As we transition into the ‘next normal’ for business, many marketers are re-evaluating their positioning and thinking about how to emerge as a leader in a changing and unpredictable world.
We have long advocated for all companies to have an industry narrative, and if there was ever a time to adopt one it’s now.
An industry narrative is the guiding light of an organization’s highest aspirations. It goes beyond what you ‘do’ and provides a common, higher-purpose cause.
Narratives matter more than ever. In a time where we are re-evaluating everything, organizations are now thinking big picture.
So how do you build your own unique industry narrative? Let me share four-pillars we use and outlined in our book on Strategic Narrative Marketing:
- Industry Mega-Trends: It’s not hard to identify disruptive trends that are impacting your industry. How are they impacting industry vendors and customers alike? Think big – remote work, digital transformation, e-commerce, DIY approaches, the gig economy, and, now, shrinking workforces. List the mega-trends, and describe how they are bringing change to the industry you serve.
- Unique Insights: What does your company see, based on your expertise, experience and knowledge? Capture your unique perspective and share it. What are the perceptions and misperceptions that prevail and possibly cause harm to the overall good of your industry? These insights from your industry domain experts, as well as those on the front lines who wrestle with the hyper-fast change in how people think and behave.
- Industry Vision: This is big — what can your industry (not just your company) 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 are needed more than ever. Be bold and step up!
- Course of Action: Now comes the meat of the narrative. Based on the trends, insights and vision, what concrete steps can your industry take to adapt and thrive? Nailing this provides a leadership voice for your company and CEO. It supports content marketing and helps align a company around a higher purpose. While it’s important to continue to message around “what” you do, the opportunity to stand for something higher, and NOT about you, is there for those that step back and look at the bigger picture.
If you’d like to learn more, check out our book, A Practical Guide to Strategic Narrative Marketing.
We also offer a free narrative assessment of your current messaging. It’s always good to get fresh eyes and a third-party perspective on how your story stacks up in the market. I personally look at your online messaging and provide detailed feedback and advice.