15 Reasons You Should Write a Company History Book
15 REASONS YOU SHOULD WRITE A COMPANY HISTORY BOOK
Amazon, Facebook, McDonald’s, and Starbucks — all well-loved and groundbreaking brands that have one thing in common: They all published a company history book. Corporate greats such as these used books to tell tales of their venture’s humble beginnings and eventual rise to greatness.
But why write a company history book? Why go through the additional expense and effort of sifting through your business history to share with the public?
As you might have guessed, there’s much to gain. In this article, we share with you 15 compelling reasons why you should consider coming up with your own company history book.
Before we get started, let’s review why your company’s history is valuable.
Why Is a Company’s History Valuable?
Trust is an essential component in any business relationship. When customers are looking to place their trust in a company, they ultimately choose one that demonstrates commitment and honesty.
Your company's history is your most valuable asset in earning this trust.
Changes in leadership, and iterations to your products, services, operations, and marketing strategies speak of reliability that can help cement your brand, not just in people’s minds but hearts as well.
Telling your story is also an opportunity to share your brand’s values. You can share how you stayed true to your values in the beginning and during hard times. It can be a powerful testimony of your commitment and resilience.
After all, a company that has remained faithful to its values through the years is attractive in today’s authenticity-driven world and invites more business.
Lastly, your company history is a great way to build lasting value for your company. Instead of having a one-and-done transactional relationship with your clients, sharing where you came from and what it took to get there helps your stakeholders remember you, even after their business with you is concluded.
Combined with great products or services, your company history is a powerful way to leave your audience with a lasting impression of your company, values, and reliability.
We’ve established why company history is essential, but why should you use a company history to share it? Take a look at these 15 reasons for writing a company history book.
15 Reasons Why You Should Consider Writing a Company History Book
When people look at your company, does it inspire loyalty and trust? Does your brand seem relatable, credible, and relevant to the public?
It can be tough to become associated with these qualities, but a company history book can be an excellent way to accomplish this.
If your company has some history to it, here’s why you should consider getting it all down on paper and sharing it with the public.
#1. To Understand the Values of Your Company
Who would you rather do business with — a company whose values you understand or one you know little about? If you chose the former, you’re not alone. According to a 2020 report published by 5W, 71 percent of customers prefer purchasing from brands whose values resonate with theirs. That number is even higher for millennials, at 83 percent.
Core values are a great way to show customers what you stand for. Company history books help educate them and make it easier to associate themselves with your cause, earning greater loyalty!
People who know exactly why they do business with you can help spread the word about your business. They’ll readily share why they’ve chosen to transact with you out of all the competition.
#2. To Establish an Original Vision for the Future
Having a written history of your company makes it easier to foresee and chart its future.
When history shows where you came from, the path forward becomes clearer. A clear vision can anchor executives and employees into helping you achieve your vision.
#3. To Identify Areas of Improvement in the Workplace
Knowing your company’s weaknesses will help it grow.
A company history book can help you identify past stumbling blocks and address them more effectively.
Whether your challenges lie in branding, improving customer experience, better market research, or getting better results from your teams, company history books can help pinpoint your weaknesses and identify areas for growth.
#4. To Provide a Roadmap for Your Organization’s Success
What successes has your company achieved? What were the major challenges and milestones that led to it? How did you overcome them? All this and more can be documented in your company history book.
Chapters about your organization’s road to success can be opportunities for employees and executives to reflect on its achievements.
Through reflection, they can identify behaviors and values that led the company to achieve its goals and set it up for even greater victories.
#5. To Commemorate Major Company Events
Do you have a major event coming up? Perhaps it’s your company’s 50th year in business. Maybe you’re about to close your 1,000th deal, or perhaps you’re about to hire your 100th employee.
Whatever the occasion, releasing a company history book can give your celebration a sense of occasion and history in a way that branded souvenirs and other corporate giveaways can’t.
It’s also a distinctive way for a company to stand out among competitors. After all, what could be more unique and personal than your own history?
#6. To Track Progress in Your Business
As a company, you have many ways to track your progress, from annual reports, financials, weekly progress reports, and a wide range of metrics. When you have all these in your arsenal, why would you want to add a company history book to the mix?
Figures, charts, and metrics are only one side of the equation. Despite our dependency on numbers, we can’t ignore the importance of knowing the story behind them.
Numbers might be impressive and can keep us in check in terms of budgets and targets, but history inspires people.
It fuels passion and motivation. It gives them a reason to latch onto those numbers and shoot for them.
The next time you want to get a better sense of where you are today and what you need to do next, don’t just look at the numbers. Consider the history of your company and the people, changes, and milestones that got you to where you are today. Company history books give us a unique perspective that numbers simply can’t provide.
