There is great value in storytelling as a marketing vehicle. A good story gives the reader a reason to put aside subconscious barriers, allowing you to communicate a message directly to their hearts. Once you have reached their heart, you are one step closer to winning a new customer.
The story should be memorable, even contagious. Corporate stories like the founding of McDonald’s Corporation by Ray Kroc, a 52-year-old milk-shake machine salesman; Harvard drop-out Bill Gates and Paul Allen forming Microsoft; or, one of my personal favorites, the TOMS Shoes business of giving one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold, are stories that connect with the buyers. Of course, once you have decided on the story you want to tell, one of the questions all marketing departments must answer is how to communicate the story.
Your corporate story can be communicated through many vehicles – advertising, social media, marketing materials – and, on a grass roots level, through the distribution of promotional merchandise at events and trade shows. When working with this marketing medium, the story should be a short, concise mini-version of the whole narrative. For example, “One For One” was gleaned from the history of how the company was founded and is a brilliant three-word line that represents the TOMS story and business model. Fortunately, whatever that shortened version of your company story becomes, there are several marketing vehicles that can creatively carry the message.
- Marketing Card: Printed information card the size of a business card. They are offered as part of the product purchase for items like cell phone grips and screen cleaners.
- Banner Pen: Ballpoint pen includes a retractable laminated banner that offers a cost-effective vehicle for your message.
- Custom Journal: Add a separate information page to the front of a basic business journal.
- Hang Tag: Easy way to include your story on gifts such as apparel, drinkware and briefcases.
- Pre-Loaded USB: Add your story to the memory on a flash drive and it will launch every time the user opens it.
Regardless of what marketing vehicle you choose to tell your story, remember that stories are meant to engage the reader. Make it fun – make it heartwarming – make it memorable!