Here is a question that I am frequently getting:
“We have to create a sales deck and internal deck about our service. Should we create two different narratives?”
Although tailoring a message to an audience is always a good thing, your strategic narrative should stay the same for everyone.
Your strategic narrative is such an important piece of your company identity that you should not change it based on who you have conversations with. It conveys your purpose and calls your entire community to seize the same opportunity. It would be ideal to align your customers, recruits, colleagues, partners, sponsors, investors, and everyone with the same idea.
Now, each of these stakeholders wants their own specific answers about your innovation. For instance, customers want to know if they can trust you. So do investors, and they also want to see if you have traction and how you define your addressable market size. But all of them need to hear the same one thing: why it exists. That’s the job of your narrative, to answer this question.
Creating multiple versions of your narrative, even with tiny differences, generates confusion. As my colleague, Donald Miller, would say, “If you confuse, you’ll lose.”
The real power of a narrative is to create a new way to think about something. The dominant narrative about fixing hip, shoulder, or knee problems has been surgery. Now, we hear more and more about stem cell therapy. It’s the new narrative. This innovation is spreading because Doctors who recommend it always say the same thing: it’s less invasive, it works better, and it’s the future of medicine.