At Catapult, we have long advocated for the industry narrative.
Think about the digital world we live in. Narratives matter because stories spread like wildfire, especially on social media. Every organization has the opportunity to leverage an industry narrative to lead and influence the direction of your industry.
You and your organization’s leaders know better than anyone what is impacting and changing your industry – and you should be talking about it! You can drive positive change for your entire industry by focusing on the bigger picture and what is really happening.
So how do you build your own unique industry narrative?
The elements of an industry narrative can essentially be boiled down into a four-pillar framework:
1. Industry Mega-Trends: Identify the disruptive trends that are impacting your industry. How are they impacting vendors and customers alike? Think big. Examples include digital transformation, e-commerce, aging workforces, DIY approaches, the gig economy, software, mobile and disparate workforces, and changes in consumer and customer behavior. List the mega-trends, and describe how they are bringing change to the industry you serve.
2. Unique Insights: What does your company see, based on your expertise, experience and knowledge, that captures your unique perspective? What are the perceptions and misperceptions that prevail and possibly cause harm to the overall good of your industry? Examples include resistance to change, lack of technical understanding, clinging to outdated methods, the rise of millennials, and perceptions that new approaches lack value and might be too expensive. These insights should come from your industry domain experts, as well as those on the front lines who wrestle with changing how people think and behave.
3. Industry Vision: What does your collective industry need to do to overcome obstacles and thrive? What is the bare truth that the industry as a whole needs to accept? What are the opportunities that the industry can leverage to move forward, serve customers better and have all ships rise with the tide? Companies who can articulate this vision through their narrative become the industry thought leader.
4. Reimagined Category: Industry leadership is needed now more than ever. How can your industry (category) adapt and evolve to address the challenges it faces? Redefining your category is needed, and there’s no reason you can’t frame a new industry narrative. This helps align your company, provides high-level topics to discuss with media and analysts, and presents meaningful themes for content marketing.
This is a lot to take in at first, but a discovery session with key company stakeholders in a room tends to be the most productive way to unpack each pillar. We also offer a free assessment of your current messaging based on your website and your competitors. The assessment offers insights into whether you are presenting the narrative of an industry leader or if you blend in with the competition. It also provides detailed feedback and advice.
Answer a few simple questions here to get your assessment (it takes less than three minutes). This is really meant to help you get the ball rolling on your industry narrative! After that, we’re always here if you want to see how we can take that feedback and grow it into a fully executed industry category or framework.
The words you use digitally have a big impact on your future, so you need to make sure you talk like a leader and your industry-focused narrative is the key.
Feel free to reach out with questions or feedback – I’d love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org.