How To Build A Strategic Narrative
Every industry needs remarkable stories. One that defines the company’s vision, communicates the strategy and embodies the culture.
It seems easy to let the advertising agency or branding firms assist with creative ideas. But, that seems outdated. We need a story that inspires employees, excites partners, attracts customers and engages influencers.
A strategic narrative says who you are as a company. Where you’ve been, where you are, and where you are going. It actually explains why you exist and what makes you unique. Therefore, it takes a different approach i.e. with thinking led by the leadership team.
There are 3 aspects that we need to understand before we go any further.
1. Human context
The context of the narrative must be human; it allows us to think of the company as a person, not as an object. This is the same as an interview for a job: the overall performance cannot be gauged from the resume, we need to know what inspires them, what they are like to work with. We want to get a sense of a person: “Tell me about your brand”. So, this point means that the narrative should know who you are in person, rather than what you do.
2. Shared purpose
This is the outcome of working together with your customers. It’s more than a value proposition of what you deliver to them. Or a mission of what you do for the world. It’s the journey that you are on with them.
Nike is saying “We’ll bring the shoes, the equipment and the clothing; you bring your drive, your discipline and your competitive spirit.” It’s a narrative that goes far beyond the products that Nike sells.
3. Brand DNA
A strategic narrative must align with this brand DNA or it will be perceived as inauthentic.
To find your brand DNA, go back to the original vision and ethos of your founder(s). Walmart’s value proposition is every day low prices. It is by no means unique among retailers. But, Walmart’s shared purpose is not about lowering prices but raising the quality of life. When he founded the company, Sam Walton said, “If we work together, we’ll lower the cost of living for everyone.” Other retailers can match Walmart’s strategy, but not its narrative.
As we are in a competitive industry, it would be our challenge to create this narrative for the betterment of our organisation. By creating a human connection, collaborating with a shared purpose, and connecting with the company’s DNA, we too, can have a great narrative like other big companies out there.
To know more, click here. We thank Harvard Business Review for giving us such a wonderful topics to read.
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