A strategic narrative is central to a healthy company’s branding and their decision-making process. It’s the lens through which your small business perceives itself and the lens through which outsiders perceive your small business. It shapes your culture and strategy, casting a vision for the future and illuminating a path to get there. Your strategic narrative is unique to your company’s DNA and sets you apart from industry competitors.

What is a strategic narrative?

A strategic narrative is a compelling, concise and yet comprehensive story that captures your unique history and your vision as well as the way in which you as the owner, your employees and your customers can participate as co-contributors towards your unfolding story.

On engageforsuccess.org, one writer explains that this narrative “[shows] people your landscape around them and the horizon in front of them.” It gives everyone who engages with your brand a place to belong and a sense of purpose.

Why is a strategic narrative important?

A company operating without a strategic narrative is like a rudderless boat on the rough seas – easily tossed by the wind and waves and lacking consistency and vision. A strategic narrative is the rudder that brings clarity, direction and purpose and moves a company towards a bright, foreseeable future.

When your small business implements your unique strategic narrative…

  • You achieve greater alignment and success
  • You create a sense of welcome and belonging for your employees and customers
  • You inspire employees, attract customers and engage influencers

I want to write a strategic narrative for my business. What are the essential components?

A strong sense of your purpose fueled by your values:
Make sure your narrative clearly states your mission. Why does your company exist? What does your company stand for? What compels you to wake up every day and do what you do?

A clear vision:
Where is your business headed? How are you planning to get there? How can your employees and customers partner with you to move towards your vision?

A strong value proposition:
How does your product or service improve people’s lives? Be bold, specific and authentic.

A strategic narrative is…

  • Compelling – You want people to take ownership of your narrative. Make sure it’s something they can relate to and stand behind.
  • Authentic – Tell it honestly. Speak it and then live it day in and day out, at work and away from work. People are savvy and can sniff out shallow words and hollow promises. On the other hand, authenticity drives employee engagement and customer brand engagement.
  • Relational – When you craft your narrative, engage people in a relational way. Think of your narrative as a bridge between your employee or customer and your brand. Form a human relationship, not an institutional one.
  • Empowering – Employees and customers want a stake in the bright future of your company – show them how they can take a hold of it.

At Sage Group, we help you tell your story and grow your business. If you want help crafting your strategic narrative, visit our website to connect!

About the author,

With 14 years of experience in working with small and medium sized businesses to help them grow, Doug is committed to seeing business owners thrive. Business coaching is what drives Doug.

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