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Your company’s history is the story of your founding vision and purpose, the anchoring virtues that guide your company, and most importantly, the relationships between your company and the people it serves.
Unfortunately, when you look across the landscape of almost any industry, most company histories are delivered as nothing more than a collection of dates, the names of a few executives, and some notable events.
But while some companies might not see the value in communicating their histories, customers absolutely do — and they take notice when it’s lacking, inauthentic, or saying the same tired lines as everyone else.
Why? Because your company history is one of the places they turn to analyze your track record, get a feel for your brand, and form the first impressions they’ll use to determine whether your brand is worth their time and money.
But we’d never ask you to simply take our word for it. Let’s take a closer look at why your history matters to your customers, what they’re looking for in your company’s history, and how this ultimately impacts your bottom line.Customers want to see how your relationships with customers are ingrained in the very foundations of your brand. And it’s here where your company’s history truly shines as a trust-building tool.
What do your customers want to learn from your company history?
First, let’s dive into why your company’s history matters to your customers and what they’re aiming to learn from it.
Your business’s motivations, values, and ethical standards
Regardless of the industry you’re in, people look to your company’s history and the story of its legacy to get a feel for why your company does what it does. Are you driven by a clear desire to solve a problem, help an underserved community, or somehow make a positive difference?
If so, what values are guiding you in that pursuit? By getting the answer to this question, they’re looking to see how you’ll ultimately treat them.
Your customers want to feel confident and morally justified when choosing your brand, but if you’re only telling them about a handful of dates and events in your history, rather than your purpose and guiding values, they’re much more likely to choose a competitor who’s giving them clearer answers.
And this isn’t merely speculation.
Numerous studies, including one of the largest studies of its kind in a joint venture by Cambridge University and the Society for Business Ethics, firmly concluded that customers care about a brand’s ethics, and when those ethics are clearly communicated, they have a tremendously positive impact how likely a customer is to choose your offerings over those of your competitors.
How well you treat your employees, vendors, and partners
Edelman, one of the largest market research and communications firms in the world, again undertook their annual mission of gauging consumer trust in brands across the world in their 2019 Global Trust Barometer study.
Without question, the #1 element that makes or breaks how a customer perceives a brand is how well that brand treats their employees. And when your customers are trying to get to know your brand, and they’re beginning to consider you among a sea of competitors, this information needs to be front and center.
If your brand is armed with a company history that shows not only how you’re caring for your employees now, but also how you’ve historically treated them well, you’re immediately put head and shoulders above your competitors and are on your way toward earning that customer’s trust and their business.
How well you treat customers
Naturally, your customers want to know that you’re going to treat them well. But they don’t just want another empty promise or slogan to communicate that.
They want to see and experience how your relationships with customers are ingrained in the very foundations of your brand. And it’s here where your company’s history truly shines as a trust-building tool.
By infusing your history with the stories of your first customers, how they came to grow with you and your brand, and how you continue to honor both new and current customers alike, you demonstrate a genuine (and sadly, rare) commitment to customers that your competitors can’t hope to match.
In turn, you build trust quicker and show that your products or services aren’t coming from another cold corporate organization, but from a group of likeminded people who truly care about being a trusted source of help and insight.
And in this age of ever-growing brand distrust, your story, and as a result, your brand, will be hard to beat.
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How does a well-constructed company history impact customers?
Now that we have a solid understanding of what customers are looking for from your history, let’s dive into how them gaining this knowledge affects their perception of you and the likelihood of them forming a relationship with your brand.
New and prospective customers build trust faster with your brand.
No matter how business and communication evolves in the future, there’s one currency that will always be valuable: trust.
And though it’s becoming harder and harder to build, your company history helps you overcome the ever-widening trust gap between brands and consumers.
By being forthright and transparent from the very beginning, and showing both new and current customers alike that you’re a value-driven, trust-based company that’s wanting to build a relationship rather than just create another transaction, you create an unshakeable foundation where trust can flourish.
Customers feel good about their decision to do business with you.
When customers feel good about a company, the quality of its products and services, and its ethical operations, they feel good about themselves.
But do these good feelings translate into anything beyond just that — a good feeling?
When this notion was put to the scientific test, the Journal of Sociological Research published undeniable results. Not only do customers feel good about their choice, but these feelings directly correlate with brand loyalty, perceptions of overall brand quality, and chances of repeat business.
So if you’re weighing whether the time investment in rediscovering and telling the story of your company’s history is worth it, you don’t have to guess. It’s a prudent investment every time.
People are far more likely to recommend your brand to others.
You’ve heard the adage time and again: “There’s no better advertising than word-of-mouth.” And there’s a reason it’s stuck around so long — it becomes more true with every passing year.
In a comprehensive study conducted by the Association for Consumer Research on the motivations behind why people advocate for brands, the results cemented that truth: We share positive word-of-mouth experiences because it sparks happiness and makes us feel like we’re altruistically helping others.
And by virtue of you taking the time and effort to invest in your company’s history, you make it all the easier for your customers to begin building trust, feel good about their decision to work with you, and share your brand with others.
How can your company history affect your business’s performance?
By using your company’s history to show the authenticity of your brand’s values and standards, your customers know they’re making the right choice, and in turn, provide your business with real bottom-line results.
Greater customer satisfaction
When customers believe in your commitment to them and know they’ll receive both a quality product and reliable service, you all but guarantee their loyalty for years to come.
And when this is reinforced by a company history that proves this track record of faithful service, your customers’ satisfaction measurably increases by up to 77%.
This radically transforms your audience from satisfied customers into stalwart advocates who will stand by your brand and bring more customers into the fold.
Higher repeat sales performance
Customers aren’t shy about demanding trustworthiness from the companies they do business with, as 81% of all global consumers agree with the following statement when considering what’s most important when choosing a brand’s product or service:
“I must be able to trust the brand to do what is right.”
By making the investment in your company’s story and using it to continually demonstrate the authenticity of your commitment to customers, this trust is constantly reinforced.
And turning again to Edelman’s 2019 Global Trust Barometer, we see that brand trust at such a level catapults the likelihood of a prospective customer’s purchase by 28% and overall brand loyalty by 33%.
In this age of an ever-growing trust gap, there are few brands who can afford to miss out on communicating their dedication to customers through their authentic customer history.
Build a Company History that Wins Customer Attention and Builds Trust
We’ve seen how effective your company’s history can be at delivering the story of your commitment to customers.
But knowing how to go about building that story, or even where to start, can be downright overwhelming.
Don’t worry. We’ve helped companies just like yours rediscover their history and put it to use in winning customers, invigorating workforces, and building unshakeable company cultures.
Let’s start this journey together today and show your customers your undeniable commitment to their satisfaction and success.