Infographic: The 5 elements of a strong company story

Just because you didn’t create your company in your college dorm room doesn’t mean you don’t have a compelling story. Consider these elements to begin crafting one.

We’ve all read the classic founder stories about companies that started in a garage/dorm room/remote town by a visionary/college dropout/iconoclast with a crazy idea and a few friends. The founders overcame adversity, relentlessly pursued their vision, had an amazing stroke of luck, and now the company is a global brand and worth zillions.

Most companies don’t have that backstory. Fortunately, you don’t need drama to tell a compelling company story. What you do need are these five essential ingredients:

1. Inspiration

What sparked the business’s founding? Who was involved, and what motivated them? What problem were they trying to solve? What was their vision and mission?

2. Challenges

What challenges did the founders and their team face in building the business? (The challenges could be internal, external, micro or macro.) What did they do to overcome them?

3. Claims to fame

What makes your company stand out? What’s your company’s most remarkable asset? (It could be pioneering thinking, a new way of doing business, a new technology, a new product or service, a commitment to achieving specific social or environmental benefits—whatever defines your company’s core values.)

4. Accomplishments

Where is your company now? What has it achieved? In what work is your company actively engaged? What is your company’s impact? To what extent has the company addressed the inspirational problem?

5. Vision

What’s next? What’s the big thing your company is shooting for? What keeps people involved in the business?

See how all five essential elements work together in an example outlined in Thinkshift Communications‘ infographic:

(View a larger image.)

Sandra Stewart is a principal at Thinkshift Communications. A version of this article originally appeared on Marketing Profs.

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