1. To tell your story. History means story, and everyone loves a story. Stories are memorable. They put a human face on your products or services. They make your brand stand out.
2. To stretch your marketing investment. Your stories and images belong only to you. Once you mine them, they’re inexpensive to use. And you can recycle them in endlessly creative ways, across all kinds of media.
3. To show the world why you’re built to last. Organizations endure for a reason – because they’re better than the competition. Be proud of your successes and be honest about your crises, which represent lessons learned. Everyone likes to do business with winners.
4. To differentiate yourself in a crowded marketplace. Right within your history is a big hairy audacious benefit no million-dollar McKinsey consultant can offer: genuine market differentiation. Meaning the kind that comes from within and can’t be tacked on. No one else has your DNA. No one else can communicate it. Your history is your soul.
5. To make people feel good about being associated with you. Most of us spend more than half our waking hours at work. We want to know our efforts aren’t in vain. We want to feel we’re part of something bigger. I’ve never done a history project that didn’t raise a groundswell of authentic pride in employees.
6. To cut through the clutter with your key messages. “We’re scandal-free. We do great things for our community. Our founder was ahead of her time. We had problems but we’ve turned around. We make money for our stakeholders.” These are just a few examples of vital messages that your history can support and believably convey.
7. To celebrate. We live in a culture of criticism. But the fact is that if an organization hasn’t done most things right, it wouldn’t be here. Take credit for all you’ve achieved and throw yourself a party.
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