Communicating brand value to executives and investors isn’t about splashy websites or luxurious launch events. Instead, it is about storytelling, using a narrative to add value to existing perceptions that can either be backed up by your current product or supported by your prospective plans.
“You’re not going to get anywhere today if you don’t have a credible, unique story,” says Ken Wincko, SVP of Marketing at Cision and PR Newswire, in Branding for Growth: A C-Level Strategy. “Your content needs to provide value to the reader—be it fresh insight, entertainment or problem solving.”
A great example of this is Amazon. Since 1997, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos has released a letter to shareholders which forecasts the next year’s innovations and reviews the past. It gives him a new opportunity to sell his investors on the value that Amazon provides. To accentuate his point, Bezos includes a copy of the 1997 shareholder letter at the end of the current year’s as a way to connect the past with the present. Or reminding why people invested in the first place.
That storytelling is one reason why Amazon has been able to survive market crashes and make risky bets.
Columnists like Farhad Manjoo of the New York Times have written extensively about how the brand operates like a charitable project, funded by the stock exchange, letting the world buy good stuff for cheap. Today the stock is valued at more than $720 a share up from $300 in December 2015. Bezos himself is the third richest man in the world largely due to selling stock in his own company.
So what story did Amazon tell?