Telling the Story of Innovation

The following is based on an interview on The Agile Brand with Greg Kihlstrom podcast

Our Guest: Jon Ebert 

Jon Ebert, Manager, North American Public & Industry Relations at John Deere, a company that was founded in 1837, and continues to evolve and innovate, as its image continues to shift from being an equipment company to the tech company it truly is at heart.

Exploring Brand Narrative Through Stories

Storytelling has been used as a communication tool since the dawn of time, and it’s no surprise why. Storytelling is an incredibly powerful and effective way to get messages across, especially when it comes to your brand. Stories can evoke strong emotions in your audience and help them to connect with and remember your brand.

Stories can also be used to transport people to different worlds, inspire creative thinking, or demonstrate a powerful idea. As humans, we are hardwired to respond to stories and this makes storytelling an invaluable tool for businesses looking to connect with their customers on a deeper level.

Storytelling can also be used to communicate complex ideas in an easy-to-understand way. By combining facts and figures with stories, businesses can communicate their message in an interesting and engaging way. It also helps people to remember your message long after they’ve heard it.

“One of the best parts of the role that I’m in today is being able to tell the stories of the great work that our technologists are doing, as well as the work that it’s providing, or the value that it’s providing, to farmers that use our technology. And so, as you think about our company being over 180 years old, right, it’s easy to say, “Hey, there’s probably a lot of cool stories out there.” But the cool part is that, right now, today, there is such advanced technology and innovation happening in the work that we’re doing, that’s helping farmers really do more with less, and helping them become more profitable and more sustainable.” – Jon Ebert 

Whether you’re trying to educate, inspire, or entertain your audience, John Deere shows us that storytelling can be an incredibly effective tool. Stories can help you establish trust, loyalty, and credibility, while also creating emotional connections that are essential to success.

The Power of Storytelling 

When it comes to building and maintaining a strong brand, storytelling and innovation are essential components.Storytelling is an essential tool for any business, large or small. Not only does it help your brand stand out in the marketplace, but it can also be a powerful driver of innovation.

By connecting with customers through stories, brands can create meaningful connections that last and drive customers to try something new. In our discussions with Jon Ebert, we discuss why storytelling is key and how it pairs hand-in-hand with innovation for your brand. We also explore the importance of storytelling in today’s digital age, and how you can use storytelling to foster innovation within your brand.

“So where I get to sit in telling that story is that most folks that maybe haven’t been to a farm or don’t know a lot about John Deere, it really is eye-opening, when you start to peel back those different layers, to say, wow, Deere is truly a tech company, and we’re doing some of the most innovative things not only within our industry but all industries that really are helping farmers do the great work of putting food on our table.” – Jon Ebert

Storytelling Through Innovation

Innovation: We all know how important innovation is for a brand, and it’s no secret John Deere is transforming the farming industry.
Storytelling: In today’s competitive market, a strong and compelling narrative can help differentiate your brand from the competition and engage your audience in new ways. 

By leveraging both of these tools, you can establish an emotional connection with your audience, create a memorable brand identity, and remain competitive in the ever-evolving market. 

“There really are, as I mentioned before, as you think about telling the story of John Deere being a tech company, I mean, that’s real, right? It’s authentic. We are a tech company, and we have the proof points that are in market, at scale, delivering value and doing some pretty awesome, pretty cool, just crazy stuff, if you were out at the farm and could see it happen in action. So those challenges are really opportunities as we tell that story.” – Jon Ebert

Storytelling with Authenticity

When it comes to storytelling, authenticity is key. Consumers today are more discerning than ever and can easily detect when something isn’t authentic. It’s essential that brands focus on creating stories that are genuine and believable. Stories that feel forced or over-engineered will be seen as inauthentic and won’t resonate with your audience.

Authentic storytelling allows brands to create connections with their customers. When customers can connect with a brand on an emotional level, they are more likely to engage with it.

This is not a case where we have to go dig deep to find an authentic story. There is just such great work happening within our company. There’s such a great purpose in why we’re doing what we’re doing and why it makes sense to apply smart technology to machines to do these jobs for the betterment of the world that we all live in. So, to go try to find an authentic story within Deer, it’s not hard, right? So that part is kind of foundational.” – Jon Ebert

Furthermore, authentic stories tend to be more memorable and can help foster loyalty and trust between the brand and its customers.

In order for stories to be seen as authentic, it’s important for brands to remain true to their core values.

Telling stories is a powerful way to differentiate your brand from competitors and drive innovation. In fact, storytelling has been used by some of the world’s most successful brands to create an emotional connection with their target audience and develop unique products and services.

Tune in for more conversations just like this on The Agile Brand podcast with Greg Kihlstrom. 

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Posted by Greg Kihlström

Best-selling author, speaker, consultant and advisor. Principal at GK5A.

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