Recognizing and utilizing a company’s history is often a key factor in its long-term success. I was reminded of this recently during my children’s 4-H meeting at our local Chick-fil-A restaurant. As you may be aware, this fast-food chain does a great job making its history known to the public (and they highly encourage customers to share their own stories).
Following our brief meeting, the 4-Hers were invited to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the kitchen and service areas. Throughout the tour we learned all kinds of interesting facts, including how the company has creatively solved problems to achieve its current success. The end result of the tour? The kids were thrilled with the free ice-cream cone, and it solidified in the adults’ minds that it is a place worthy of our repeat patronage.
Now, this is not to say that you have to offer tours of your facilities to net increased customer loyalty. What it is suggesting, however, is that telling your company’s history is important. Consider the additional areas within your company that benefit from a company history:
- Empowers Leadership – When problems arise, it’s sometimes difficult to know which direction to take. By reviewing how your company overcame challenges in the past – what core values and techniques they employed – you can often duplicate or modify those ideas to successfully solve the current situation.
- Promotes Company Culture – What better way to unify your employees than by showcasing that they are part of something bigger than themselves? Demonstrate how their employment has helped to make a difference in the world on a local, national and/or global scale. It also offers them a vision of where the company is going.
- Encourages Partnerships – Making your company history available to others promotes transparency and fosters key business partnerships. By honoring your company’s past, it shows your commitment to its future.
- Improves Public Relations – Companies are always looking for positive publicity. The release of a company history can help garner new clients, increase loyalty, and make you the talk of the town (or Facebook or Twitter… you get the idea).
Whether you create a full-color hardcopy book or eBook and/or incorporate a timeline onto your public website, company histories are a fantastic way to achieve brand definition, increase visibility, and celebrate successes (particularly milestone anniversaries).
Has your company or organization ever promoted its history? Do you have additional ideas about this concept? Please share them in the comments section.