Opinion: Tell a genuine story, do not make it up
As a company, you have a vision, a strategy and a set of values you want to propagate. That’s what you believe internal and external communication are meant to do. Do you work with marketing gurus to do so, or are you rather into telling genuine stories? A car manufacturer from Sweden (well, actually it’s China, but hey, who cares?) is giving a crystal clear answer.
On the CNBC-website (september 2018) Volvo Car Corporatation chief strategy officer Björn Anwall is holding a strong plea for ‘authenticity’. Communication is all about meaning, Anwall is arguing. ‘I think one of the major things is marketing cannot be about making stories. It has to be genuine and real.’
Damn it feels good to read these words! Only a few brands manage to tell genuine stories through corporate storytelling. Volvo is certainly amongst the best of breed in it. The 2019 V60 is told to be ‘the ideal family car’. So what, we react. But then we got to see small movies of genuine families driving through genuine landscapes (in a V60, that is), fishing on genuine lakes, walking through genuine Nordic forests. Being a father of a young family ourselves, we feel the appeal. We read, understand and act accordingly.
So what’s the moral? Do not make up stories, but tell genuine ones. Spend less money into large, unpersonal marketing campaigns, but make the shift to telling real stories. Have a genuine family in a genuine V60 on a genuine journey. The result? A genuine story about the core values of your brand. Or, as Anwall says: ‘the real breakthrough is not going to be a markering mix question. It is going to be the messages that you are sending. Are they relevant? Are they genuine?’ Good corporate communication is all about two things: credibility and credibility.
Read the full interview with Björn Anwall here.
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