle commoditization, many companies have worked very hard to assemble and inspire a team that solves problems. These efforts are great fodder for stories that appeal to both internal and external audiences alike.
Ace Metal Crafts is one company that never hesitates to highlight the triumphs of its people. This Illinois-based metal fabricator knows that employees’ continuous collaboration and learning are crucial to the future.
“Success starts within you,” the theme of Ace’s internal branding campaign, captures a powerful visual story of employees who grow as individuals and win as a team. Short profiles also tell the personal tales of team members as they’ve overcome obstacles, learned and grown in the organization. Today, this story is being adapted for customers, showing the strength of the team behind every project Ace takes on.
There comes a time when an older brand needs new life. But what do you do when you have some history/credibility tied into your old name? Change is a wonderful opportunity to tell a story that links your past with your present and future.
Goldleaf Plastics came upon just such a crossroads. They realized that their name didn’t reflect what the company’s true value proposition had become – handling customers’ increasingly complex plastic fabrication challenges by continually elevating craftsmanship.
So Goldleaf seized the opportunity to energize their market with the new story of Aubright. Nodding to the original name, with “Au” representing gold on the periodic table of elements, Aubright tees up the tale of a team that delivers the gold standard in plastics fabrication. Today, the story continues to gain momentum through more examples of how the company solves complex issues for their customers.
It’s not just about what you do, even if what you do is exceptional. Often, what’s underneath it all is much more interesting and compelling.
Like a good superhero origin story, some of the best business stories are about why a company does amazing things. The clearer the purpose, the better the results … and the more abundant the story possibilities.
That’s why Trostel decided to tell its why story in a bold fashion. “Go ahead – make our day” offers a new brochure, inviting customers to bring their most complex challenges and applications. Because bringing better solutions, through a unique combination of expertise, is why Trostel exists.
Has your company carved out a niche in your industry? This specialized expertise is ideal fodder for interesting stories.
Spuncast, for example, is a leader in centrifugal casting – a lesser known alternative to metal forging. The process, along with Spuncast’s extensive experience, can provide parts that are as dense and pure as metal forgings – often with shorter lead times.
On its website, in email campaigns and in PR efforts, Spuncast tells this story consistently through case studies and other informative pieces. They customize the communications for different target markets to ensure relevance to each audience.
It’s not always easy to fight the instinct to pitch product in every story. But letting customers shine can be much more powerful.
These stories are more relatable – and can spread a lot of goodwill, too.
Park Bank has taken a very customer-focused approach in their advertising stories. The emphasis is on the broader goals and achievements of each business, rather than issues related to banking services. By telling the story of a fast-growing liquor brand, RumChata, and the struggles they faced getting their new business venture off the ground, Park Bank is helping to appeal to the emotions of many business owners who see the same types of challenges in their own situations.