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Using Narrative and Storytelling to Enhance Your Organizational Brand’s Appeal

Using Narrative and Storytelling to Enhance Your Organizational Brand’s Appeal

Originally posted on the Explore B2B website by Bob Duffy, excerpts below:

An important aspect of a successful organizational brand is to establish a widespread perception of your enterprise’s value. That’s a constant–whether you make products or offer services; whether you manage a small or a large business, an association or a nonprofit. So your first impulse in developing promotional material to support your brand may be to craft a value proposition explaining in logical terms precisely why your offering is the most rational choice.

But don’t get too carried away with heady “left-brain” argumentation, however intellectually dazzling. While it’s true that your circle of prospects, customers, and would-be admirers may need some structured convincing, most are far more likely to listen up if they can first visualize and then empathize with your activities, values, and customer successes. So it makes as much sense to bring them to terms with your brand through narratives anchored in concrete, real-world details.

That’s a big reason why brand journalism and business storytelling deserves a place in your content management toolkit. So certainly frame your case with a logical value proposition, but also let your audience experience the concrete outcomes of this value in action through a case study, preferably illustrated, or even a less formal anecdote.

This format is a ready-made platform for demonstrating your track record and capabilities. If you frame an actual experience case in real-world terms that touch a chord of common interest in your potential customers, it’s a good bet they’ll respond to your brand on a level that plainspoken logic cannot immediately reach. And if your story prompts them to identify strongly with your wider circle of clients and customers, they’re probably inclined to buy into what your brand promises.

Marketers have used this case study technique—and its near variant, the customer testimonial– since the dawn of human commerce. For example, skim the full-page ads in the leading print business magazines (Yes, this may strike some readers as an archaic medium, but business decision makers and opinion leaders still cluster here). So check out Bloomberg Business Week, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, et al—this should convince you that the glossy, high-end approach to the case study is still going strong among big players. Today the most prominent practitioners of this approach all devote a good deal of their paid media space, both online and in print, to showcase their work in behalf of keystone clients or industries. And of course their respective websites, social media channels and collateral materials reinforce the same stories and themes.

You can adapt this approach for your enterprise using the technical means at your disposal, even if your budget is limited. It’s as straightforward as highlighting client, customer or industry success stories in your email marketing, and on your website, Facebook page and even your YouTube channel, if you have one.

Click HERE to read the entire article from the Explore B2B website.

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A nationally recognized speaker, Bob has presented to various groups that include the U.S. Air Force, Association of Travel Marketing Executives, Allied Travel Organization, National Telecommunications Conference to name a few.