Dragonfly logo for Deirdre St.Luke - Corporate Storyteller

Logo for Deirdre St.Luke – Corporate Storyteller

As a Corporate Storyteller, I see stories everywhere. Sometimes I become more engrossed in a commercial than I do the actual program, much to my friends’ amusement. As I became involved in Edmonton’s business community, I loved hearing the vast array of stories around me. From how one person started their business to how another got the idea for their product to the triumphs and tragedies that happen in every business.

I was preparing to feature another small Edmonton business in my blog this week when it occurred to me that I wanted to do something a bit different and try something new. Start with your strengths and keep it simple is a mantra I often use in my writing and in business, so I thought I’d start there.

Corporate Storytelling is a fairly new, in the grand scheme of things, marketing and communication technique that not everyone understands. It is using a company’s own story to build their presence in the world. It’s not exactly advertising nor is it quite branding but is a mixture of both. Advertising uses the technique of showing the world what a company does. Corporate storytelling shows the world who a company is. The company goes from being a nameless machine to being a character, an entity unto itself with life and personality and growth. While advertising is still useful in some situations more companies are turning to corporate storytelling as a means of expressing themselves. Not just small companies, but large corporations. One of the most adept at the corporate storytelling technique is McDonald’s. They’ve been doing it for years and successfully.

It may sound like you need a huge budget to change to corporate storytelling. Honestly, it doesn’t. Unlike traditional advertising, which often requires a company to revamp their targets every few years, corporate storytelling grows and adapts as the company grows and adapts. This means a few additions or modifications rather than a full new advertising campaign. The corporate story is easy to integrate into social media as it encourages potential clients to become involved in the story. This means that rather than standing apart from potential customers, the company becomes a part of the customers’ social fabric and culture. The endurance power of the story ensures that the company’s image endures as well. This breeds long-term loyalty as opposed to short-term gains.

It is easy to adapt one story to a variety of mediums. The story used to build a website can go on build a brochure and a template for business cards. Social media experts can take parts of that story to build an online presence easily that encourages people to become involved and take part. After all, everyone loves being part of a good story. As the company grows, so does the story. Rather than having to spend dollars on a new advertising campaign, a good story grows and adapts with the company because a good story is never quite finished. Take the Budweiser commercials, for example. They used a story that is over 100 years old to build one of the most brilliant and successful Superbowl ads ever.

The corporate storytelling technique can help any business grow their presence in a variety of mediums. It is well suited for companies with a limited budget as well as the large corporations. It takes the company from being a machine in a machine world to being an entity with a character and a history. It allows the customer to become intimately involved in the company’s story and gives the company a chance to become a part of the culture.