Your corporate story should use words to illustrate your mission, vision and values. By the time your site visitors are finished reading, they should 1) understand how you aim to make their lives easier with your products and services; 2) know why and how your business started, aside from profits; and 3) feel some sense of closeness with your business.
Corporate stories can be created the same way as creative ones, from the traditional dramatic structure. To help you get started, I’ve created a modified, marketing version of Freytag’s Pyramid. (I know – I’m probably making you feel like you’re in elementary school all over again.) Although the pyramid model seems pretty self-explanatory, your corporate story cannot be told the same as a classic drama.
1. Exposition: what happened before the business began.
Either keep this part short or leave it out. It might not be necessary to your story; it differs from company to company. For example, it might be interesting to note that your CEO was a model or nurse before starting her own retail point of sale (POS) business. It isn’t quite as interesting if she worked for one small POS provider before moving to another.
2. The inciting incident and subsequent rising action: when the light bulb went off and what happened afterward.
This part should be especially engaging. It’s your opportunity to share the revelation, epiphany or “aha!” moment that brought the initial idea for your business (a.k.a. your brand vision). Then, highlight the first steps you took to make it happen. Be sure to include dates and locations to make it feel more like a real story than fluff.
Whether your business markets to enterprises, small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) or end-users, this information will be beneficial your client base to read. They will find it interesting and relatable, as everyone hopes for success in one way or another. It will also give them a grasp on why your business was formed in the first place – before profits came into play.
3. Climax: the actual start of the business.
The climax is usually the most exciting part of the story, but not in this case. You could bore them with details like “we bought an office space and a domain name” but the whole set-up process is pretty much implied. In other words, if your corporate story were a movie, this is probably the part where “one year later” would flash across the screen. I’d recommend skipping this section unless something unusual, amazing or catastrophic happened within the first few months.
4. Falling action: the trials and tribulations of striving for success.
Instead of the climax, focus more on the falling action. It’s much more telling. It’s the actual “meat” of your corporate story that will be interesting for site visitors to read. People would rather hear about the struggles you faced before you reached success. So, while writing this part, try to focus on “why” and “how” rather than “who” and “where.”
Take advantage of the opportunity to let your brand personality shine. Highlight the qualities that have contributed to your success over the years – how you’ve developed brand loyalty, how you’ve built your expert team, how you’ve expanded your client base, etc. Also, your audience will find it much easier to relate to your corporate story if you mention the struggles you overcame before becoming successful.
5. The dénouement: the current status or mission.
To conclude your corporate story, answer questions regarding your mission: What has changed since the beginning? What has stayed the same?
More specifically, mention the clientele, services, software, partnerships and integrations you have added over time to enhance the customer experience. Explain why this line of work is your “calling,” and – more importantly – why you feel it’s necessary for others. For most businesses, it’s that your products and/or services make life easier.
Now get writing!