Why A Core Story Is Critical To Your Success
When you look at startups that have developed into very successful companies, you find that one of the things that make them so successful is that they have a core story, which is also their strategy. These core stories sound deceptively simple but are extremely powerful. You should be able to tell your company’s story in one sentence or even a tweet.
Here are a couple of examples:
Google’s core story is Google: provides access to the world’s information in one click.
Apple’s core story is: Apple empowers individuals with well designed, easy-to-use computers.
Your target audience will be able to “get it” immediately if they don’t get it; they are probably not in your target audience. Once prospects understand who you are, what you do, and the benefits of what you do, expanding on your story is easy. You can direct the conversation in many different directions, depending on who’s in the audience.
Now, you need to implement this core story/strategy into everything you do, from product design to hiring people, to operations, marketing, and after-sales service.
If you live your story, you will have the ability to grow and add to your product line over time. It will be easier because you will have loyal customers who trust you. Think about how Apple and others have expanded over the years with the same core story/strategy and maintain a loyal customer base.
Now, for the hard part. Defining and creating your core story/strategy is challenging to do and takes time, But, take the time. It might be the difference between success and failure.
Now, let’s look at defining the core story/strategy in a little more detail. There is additional material on the different aspects of creating and telling your story that you will want to read as well.
What is a core story/strategy
Simply stated, a core story is a powerful narrative about your company, which explains what you do (problem, solution, benefit, or results) plus why you do what you do. In other words, your core story is your strategy, and it drives success.
A core story also creates an emotional impact, will hold the reader’s attention over time and is flexible enough to be able to explain your company in different ways to different audiences.
This core story is not a story about you, its the company’s story about your customers. Carmine Gallo, the author of “Talk like TED,” states that a company story is the company strategy, and the CEO is the keeper of the story. You are creating a clear and compelling vision and story around the “why,” which is a fundamental task of leadership.
Answering the why question is how you build trust and eventually loyalty, Business books are full of advice on how to achieve specific objectives and goals, but they are light on the Why questions. Carmine Gallo, the author of TED Talks, says to ask the following questions, Why are we doing this? Why should I join the company? Why should I invest in this company? Why should you buy this product or service from this company? The answer to why is the company story.
A core story also motivates employees, defines company culture, and provides a vision to attract investors and even define future product development. However, your story must be authentic or the results could turn customers away.
According to Christan Riedal at Mind Caffeine, a core story is the basic narrative that structures why we believe something is meaningful. It is the story you live by. The core story of a company can be an experience, a specific moment in time, or a belief that shows the real purpose of the enterprise: why you are doing what you do.
It is also a story that is designed to create relationships and gently persuade an audience into suspending their cynicism to buy into an emotional point of view. We make decisions with emotions.
If you take the time to refine your story, you refine your thinking and the company strategy, Companies that don’t have a clear, articulated core story don’t have a clear and well-thought-out strategy.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the story is just about marketing. It’s bigger than just marketing. The story is your strategy. If you make the story better, you make your strategy better.