Posts Tagged ‘results’

Great Corporate Storytelling at Microsoft

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Microsoft-Stories-1-600x370

 When I saw the Google news alert about an article on Microsoft’s great use of brand storytelling, I was immediately intrigued. As a long-time contract writer for Microsoft, I helped create the company’s intial collection of corporate stories, but that’s been a few years ago and I haven’t checked their website for months to see how the storytelling efforts have grown. Not only that, but I helped a colleague with a book on technology branding more than 20 years ago–before most consumers were familiar with technology products by brand.

When I checked out Arik Hanson’s blog discussion of the Microsoft Stories site, I was captivated even further by the screen shot included in the post (shown). As Arik points out, you’d expect to see the program manager being featured to be show in the office working on the development of great new software. But instead you see a dominant photo of the employee in a barrel room sipping wine. That drew me in even further because my husband and I have been part of a wine-making group for the past 11 years–and we live in Washington near the largest collection of tasting rooms in the state!

So you’ll understand why I agree with Arik that it’s a great example of corporate storytelling. Employees are brand evangelists, and they’re also interesting people whose non-work activities are at least as fascinating as their professional involvement. By helping co-workers and customers get to know the whole person, Microsoft is creating deeper, more lasting connections than work-related topics alone ever would.

Key point: When people develop deeper connections, they become more committed to one another’s success. Stories that help people get to know one another more fully result in a win for everyone involved.

How about you? How well are you telling corporate stories that do that?

How Siemens Drives Results with Storytelling

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

“Storytelling is a really powerful add on that helps you get a message across in a way that resonates and connects to people. It should be something that all companies…use,” Keith Ritchie, storyteller at Siemens, told Marketing magazine.

Citing a range of technology developments and products for a number of uses–from energy, healthcare, and industry to city infrastructure, Ritchies says that Siemens’ content is “extremely rich…. It’s a matter of picking out what the great stories are and which ones the customers will allow you to work with them on. Some customers don’t like to share what the technology has actually done for them.  But there is no shortage of great stories here.”

Siemens uses corporate storytelling internally as well, identifying employees who relate life experiences that apply to workplace situations, such as safety concerns. And business stories, such as those about customers whose operations were greatly improved by Siemens products, Ritchie points out, can be made relevant to customers in totally different businesses from the one featured. It’s all about highlilghting the company’s ability to develop solutions.

Measuring the effects of stories can be tough, but Ritchie says it’s often as simple as watching how people react. When people clearly are touched by a moving story and start talking about it, you know it’s had an impact. And when you hear about business increasing after customers hear solutions-based stories, it’s clear that the stories are having the intended results.

Well-told stories are “conversation starters,” Ritchie says. “I think for us, this sort of thinking is a bit of a game changer.”

How about you? Are you ready for a game-changer? If you want to explore how stories will drive results for your organization, let’s talk!