May 2, 2012

Stories and Branding and what it means for Employers

The Best Science Fiction Stories: 1950
The Best Science Fiction Stories: 1950 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Every marketing campaign is built around a story. Often advertising professionals are actually only storytellers. Which is why examples of creative heads in advertising like Balki and Prasoon Joshi turn scriptwriters, lyricists and directors of movies.

Every statement you believe of yourself adds up to a story. And stories are power enough to become self fulfilling prophecies. Stories like "I am a fighter" or "I am a rebel" or "I am the follower of rules" are often derived from personal experiences and form patterns of behavior. So when you look at the hindsight they look similar.

Your stories are also shaped by what people tell you "You are a caring person" or "You are intellectual" are statements about your strengths that define how others see yourself and how you see yourself.

But the truest stories about you is what people tell others when you are not around. They are the ones that are trusted and passed around the most. "He's a creative guy but quite temperamental" or "He's very hard working but can't really think of options"

The same way there are stories being told about your organization's culture, processes, salaries, leadership vis-a-vis the competition. Some of it is online, and if you use online tools you can listen to what others are saying about you.

How do you negate a bad story? What the talented ex-employee tells his/her friends and peers?

Think how you can enable people who have positive stories about you as an employer to be able to share their stories.

Do remember, stories are powerful. Every story of being is also a statement about how you are not.
"This company has a free and open culture" will attract a certain kind of talent and put off others. "This company provides structured career growth with a mid-range salary" would similarly attract some and push away others.

So if you are thinking about employment branding think "What is the story about my company I want employees, alumni, candidates, partners, vendors to tell their friends and peers?"
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