Manufacturing Storytelling: A Marketer’s Perspective


When you think of history’s great storytellers, who is the first to come to mind? For me, it’s Walt Disney. He knew how to tell the simplest stories in a way that captured all generations, young and old. His stories live on today, not only as hit movies, but Disney has also become one of the best advertising companies in the world.

But storytelling isn’t just for movie makers and big brands. Incorporating storytelling in your marketing efforts, will change the way you and your peers, not only think about, but feel about your industry. In manufacturing specifically, we can’t be blind and think there isn’t a stigma about this industry. Many people think manufacturing jobs are too dangerous, low paying or not a good quality of life to have. But that’s certainly not the case. Manufacturing is such an essential industry to our nation and our livelihood. It’s time to change the narrative. It’s time to tell the stories of our essential industry.

what makes a great story?

A great story drives with emotion. The goal is to make the audience genuinely feel something, enough that it’ll inspire them to take action. The emotion invoked through storytelling will help humanize your brand and demonstrate empathy to your clients, rather than just listing off facts about your services or products. Studies have shown that telling a story makes information way more memorable. Psychologist Jerome Bruner found we are 22 times more likely to remember a fact when it is wrapped in a story.

It’s important to know that your audience doesn’t want to hear just about your highs. They also want to hear about your lows and the lessons learned along the way. Sharing this, is a great way to show transparency and authenticity of your brand. Trust is built through being real.

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou

Why storytelling for manufacturing?

As I mentioned earlier, manufacturing doesn’t always get the credit it deserves. There’s no denying that the industry is essential, but then why are workforce shortages hitting harder than ever? Telling the stories of our clients and the industry as a whole can break through the noise and create an emotional impact. Humanizing our industry will shed light to the awesome people and vital work happening. When we switch our messaging from facts and figures to an inspirational emotion, we will build an audience and inspire action. We will attract new talent. Talent that wants to work for a company that is part of a bigger picture. Talent that also wants to make an impact on society. Talent that wants to be associated with our stories.

Start Small

Before you go and tackle a big video production, start small with your storytelling efforts. A good starting point is to play around with the language and tone of voice in your marketing email campaigns and website. Try being more empathic and inclusive in your language.

Start telling the stories of your own employees. Building the individual brands of your team will humanize your company and ultimately strengthen your company’s overall brand. See how we have done this at CIFT. 

A great way to capture lessons learned while showing authenticity is to record short selfie-style videos of you or your employees talking organically to your audience. Short, organic videos like that is a small and easy way to capture your emotions and build trust.

Remember that practice makes progress. A lot of little, but meaningful, changes to your marketing efforts will add up and you will see progress. Storytelling comes in all different forms!

Our #essential Story

This article is only just the beginning. Keep an eye out for more Manufacturing Storytelling articles and videos to come!

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