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What Story Does Your Agency Tell?

10/26/2009

This summer my husband and I vacationed in Waterbury, VT.  We were camping and during one of the MANY epic rain storms we floated over to the nearby Ben & Jerry’s Headquarters. I convinced my husband, who is a long time vegan (read does not eat ice cream) to take a factory tour with me. He was less than enthused and had little interest in learning about an industry he choses not to support. He didn’t really want to spend any time there, but it was wet and I paid for the tickets so he amused me.  

Marital bliss aside, if you have ever been to the Waterbury Ben & Jerry’s, you know that this company misses no opportunity to tell you their story with vibrant visuals. While we waited for the tour to commence he studied the many time-lines and news stories posted to the walls. He read about all the milestones the company had achieved and the activist stance the company had taken on Bovine Growth Hormone. By the time we took the tour, he was happy to watch the short video they roll at the beginning.

At first he was unenthusiastic about spending time at a business that was opposed to his belief system. But the more he learned about the Ben & Jerry’s company, its wild success as a small business, its attempt to stay local, and its stance on farming practices, the more he was glad we had stopped by.

I recently saw this post on the Sticky Figure Blog about a company in Bristol, CT who recently transformed their office wall space into a story space. Taking a direct cue from the famous Ben & Jerry’s Head Quarters in Waterbury, VT, Beekly Corporation combined their company’s story, mission, vision and values with décor and placed it for the world to see.  Okay, maybe not “the world” but this display is now a prominent visual reminder for all visitors and staff about who they are, what they focus on, and where they come from.

Most agencies I’ve visited have a long history in their communities, do great charitable work, and some even have the distinction of being a 4th generation family business. Small businesses have stories worth telling just as large businesses do, but few make their stories prominent.

Does your agency take the time to tell its story? Thinking about changing your reception area? I am.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. 02/03/2010 9:58 am

    Just revisited Sticky Figure Blog and saw this posting and just wanted to clarify that when I met Steve at Marketing profs conference, the idea for telling our company story through history walls throughout our company can very early in 2009 – timelines just did not seem right are able to encompass all we wanted to say. Our design was already in process when I saw the blog on Ben & Jerry’s month’s later. Having never been there, my jaw dropped as our concept was similar. My graphic designer and I had a good laugh and said this would have saved us a ton of time in ideation and concept developement if the blog were posted like say, March? In any event – visitors are wowed by the walls and do come away with a greater understanding and appreciation of our company, what we do and who we are. If you are ever in our area, please let me know and I will be happy to give you a tour. best to you in your stroytelling venture!

  2. 02/03/2010 10:11 am

    Thanks for visiting our blog, Mary. Thanks for sharing and clarifying your story here. This type of storytelling is something I would love to be able to do in our office or at our annual convention and trade show. And this idea’s come up again recently.
    Have a great day!

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