The CMO is in charge of the brand's story at most companies. This can be a mistake, says Ty Montague writing for Harvard Business Review.Marketing, you see, should only be one part of a company's story efforts. Take Amazon. Story is its lifeblood. In fact, it drives everything that the company does — from product development, to advertising, to HR policies.
Montague is the author of True Story: How to Combine Story and Action to Transform Your Business and a founder of co:collective, a consultancy that helps clients develop their strategy and brand story using the principles of storydoing.
Amazon, of course, isn't the only company that does this. Red Bull, Jet Blue, and TOMS shoes follow the same strategy as well, and their CEOs, just like Jeff Bezos at Amazon, are the ones who oversee their company's story — not their marketing departments.
They're the only ones who have the reach to do so.
If you are a CEO or an aspiring CEO, the evidence is clear:
- Become a student of the underlying narrative of your business;
- Learn how to manage and tell that story through coordinated action;
- Make understanding and telling your company's story both a shared responsibility across the whole organization and a core value of the company.
If you do this, you (and more importantly, your shareholders) will reap the rewards.