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How to Tell Your Company’s Story

Posted On: May 17, 2016

By: Richard Quinlan

Have you been tasked with marketing your company? Or a promoting a project /service / innovation? Wondering how to tell your story in a persuasive way? Should you create a big campaign, build assets, produce a series of TV commercials, launch with a viral video, build a branded content series, develop a social media calendar, create an interactive game, engage influencers? Where do you start?

These are questions we bounce around every day at Q Media.

It can be difficult to start. Companies often have long, complex stories. Sometimes there are negative perceptions to deal with. People have short attention spans. People might not get your industry. It’s tough.

Before you can market your innovation to the world, you have to figure out what your story is.

So, via a little high technology (ie. post-it notes), I’m going to break down how we break it down.

Here it is.

1
 

Virtually every company story follows a similar story arc. It goes from here to there. That’s it. The challenge? There’s this valley that you need to cross, that you need to bridge. Your company / solution / innovation is that bridge.

This filter works for soft drinks, running shoes or electric vehicles.

2

Want to put a little fun and fizz in your life? Buy a coke. Trying to become the Michael Jordan at your local Y? Buy a pair of Air Jordans. Want a Ferrari, but worried about the environment, buy a Tesla. Want to make America great again, buy Trump.

You get the idea. The product / service / solution is the bridge between your audience and their desire. That’s the secret of every sales person on the planet, buy my widget and it will take you to this special place.

So, how do market your bridge?

Let’s start by breaking down what you are selling. Are you selling here, there, your bridge or scaring the crap out of people and selling the valley?

Here. Let’s say you work for a blue chip company, say Four Seasons Hotels, and are selling a new destination. Well here’s a pretty good place already. You have a reputation. Your job is pretty straight-forward. Chances are people have such a strong impression of you they’ll be willing to follow.

5

There. So Ponce, let’s say you are selling the Fountain of Youth, better health, better looks, a better you. The there is so tantalizing that people will often take a leap of faith, because, hey it just might work.

6

The Bridge. Sometimes, you just have a fantastic bridge, a product like a Tesla or a service like iTunes. People are pre-disposed to join you on your bridge, just because it sounds cool.

3

The Valley. So, what is the barrier between here and there? Is it an irritation or a full blown existential crisis? Has the economic crisis become so bad that you are willing to roll-the-dice on anyone or anything who represents change?

4
 

Your story will be a combination of here, there, valley and the bridge. The weight that you give to each will depend on your project’s /service’s / innovation’s strengths and weaknesses.

Get the mix right, and your story will begin to emerge. So will the tone, character and medium to tell your story. Are you selling there? You’ll have to make there compelling. Maybe television is the way to go.

Selling here? You’ll have to be authentic. Think documentary.

Selling the bridge? Chances are you’re speaking to a like-minded crowd. Geek out. Go digital. Start a conversation.

The valley. Again, you’re probably preaching to the converted. Hello, talk-radio, let’s talk about the seven circles of hell.

So to start, get out the post-its and start trying to figure out what you are selling.

Or give us a call. We have a large stack of post-its.

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