#7. To Build Credibility
Credibility is key to any business. A study shows that 93% of customers check reviews before they purchase goods or services from an online provider, and this number is only expected to grow.
In an era where most things are done online, business can get impersonal. Brands can be harder to trust.
A company history book can be a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your niche, show that you value customer relationships, and demonstrate that you’ve been in business for a long time.
Of course, you’ll have to make sure that the publication you release highlights these qualities. Many companies hoping to build their reputations hire a ghostwriter or a company historian to chronicle their history.
#8. To Inspire Other Brands
How would you like to set benchmarks in the industry the way Starbucks, Amazon, Facebook, and McDonald’s have? While it sounds like a monumental goal, a company history book with inspiring stories and achievements is a step in the right direction.
Your company’s history can include inspiring stories about unique and successful marketing tactics you’ve employed, a different approach to customer service, innovative ways you responded to people’s pain points, and more.
When written and executed the right way, a company history book can showcase your greatest accomplishments.
It can serve as a precedent for others in your industry or even for businesses in general.
#9. To Build a Brand People Love
Think of three brands you like and support.
It could be because they make great products, you respond to their brand values, or you like how they market themselves.
Most likely, it’s a combination of all three.
Well-loved brands are experts at bringing these three aspects together and turning them into brand love.
Ultimately, a company history book can engender love and loyalty for your brand.
Since a company history book will undoubtedly talk about your company’s product, values, beliefs, and strategies, it’s an excellent way to build a following and rally support.
#10. To Engage Customers and Improve Sales
If a company history book can help inspire other businesses, why not your own customers? Tell the story of how you came up with your bestselling product, why you chose to market it a certain way, or why you designed it that way.
You can also share stories of inspiring leaders who left an indelible mark on the company and changed it for the better. Share business struggles and how you overcame them.
After several years of operation, your business will undoubtedly have a wealth of insights and interesting stories to tell.
This behind-the-scenes look can help create more engaged customers and ultimately improve sales. With a company history book, you’ll improve your chances of closing a sale even before they reach your website or visit your store.
#11. To Throw Light on Defeats and Hardships Faced
You can’t make history without having your share of failures. To read about companies that have been around for decades and even centuries is to read stories of meltdowns and problems that almost led them to close down. Some companies actually shut down, only to re-open stronger than ever.
In 1997, Apple was losing millions of dollars each quarter and was close to bankruptcy. If competitor Microsoft hadn’t swooped in with $150 million, we might not be enjoying today's i-products.
Another example is Marvel Comics. Plagued by corporate intrigue, questionable investments, and financial woes, it ended up filing for bankruptcy in 1996.
Slowly, the company re-emerged and became a multi-billion-dollar earner as it shifted its focus to the big screen.
Companies that faced and conquered problems seem more authentic and relatable. Instead of hiding hardships, use your company history book to highlight how you faced the impossible and went on to succeed anyway.
#12. To Acknowledge People Who Have Made a Difference in the Company
What would Tesla be without Elon Musk or Berkshire Hathaway without Warren Buffett? A company history book is a great way to pay tribute to your own Elons and Warrens.
Though it can seem like an overblown way to say thank you, it’s not without benefit to your own company.
You can’t shine a light on the people who have made a tremendous difference to your business without ultimately telling the world how great the company they work for has become.
#13. To Gain and Retain Customer Trust
A company history book can help you gain and retain customer trust.
Shady, fly-by-night businesses won’t go through the trouble of publishing their own volumes. It’s a unique opportunity that only well-established, credible, and time-tested companies have.
#14. To Remember Important Life Lessons Learned From the Past
A great way to avoid repeating mistakes from the past is to remember them. Company history books are great opportunities to take stock of what went down and what to avoid in the future.
Whether you’re contemplating changes in daily operations, organizational structure, or marketing decisions, you can take a few pages from your history book to validate if it is indeed the right move.
#15. To Celebrate Your Journey
You wouldn’t be thinking of coming up with your own company history book if your company didn’t succeed. Most likely, it was a journey full of problems, issues, and even downfalls, yet you emerged from it victorious.
That is a journey worth celebrating, and there is no better way to do it than with a company history book.
Time to Get Started!
There you go — 15 reasons you should have a company history book. As you can see, it’s more than just another coffee-table book. It documents your journey, evolution, and success as a business. It also has loads of benefits for customers, management, employees, investors, and the company itself.
Since it’s an important account of your organization’s history, you should hire someone with the right skill set to write it for you. Your writer-historian should be able to do research, interview key executives and leaders, and present the information well.
At the end of the day, people should be able to easily see what made and continues to make your brand great.
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