Your brand, inside-out.
Marilyn greets all visitors as they enter the home office headquarters. She’s more than just a greeter like you might find in a big-box retailer. She’s an impression-making storyteller.
Ask her about the moss-filled company logo backed with reclaimed barn wood in the lobby, and she’ll tell you about farm equipment that did the work in the early days of the company.
Ask her about the innovation award that sits atop her desk, and she’ll tell you about the current company innovations in sparkling detail.
You don’t have to be a 111-year-old company to have or tell stories. Stories, however new or old, are the living evidence of your organization’s values brought to action. What you do as a company is driven by your values and beliefs—whether you’re aware of it or not. Knowing what both are is the seed for sowing your business’s future.
Marketing, at its heart, is about storytelling—stories that transport people from their current state of experiencing the world, to a new state of possibility; a new way of seeing. A meaningful story, well-told, transports the listener into theirfamiliarity with the story and creates the context for how you experience the brand. Great stories create kinship, family, and the opportunity for belonging.
When Marilyn tells a story, she’s speaking both from the heart and from her experience of the company. She’s speaking her truth on behalf of the company, and she’s sharing that because she cares—about you, the listener, and about the company that she’s part of.
When your customer service team is confronted with a critical decision, they will need a value set to make their best decisions that serve the company and represent the brand.
When your salespeople have a big opportunity in front of them, they need a guidance system to help them serve the customer.
When your marketing team creates and deploys a campaign, they need the navigational system to align it with the brand’s promise that builds customer trust.
When you’re looking to bring on a new member to your team; you will need a value set, so they understand what you stand for and how they fit or don’t fit within your culture.
Your organizational values guide your most critical business decisions. Your deeply-felt beliefs create organizational clarity and confidence and allow the heart-felt humans on your team to do what’s best for both the customer and your company. Through knowing and living by your values, you create belonging on your team and with your customers.
How does your business shake hands with the world? What kind of intentional first-impression are you making? What kind of first and lasting impression are you willing to make?
How are your company’s beliefs driving your actions? Your first, second, and third impressions? Your culture? Your marketing? Your innovation? Your customer service?
Have you baked-in these beliefs into your brand, your business, and your culture? Have you cultivated your living values into stories, so people experience them?
If not, what are you waiting for?