Using corporate narrative to align the whole company with your new value proposition

Industry: Tech

Size: Growth

Challenge: Engage clients

Results: Confidential

One of the roles of corporate narrative is create a clear value proposition for a highly complex offering

How can corporate narrative help a data science business grow faster?

This data science business (post-Series A funded) aimed to help supermarkets grow their customers’ basket sizes by offering more complete search results to people with dietary needs…which seems to be just about everybody today.

This is not a facile comment.

The range of dietary needs spans intolerances and allergies to religious beliefs to a greater awareness of the importance of sustainable food sourcing.
(During our training of the wider team in the eventual value proposition, we asked them: If you’re sitting at the back of a Virgin Atlantic flight, how many different diets will you be offered? 1-5? 5-10? 10-15? More than 15? Keep reading to the end to find out the answer.)

After winning some of the world’s most famous retailers as clients, they had secured another round of investment to scale up the business. With this new investment came the need to focus their value proposition. The co-founder also saw the critical need to align everyone in the company with the value proposition once it was developed. He asked us to create a corporate narrative for his data science company.

We conducted a survey before our work to understand the base line. Overall, people understood the business but didn’t see clearly how they were unique or the benefits they offered their clients. In addition, most were only moderately aware of the company’s values.

Brand storytelling and corporate narrative at work

All of the co-founders asked us to use our 8S framework to clarify their market, their values, their offerings and how they connect with their market.

We teamed with a highly experienced retail customer strategist and data scientist (Nina Hampson) to combine our skills with corporate narrative and their deep understanding of the market. We then conducted a round of carefully constructed interviews with the leadership team, along with their investors and Chair.

We followed these interviews with a series of confidential, off-the-record interviews with client leaders, digging into exactly what they needed, the pain points they felt and what future they saw for their data science business.

Finding our voice to challenge the dominant market voices.

A key challenge faced by this data science business was to overcome the dominance of other voices in their market who were more established, had cheaper offerings, and bigger backers. We identified the ‘rules’ of the sector’s communications and found a clear space that our client could own and which offered meaningful benefits to their clients. From this, we developed a clear corporate narrative for the data science company and a distinctive brand tone of voice. But we knew that was not ‘job done’ but really Day 1. We now had to get everyone in the business to buy-in to this new value proposition.

A new value proposition needs new training.
We conducted a series of immersion sessions in the new value propositions. Instead of being based on the notion of classroom teaching, we carefully constructed fully interactional sessions for everyone in the business. The results of this were a surprise to everyone: people weren’t just engaged with the new proposition, they immediately started using it to suggest product innovations and reporting changes.
Better than we can say it:
Surveys after our work showed that the training had engaged everyone in the business and significantly improved understanding and alignment with the new value proposition.
In particular, people now felt highly aware of the business’ skillsets and its unique offering along with the range of benefits it offered its clients, along with the behaviours that were expected of them to demonstrate the new value proposition.

“Chris is brilliant at unlocking our thinking and creating language that positions a brand and adds tons of value.”

Co-founder, Data Science client

[Answer to the question above: Virgin Atlantic offers a minimum of 16 different diets to its passengers]

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