A friend sent me a link to an interesting article: How One Community Bank Is Taking Its Fight National
The article on Sunrise Banks starts with the founder story and then moves into the bank's organizational culture, mission, and programs. It even hits on the impact of corporate storytelling. My favorite excerpt:
In a highly regulated industry, CEO Reiling says it’s easy to adopt a mindset that marketing has to be done a certain way. But that approach just makes your bank or credit union a commodity.
“Don’t be afraid to do something a little edgy or that makes people uncomfortable,” Reiling explains. “Make marketing exciting. Instead of focusing on debits and credits, we keep telling our story and our customers’ stories,” says Reiling. “It’s in storytelling that transformation occurs.”
Mr. Reiling is spot on. If you follow conventional practices, you're like your everybody else. But don't you want to stand out and be better than your competitors? Being better always means being different.
And it's more than just using storytelling (that's just a best practice). It's what's in your story that has an impact.
That doesn't mean that you need to have an altruistic mission or life-changing outcomes to be a successful storyteller. But you have to be able to communicate a story that is meaningful to your audience in a way that helps them understand and make decisions on logical and emotional levels.
One final point: stories serve more than marketing (and sales). Stories - including the ones told by Sunrise Banks - also drive culture, strategy, and employee engagement.
Give me a shout if you want to learn how to be an effective corporate storyteller.
Kevin Paylow is a Corporate Storyteller at Deliberate Consulting. He can help you develop and deliver persuasive communications that drive action. Follow him on Twitter @DeliberateKevin
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