In today's business landscape, companies are constantly competing for the attention of their target audience. But with so many companies vying for the same attention, how can you stand out? The answer lies in the power of storytelling.
Storytelling is a timeless art that has been used for centuries to connect with people, engage them emotionally, and convey important messages. In recent years, companies have recognized the value of storytelling as a powerful tool to communicate their brand values, build emotional connections with their customers, and stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Whether you're a seasoned marketer or a business owner seeking to set your brand apart, mastering the art of storytelling can prove to be a game-changer for your organization.
In this guide to corporate storytelling, we'll explore the different types of stories that companies can tell, the key elements of a successful corporate story, and the best practices for crafting and sharing compelling stories that resonate with your audience.
What is corporate storytelling?
Corporate storytelling is the art of using stories to convey a company's brand values, mission, and vision in a way that resonates with its target audience.
It is a key component of brand building that involves creating and sharing stories that showcase a company's unique identity, history, and purpose in a way that emotionally engages and connects with its stakeholders.
These stories can take many different forms, such as customer success stories, employee experiences, company milestones, origin stories and product summaries. Basically anything can be a story.
The goal of corporate storytelling within corporate communications is to create a strong emotional connection with the audience and to communicate the company's message in a way that inspires and motivates them.
When done well, corporate storytelling can help build a strong brand identity, increase customer loyalty, and differentiate a company from its competitors.
What are the objectives of corporate storytelling?
As mentioned above, corporate storytelling can be used in a variety of ways, such as to humanize your brand, build customer loyalty, attract top talent, communicate your values and mission, and differentiate your business from competitors.
However, it is also a key element that you need if you want to stand out in today's saturated digital world.
Every day, we encounter over 5,000 brand messages, yet we only register about 86 of them and are left with a mere 12 that leave a lasting impact on us.
If you want to be a part of that 12, then you need engaging stories that are memorable.
According to research conducted by the London School of Business, people remember 65 to 70 percent of information presented in a story, while only retaining 5 to 10 percent of information conveyed through statistics. Additionally, a study by Stanford University revealed that the brain is able to recall stories 22 times more effectively than simple facts.
By employing storytelling techniques, businesses can effectively address a range of objectives and use the power of narrative to connect with their audience in meaningful ways.
Internal objectives of corporate storytelling
1. Communicating core values and mission
Corporate stories can be used to communicate the core values and mission of the company to employees, helping them to understand how their work contributes to the overall success of the company.
2. Inspiring and motivating employees
Stories about employee successes or notable achievements can inspire and motivate employees, creating a sense of pride and ownership in the company.
3. Reinforcing shared values
Corporate stories can help to reinforce shared values among employees, promoting a sense of unity and shared purpose.
4. Fostering a sense of community
By sharing stories about employees and their experiences, companies can create a sense of community among employees, helping to build strong relationships and a positive work environment.
5. Building a strong employer brand
Corporate storytelling can be a powerful tool for building a strong employer brand, helping to attract and retain top talent.
6. Encouraging creativity and innovation
By sharing stories about innovative projects or approaches, companies can encourage creativity and innovation among employees, inspiring them to think outside the box and come up with new ideas.
7. Enhancing internal communication
Corporate stories can also enhance internal communication within a company, helping to create a shared understanding of important topics and initiatives.
External objectives of corporate storytelling
1. Building brand identity
Corporate storytelling can help businesses establish a strong brand identity by creating an emotional connection with their audience and differentiating themselves from competitors.
2. Connecting with customers
By sharing stories about the company's values, products, or services, businesses can connect with customers on a deeper level and build brand loyalty.
3. Generating sales
Compelling stories that demonstrate the impact of a company's products or services can help attract and retain customers, ultimately leading to increased sales.
4. Building trust and credibility
Stories that highlight a company's commitment to social responsibility, sustainability, or ethical business practices can help build trust and credibility with customers and other stakeholders.
5. Attracting investors
Corporate storytelling can also help attract investors by demonstrating the company's growth potential, unique value proposition, and commitment to long-term success.
6. Differentiating from competitors
Stories that showcase a company's unique qualities and strengths can help differentiate it from competitors in a crowded market.
7 examples of corporate stories and where to find them
The choice of stories that you use and the way in which you tell those stories depend on your brand, your audience and the specific needs of your company. If you are a shoe company for example, your corporate stories will be different from those of a law firm, since the types of stories that resonate with your customers and employees are likely to vary significantly.
Here are some of the types of corporate stories that companies are telling.
1. Origin stories
These are stories that explain the history and founding of a company, its early challenges and successes, and the vision that inspired its creation. Origin stories are often used to convey a sense of purpose and identity to customers and employees.
At Storykit, our identity is intertwined with our origin story. It all started with our founders noticing how video consumption was changing, and realizing that businesses required a more streamlined method to create professional-quality videos on a larger scale. Our deep understanding of the significance of video for storytelling and effective communication drives us, and we frequently share our origin story to illustrate why we're so passionate about our video software. While it's prominently featured on our website, we also share it across various other channels to showcase our pride in our roots.
2. Customer success stories
These are stories that feature customers who have used the company's products or services and experienced positive outcomes. Customer success stories can be used to demonstrate the value of a company's offerings and build trust with potential customers.
Chilipiper is great at showcasing the success stories of their customers who have benefited from using their product. Their customer stories page is brimming with inspiring stories of how their customers have significantly increased their meeting bookings by leveraging Chilipiper's powerful tool. They also post about their customers’ successes frequently on their LinkedIn page - making their customers a key part of their brand.
3. Employee stories
These are stories that showcase the experiences and achievements of employees within the company. Employee stories can be used to inspire and motivate other employees, as well as demonstrate the company's commitment to employee development and well-being.
