Yesterday, I defined what a Strategic Story was. Today, we will take the first step in learning how to design and craft the core of that story. The core is the persuasive element of a Strategic Story. It answers the questions: where have we come from?; Why we are changing?; And where we are going? It tells our listeners how our change(s) will benefit them.
In order to do this, we must start with a simple question—Why? A Strategic Story is developed from change, something happening, or something that will happen if change is not implemented now! Our global economy is in constant stages of change. We look for the best patterns to make decisions on what actions need to be taken, in order to stay afloat and to stay competitive in the ocean of economic chaos.
Dannijo, a jewelry brand, was founded by sisters Danielle and Jodie Snyder in 2008. They have successfully amassed over 146,000 Instagram followers including a host of celebrities with their fan based. When asked what changed, they said their company needed to “create narratives that are so compelling to consumers, they want to build your product into their lives.” This is a great example on how a Strategic Story works to build relationships.
Another company, Burt’s Bees, which sells a hugh range of natural body-care products has the philosophy, “What you put on your body should be made from the best nature has to offer.” Their website shoulders several stories: It’s HISTORY is told through a timeline with pictures. The PURPOSE focuses on its guiding principles (its triple bottom line: people, profit, planet). From product to packaging their philosophy tells its Strategic Story of why they do it, what they do, and how they do it.
In 1984, Coca Cola had a new strategy to grab the Pepsi drinkers; however, where its leadership failed was in not developing a Strategic Story. The New Coke, was developed in total secret. Communiques between departments were even coded. Its secrecy was equal the the WWII Manhattan Project. Employees worked on a new product line and didn’t know it. Marketing and advertising departments thought they were working on a new packaging. Even the bottlers weren’t informed.
On April 23, 1985, the company broke the news that they had a new formula for coke. The public response was immediate and negative. The Coke loyalist immediately attacked the action. If social media had been around then it would have been worst. By May, the company was getting over 5,000 negative calls per day to bring back the original formula; by April the number reached 8,000. By July 1985, leadership realized they had fired on their competition but almost sunk themselves.
Out of the three stories I mentioned, Coca Cola should be the one you really study. Their mistakes are your lessons and profits. Think of the question “Why?” for your product or service change. Determine the customer benefits because of those changes. Make it visual and emotional. How to do this will be discussed in tomorrows blog.