Map your yesterday and today to plot your future
Change is the only constant. To remain current and competitive, an organisation must evolve and adapt to changing markets, regulations, consumer demand, and social values. Your leaders and your organisation’s legacy are capable of motivating the organisational change required as you reinvent your products, services, or even the entire company. To do so, a brand storytelling strategy has powered success time and again.
The brand storytelling strategy as a roadmap to reinvention
If you look back through the history of the most successful organisations in the world, there are very few that have not changed over time. Success is built upon the foundation of yesterday, delivering what is desired today, and looking towards what will be in demand tomorrow.
As markets, technologies, and social values evolve, so too must your brand. A storytelling strategy is key to creating and maintaining the cultural environment essential for continuous change and success. It tells your people where you came from, confirms the current steady state, and provides a vision of the future.
Your story will, of course, change over time, too. You’ll need to review, revise, and republish important pieces of your brand storytelling strategy. For example, you won’t want your mission statement gathering dust on the wall. You must communicate and reinforce why you exist, making your mission statement “more about mission and less about statement”.
Organisations that have rebranded their story
Here are a few examples of organisations that reinvented themselves. Such revolutionary change didn’t simply happen. It was planned, and then led with a continuous brand storytelling strategy.
- Rewind to the 1980s, and the computer market was dominated by IBM. Then the competition stiffened. Others started manufacturing better computers and selling them more cheaply. IBM responded to its sliding sales by abandoning its core business and repositioning as a provider of technology services to businesses.
- Netflix started life as an online DVD rental and sales business. It opened its subscription service in 1999, enabling subscribers to rent unlimited DVDs at exceptional value. In 2007, Netflix transformed to online streaming of content. Today, it has more than 100 million subscribers.
- Perhaps one of the most stunning reinventions is that of Berkshire Hathaway. Warren Buffett bought the textiles giant in the 1960s. By the 1980s, the company had lost its competitive edge in a global market and had started haemorrhaging money. Buffet transformed it into a holding company for his investments. Today, Berkshire Hathaway is synonymous with investment success.
- Amazon began its life as an online bookseller. Within a couple of years, it had expanded to selling products and services across a wide spectrum of categories. It has always maintained a powerful brand storytelling strategy, as it has evolved in line with its mission “to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavours to offer its customers the lowest possible prices”. It is now the world’s largest online retailer.
- In case you are starting to think that the United States has monopoly on extreme transformational change, it is worth remembering that Royal Dutch Shell started its life as an antique shop in London in the 1830s. It expanded into an import/export business, before the company built the world’s first bulk oil tanker in the 1890s. By the early 1900s, it had merged with Royal Dutch Petroleum.
How can you build a brand storytelling strategy?
Our Learning Maps use an innovative brand storytelling strategy approach that resonates with stakeholders of change. In organisations that have used the tool, it has achieved acclaim such as:
- “This tool is playing a key role in Arriva’s communication process to improve awareness of the company’s aim.” (Leading transport provider engages 19,000 employees in new vision and strategy)
- “The approach proved to be the recipe for an increasingly engaged, proud and supportive workforce.” (UK energy company achieves significant uplift in engagement results across 15,000 employees– EDF)
- “This has been the most powerful process Working Links has ever taken their people through.” (Almost 1000 employees prepared for next stage of growth– Working Links)
In a four-phase approach, we work with you to:
1. Plan the project
Understanding what you wish to achieve and why, unearthing your important messages, defining the change, benchmarking for evaluation, and shaping your story.
2. Design the components of your Learning Map
Developing first draft for discussion, then moving to second-layer development and building in new ideas that have emerged. We develop the prototype and produce final adjustments to the agreed Learning Map design, before sign-off and launch.
3. Launch your Learning Map
Together, we will plan the launch of your Learning Map, supporting the brand storytelling strategy as you assemble a team of internal facilitators and training facilitators supported by the facilitator guide. This enables us to identify opportunities for future development and scaling, while monitoring progress and impact.
We will review the success of your Learning Map to help you qualify what has worked well and why, as we support you to quantify business impact. This phase involves:
- Measuring shifts in employee attitudes and awareness
- Seeking feedback on the effectiveness of your brand storytelling strategy as delivered by the Learning Map System
- Identifying future opportunities to maximise cost v. benefit
- Reviewing The Big Picture People’s performance as your chosen communication partner
To remain competitive, your organisation must look forward. It is likely you will need to change as your market evolves. A brand storytelling strategy is imperative as a major component of a staff engagement strategy for sustainable change. To discover why the companies with whom we work have a future vision with which their employees are fully engaged, contact The Big Picture People today.