Kamoot, the company behind an app for outdoor exploration, has put the spotlight on their employees' stories, making them a central aspect of their brand. Their love for the outdoors is infused in every aspect of the company culture, including a flexible work arrangement that encourages exploration. As a testament to this, Kamoot regularly showcases their team's outdoor adventures on social media and proudly displays individual bios on their team page, outlining each employee's favorite outdoor activities.
4. Corporate social responsibility stories
These are stories that highlight the company's efforts to promote social responsibility, environmental sustainability, and ethical business practices. CSR stories can be used to communicate the company's values and commitment to making a positive impact on the world.
Salesforce does a great job using video storytelling to promote their efforts to support nonprofits through philanthropy grants. In the video below, Salesforce promotes their philanthropy efforts to support nonprofits through Team Earth, which aims to unite people to work towards a more sustainable and equitable future. Salesforce's video storytelling serves as a powerful tool in promoting their philanthropy efforts and encouraging others to make a difference.
5. Brand stories
These are stories that showcase the unique qualities and values of a company's brand, and what sets it apart from competitors. Brand stories can be used to build a strong emotional connection with customers and create a lasting impression of the company in their minds. According to a study by Headstream, if people love a brand story, 55% are more likely to buy the product in future, 44% will share the story, and 15% will buy the product immediately.
TOMS is a shoe company that has established a strong brand story that differentiates them from other shoe companies. Their brand story is centered around their "One for One" initiative, which donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes purchased. This unique business model has helped TOMS to stand out in a crowded market, as it appeals to socially conscious consumers who want to make a positive impact with their purchases.
6. Product or service stories
These are stories that demonstrate the features and benefits of a company's products or services, and how they can solve customers' problems or improve their lives. Product or service stories can be used to educate customers and differentiate the company's offerings from those of competitors.
Hubspot is great at transforming their product updates into engaging stories that illustrate how their new features work and can enhance their customers' experiences. Instead of simply announcing the release of new free CMS tools, they leverage the power of storytelling by incorporating the 5 W's: who, what, where, when, and why.
- Who and what: CMS tools designed specifically for small businesses seeking to build their first website.
- Where and when: They are readily available on their platform.
- Why: Small businesses need a website fit for their unique growth and goals and they can’t afford to pay expensive developers.
Dropbox is also great at using storytelling to explain their products and services. By leveraging the 4 C's of storytelling, they capture the attention of their audience, but also demonstrate how the product can solve the common problem of file access.
7. Data stories
A data story is a narrative that transforms complex data or information into a compelling and understandable story for a specific audience. It involves using storytelling techniques to present the information in a way that engages and informs the reader, and can help to contextualize and humanize the data.
With good storytelling you can highlight key insights and trends in the data, and communicate them in a way that is more impactful than a simple list of numbers or graphs. In fact, facts are approximately 22 times more likely to be remembered if they are part of a story.
Over the past decade, Google has been using search data to curate its annual Year in Search campaign. This popular initiative produces a concise 1.5 to 3-minute video that highlights the year's most frequently searched terms, making it easily digestible for audiences.
Do you need inspiration on where you can find great stories within your organization? Check out our article 6 places you will find great brand stories for some ideas.
How do I write a corporate story?
To write an effective corporate story, it's important to start by understanding the purpose of the story and the audience it's intended for. You should consider what message you want to convey and how you can make it engaging and memorable.
The story should have a clear beginning, middle, and end, and should be focused on a central theme or message. You also want to think about where this story is going to be presented. If it is a text story featured on your website then you can make it longer and more detailed.
If you are trying to write a script for your social media video that highlights an employee then you want it to be shorter and to the point.
The most important thing is, don't overthink it!
Remember that a story doesn't have to be long to be effective. In fact, at Storykit, we specialize in creating short videos that pack a punch.
Have a look at our LinkedIn feed here, which is full of short corporate stories.
9 tips for creating effective corporate stories
1. Know your audience
Understanding your audience and what resonates with them is essential to creating a compelling story.
2. Keep it simple
Avoid industry jargon or technical terms that your audience may not understand. Use clear, concise language to make your message accessible and easy to understand.
3. Use emotion
Emotion is key to engaging your audience and making your story memorable. Incorporate personal anecdotes or examples that evoke emotion and make a connection with your audience.
4. Show, don't tell
Use visuals or examples to bring your story to life and make it more impactful. This could include videos, images, or real-life case studies.
5. Be authentic
Authenticity is essential to building trust with your audience. Be honest and transparent about your company's values, mission, and impact.
6. Focus on the human element
Corporate stories should always focus on people, whether it's the employees, customers, or the impact your company is having on the community. This human element helps to create an emotional connection with your audience.
7. Keep it concise
Keep your story concise and focused. Avoid tangents or unnecessary details that distract from the main message.
8. Use a strong narrative structure
A strong narrative structure helps to create a clear beginning, middle, and end to your story. This makes it easier for your audience to follow along and understand the message.
9. Practice, practice, practice
Rehearsing your story and getting feedback from others can help you refine your message and delivery, making your storytelling more effective.
Start telling your corporate stories today
If you're new to corporate storytelling, it can feel like a daunting task to figure out where to begin. However, the best way to start is by diving right in.
As a storytelling platform that empowers companies to share their stories through video, we understand the importance of having a solid starting point.
That's why we've created video script templates that are ready for you to use, so you can get started right away without worrying about what story to tell first. By using our templates, you'll have a guide to help you structure your story and communicate your message effectively.
With practice, you'll develop your own storytelling style and become more confident in sharing your company's unique stories.
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