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Who Are You? 5 Questions to Shape Your Corporate Storytelling

[fa icon="calendar"] Dec 5, 2015 7:02:24 PM / by Jeff Thomas

"Who Are You?" Masked Face

You are at a party and are introduced to two people. You ask each the standard questions about where they are from, what they do for a living, etc. The first replies, “I’m Kathy. I’m from the Midwest.” The second responds with, “I’m Lisa. I’m originally from Orlando but I moved to Colorado after college because I LOVE the mountains and the snow.” You immediately feel more of a connection with Lisa. Why? Because she’s shared just a little bit of her story. 

A Look in the Mirror

Is your company more like Kathy or Lisa? If your honest answer is Kathy, you’d be wise to start telling your brand story. And I’m not talking about simply having an About page on your website. People may or may not ever visit that page. I’m talking about working interesting information about your corporate identity into the very fiber of your marketing fabric.

Before you can start telling your story, it’s important that you know what it is. Yes, that sounds odd. You’re thinking, “It’s our story. Of course we know what it is!” While that may be true to some degree with some of your staff, it’s a good idea to make sure everyone is on the same page before you proceed.

Enlightening Inquiries

Here are some questions you should ask yourself:

  1. Why does our company exist? And you’re looking for the deeper answer here. You don't just, “Sell software.” You exist to, "Sell marketing automation systems that help stressed-out marketing professionals gain control of their workload, work more efficiently and effectively, and get back home to their families before 9 PM." People want to know why you exist as it relates to people.

  2. What is our history? You’d be shocked at how many folks I talk with who have been employed by a company for many years and are only vaguely aware of its origin—if aware at all. Was it founded by one person or multiple people? If one person, what was their background and what drove them to start a company? If multiple people, how did they know each other? How did their visions come into alignment?

  3. Who are the main characters—past and present—in our story? Again, you’re looking for meat here, not just bare bones. Who are the people whose drive, charisma, quirks, or obsessions make them stand out?

  4. Where have we failed? All companies like to talk about their successes. In fact, most are afraid to talk about anything else. But stories that expose weaknesses resonate with people far more than those that simply tout accomplishments. And sharing the lessons you learned from those failures shows that you have grown and evolved.

  5. What is our vision for the future? People love to hear the hopes and dreams and aspirations of others, and this includes the companies they do business with. Where will your products and services be in five years? Your audience will find the answer fascinating.

So, if you want to make a more personal (and, frankly, more lucrative) connection with your prospects and customers, open up to them. We refer to ourselves here at 30dps as a "full-service marketing agency" or a “content marketing agency” or an “inbound marketing firm” or even a “HubSpot partner in Colorado Springs,” but the common thread through all of those roles is that we are skilled storytellers. Can we help you tell yours?

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Topics: Branding & Messaging

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