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The Five Essential Elements of a Great Company Story [Infographic]

by Sandra Stewart  |  
August 5, 2014

We've all read the classic founder stories about companies 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/worth zillions/the owner of our most private thoughts.

Most companies, however, don't grow up with that kind of drama. Fortunately, you don't need drama to tell a compelling company story. What you do need are five essential ingredients:

1. Inspiration

What sparked the founding of the business? 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 growing team face in building the business? (Those 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 value.

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Sandra Stewart is a principal at Thinkshift Communications, which provides content marketing, messaging, and other strategic marketing services to cleantech and sustainable businesses.

LinkedIn: Sandra Stewart

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  • by Ann Mullen Tue Aug 5, 2014 via web

    Sandra, this is a great way to address story telling. I like how you laid it out. The infographic is a little wordy, but the main ideas within the story are on target. Thanks.

  • by Sandra Stewart Tue Aug 5, 2014 via web

    Thanks Ann -- glad you like it! And I hear you on the wordiness -- we struggled a bit with that, but thought it was important to show an actual story "in action."

  • by Debbie Bakare Thu Jan 8, 2015 via mobile

    Thank you for this piece. Now I can tell my story. This will also help small business owners that struggle to articulate their stories.

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