Article (Scientific journals)
Strategic storytelling in the age of sustainability
Dessart, Laurence; Standaert, Willem
2023In Business Horizons, 66 (3), p. 371-385
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Keywords :
Marketing; Business and International Management; storytelling; sustainability; branding strategy
Abstract :
[en] Sustainability is high on the strategic agenda and is here to stay. While some companies have been sustainable since inception, others are repositioning themselves to be associated with sustainability values. In both situations, communicating about sustainability is key but requires delicate handling to avoid misleading perceptions. Authenticity and emotions are therefore key dimensions of sustainability communication, which match with strategic storytelling elements. Storytelling is discussed in this article as a powerful mechanism to bring about the desired change in individuals, communities, organizations, and society. Drawing from the literature on storytelling, we present, discuss, and illustrate a framework with four strategic elements for companies that want to be successful with sustainability storytelling, which we refer to as the 4 A’s: Aim (the “why” of the story), Actors (actively engaging stakeholders and associating with partners), Aspiration (using an aspirational context), and Action (using the right media to bring your story to life). We also emphasize that a holistic approach is key to doing sustainability storytelling the right way. We conclude with general recommendations that managers must consider when conducting sustainability storytelling.
Disciplines :
Marketing
Author, co-author :
Dessart, Laurence  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > HEC Liège : UER > UER Management : Marketing et intelligence stratégique
Standaert, Willem ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > HEC Liège : UER > UER Management : Marketing and Strategy
Language :
English
Title :
Strategic storytelling in the age of sustainability
Publication date :
2023
Journal title :
Business Horizons
ISSN :
0007-6813
eISSN :
1873-6068
Publisher :
Elsevier BV
Volume :
66
Issue :
3
Pages :
371-385
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Available on ORBi :
since 20 January 2023

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