Precarious origin stories help inspire employee loyalty
Why does the story of Paul Revere stir patriotic feelings? Because without the heroic actions of one lone rider, our entire country might never have come to exist.
Such stories can inspire employee loyalty, according to Northwestern University psychological scientist Hal Ersner-Hershfield. He found that patriotic feelings increased when volunteers wrote "alternative universe" essays in which key events or players were absent from American history.* In a follow-up study, employees felt greater commitment to their company after imagining scenarios that would have prevented its formation.
So to boost loyalty, tell your corporate story in a way that emphasizes its precarious origins. Think of Hewlett-Packard and Apple, both of which frequently celebrate their garage-based beginnings.
"Our [product/service] gives you all these benefits, and that's not all."
That's a perfectly serviceable transition to your next selling point. But why not add a boost by making it more positive?
"Our [product/service] gives you all these benefits. And there's more."
Lively Writing, on Time and on Target
When you message needs to engage and persuade, be sure to approach it from the Write Angle. Udi Shorr writes marketing and sales-training presentations for live audiences, video, print, and the Web. You benefit from years of marketing experience with Fortune 500 clients.