Storytelling is a very powerful tool, and when we use films and images even more so. Here are three examples of companies that have been very successful at telling stories about themselves – for different reasons and in different ways: Ericsson, LEGO and F-Secure.
Many years ago I met with a CEO to discuss an upcoming milestone, his company celebrating its centennial. As we talked about different ways of communicating around the event he casually mentioned “Of course someone is writing a book about the company”. From the way he said it I could tell that this was routine, something you were expected to do, but that would not bring any real value. It was obvious that to him the history of the company did not mean much, or had a role to play in the present or indeed the future of the company.
I have always believed the opposite – that its history can provide an organization with tremendous power. It can build internal pride, it can be a corner stone for the brand and it can create trust among customers and other stakeholders. It makes me happy when I see companies that find great ways of using their own past, and preferably using storytelling to do so.
Combining history and storytelling with film makes for a powerful combination, Here are three examples of companies that I think have done this very well, in their own unique way.
1. Ericsson – On the line
On the line tells the story of Ericsson’s contributions to the development of mobile telephony. The reason I like it is that the company has taken the time to find the people that participated in this, back in the 1980s and 1990s. Time flies quickly, and it’s important that we get the story from the people that actually was part of it. What Ericsson is doing well here is highlighting it’s track record of innovation.
2. LEGO – The LEGO story
I’m a huge fan of LEGO, but the true greatness of this story lies in how it tells a powerful and human story very well. The company has had it’s ups and downs over the years, and that is exactly the story this film shares with us. In addition to that, the animation is very well done. The message LEGO gets across really well is how the core values of the company have survived throughout the years.
3. F-Secure – Brain: searching for the first PC virus
Mikko Hyppönen, Chief Research Officer at F-Secure, goes on a journey to meet the makers of the very first PC virus, that he encountered back in the 1980s. It’s a very personal trip, going back in time as well as to a very different part of the world. What I think F-Secure does well with this film is to highlight their long and solid expertise, using a very strong storytelling tool – the journey.
In my experience many companies overlook the important role their own story can play in their communication, marketing and brand building. I wanted to share a few examples of companies that are doing a good job of telling stories from their own past, hoping to inspire you to do the same.
And the reason you should use storytelling techniques is of course that it is one of the best ways we have of getting a message across. This image shows you some of the reasons why storytelling works:
If you have other examples of companies sharing stories about their own past in a good way, drop a link in the comments.
This post was originally published on LinkedIn in June, 2014