Some people think America’s gone soft. But inside every company are people who work hard, using their knowledge and talents in unique ways to solve problems and circumvent tough challenges. Their stories reveal a work ethic that is strong and invigorating. So let their voices be heard.
Create content about them that can appear in a trade publication article, a blog post, a press release, a video interview or website copy on the About or News page. They should be heard as brand ambassadors on social media sites. Don’t rely only on the best and brightest in the company but also the people who shine in a small but very special way. Reflect the work ethic of customers and you will have a winning content strategy.
Highlight The Inventor
Whether it’s an idea, a product, a design or a process, inventors position your company as progressive in thought and deed. While the marketing of such innovation is a collaborative effort, dig deep enough and you will find the person who connected the dots and came up with something new. In big companies you may have to wade through layers of attention seekers but keep going to find the originating source. Ask how it came about. What triggered the idea? What did you need to find the solution? Were you sure of it or did you experiment multiple times before coming up with the best answer?
Interview The Craftsman
How well a product or service is crafted can be the most distinguishing factor separating you from your competition. Respect the craftsman and your customers will respect the product. Starting on page 70 of the 690-page Restoration Hardware Fall 2012 catalog is an article titled “The Leatherman.” It tells the story of two craftsmen, how they met, what they value and some of the details of their work. “I wanted to treat leather like everything I do. I wanted it all hand done,” says Timothy Oulton. And this from Diego Diaz: “There’s not much of this particular kind of thing that you can learn from books or in school. It’s by trial, by getting your hands dirty, and that’s what I love to do.” Turn the page after reading the article and the customer sees the leather products with new eyes and awareness.
Honor The Customer
What role does a customer play? Often, new ideas are generated by questions customers ask or details they demand. Former teacher and now CEO of BLS Enterprises Barry Stoughton is a serial inventor who creates new products inspired by questions from customers. When asked, “How can we extend the life of rubber track pads on our construction equipment?” Barry developed a polyurethane based track pad that doubles the wear time. He didn’t stop there. New products are continuously introduced to solve the problems his customers are facing.
Share your company’s work ethic through people who exemplify it. Putting a face to the fact builds relationships and authenticity. This kind of content is also good for sharing through word of mouth. Did you hear about the surgeon who performed a double lung transplant on his patient and three months later ran alongside that patient during a 10k race? There are great stories inside your company. Tell them right and your customers will see themselves in it