Why telling your story is so important


By: Henry Mortimer

What grabs your attention more? A list of ingredients, like oatmeal, blueberries, and sugar, or a story about one company’s mission to bring the tangy sweetness of a blueberry and the warming power of a bowl of oatmeal to kitchen tables around the world? Both refer to Kashi’s goal of making healthy food available to everyone. But, doesn’t the second choice seem far more compelling? We naturally want a more personal connection in the way we gather information, and stories allow us to make sense out of the facts — and communicate why those facts are important. In other words, storytelling is the art of translating feelings and emotions — as well as values and beliefs — into actions.


It’s so important for your organization to be able to effectively tell your story to your audience. Storytelling through effective brand messaging gets people to listen to, retell and remember your stories. But first, you need to take a look at the overall brand message and see what needs to be updated or changed.


So, how do you go about updating your story? You’re going to need all of the pieces to the puzzle. In order to get the full picture you need to look at internal, external and the competitive landscape – a full 360 degrees. Yes, even if you are a non-profit you need to look at similar organizations.


You should be looking through the view of three perspectives:

  1. Internal. Your staff, board, etc
  2. External. Your customers, clients, donors.
  3. Competitive. A look at the surrounding competitive marketplace


For each of these three perspectives, you need to be able to sit down with 2-3 people, from each of the categories, for an interview. Develop a list of comprehensive questions that digs deep into what each of those groups perceive your organization to be. Here are three examples:


  1. Internal. What is your organization’s story or core message? How well is it working? What would make it better?
  2. External. What are your organization’s core strengths? How are these strengths supported by the your organizations’ messaging?
  3. Competitive. What are similar organizations saying about themselves?


Our GetStarted Marketing Webinar module one is all about Brand Messaging and figuring out your ‘why.’ This module includes four worksheets you can use to interview groups and to write your story. Not only will you find and refine your “why,” you’ll develop a story to engage your target audience and effectively communicate your message! Join our GetStarted Marketing Webinar!