Heads up for ECM, BPM & BPO software executives by Mark Edwards, CEO - Document Boss

Your Corporate Story

27 January 2016

 

by Mark Edwards

 

Having a corporate story is a good way to communicate the key aspects of your business, create an identity for your business and gain “mindshare” from your target customer base.

Stories have been used for as long as man could talk and they still have a useful part to play in the digital age as companies strive to create competitive space and differentiation.

 

So What Can Your Company Do For Me?


 

I have started capturing some positioning statements and sales messages that have caught my eye.  They are not all from the ECM / EIM industry sector but the points are the same and they serve as good examples regardless.

There was one I came across a few years ago which I included in a blog post (Clarity of Thinking and Simplicity of Communication) that I feel the need to repeat as it always makes me smile and scratch my head.
 

"Confused Software Solutions provides software and services for retail and distribution businesses that help them deliver measurable, multi-channel revenue growth by helping businesses implement a step-by-step roadmap to becoming a fully integrated, efficient, omni-channel business through implementation of our integrated back office, retail and eCommerce solutions."

 

I recently came across this little gem on Twitter. They probably offer a great service but I have no idea what it is. (I have changed the name of the company to protect the innocents.)

 

“Clients turn to TotallyLost Associates to capitalize on opportunities and mitigate the challenges of an uncertain future”
 

As illustrated by the two examples above, clear communication is absolutely vital. I am certain the authors of these two pieces of prose knew precisely what they meant; it’s just the rest of the world that has the problem!

 

What is your Corporate Story?


 

Many businesses, both big and small, often find it difficult to articulate the fundamental aspects of their company, such as the products or services they offer and their organisation’s overarching purpose. Management teams and employees will also often describe their work and the business they work for in entirely different ways.

Lack of a clear and cohesive, corporate narrative can create confusion for clients, investors, colleagues, employees and potential buyers of the business, who will be subjected to a variety of inconsistent stories; this can reduce confidence, affect reputation, investor sentiment, operational performance and ultimately, diminish the valuation of the company.

 

A Single Voice to Unite Disparate Audiences


 

Creating a corporate story is essential for ambitious and successful businesses. It ensures that all parts of any organisation are speaking with one voice. Story telling was used to effectively convey information, long before the written word became the established norm.  Stories have been shared verbally and passed down the generations in every culture across the globe as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation, and to instil moral values.  

In the corporate world, a company narrative can unite disparate audiences and create an identity and brand that is remembered, rather than an instantly forgettable, disjointed list of facts. 

The company story should clearly express the purpose of a business, articulate its winning position and create coherence in all communications. Importantly, the narrative is the foundation of successful marketing activity as it is delivered through campaigns and across multiple channels - both internally and externally.

 

Finding the Clear Competitive Space to Occupy


 

No business exists in isolation, rather, every organisation exists in a competitive environment where there is a near constant battle for attention, customers and positive investor sentiment.

Document Boss is continually scanning the ECM/Information Management sector in order to understand how competitor companies in your space are communicating; we analyse their strengths and vulnerabilities as well as the opportunities for our clients' businesses.

It’s surprising - or maybe not - that so many companies don’t give these areas of their business much consideration.  If you follow the industry herd you will not stand out from your competition.  It can also hamper your sales force when it is not obvious why a company should choose you as opposed to one of your competitors. To resolve this, you need to know your customers well but also, communicate your understanding as clearly as possible. 

 

Mark Edwards

Document Boss

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