In the Hard Thing about Hard Things by Ben Horowitz, he says "comapnies that don't have a clearly articulated story don't have a well-thought-out strategy. The company story is the company strategy." With that said, that is a good starting point to consider. Your story must explain at a fundamental level why you exist. Why does the world need your company? Why do we need to be doing what we're doig and why is it important?
Working with product management to make sure the story we are communicating maps to the strategic roadmap, connecting with sales and making sure we are capturing the customer insights in the narrative and connecting with CS to ensure the customer experience is reflected.
You begin with the customer - either buyer, user, or both, depending on the objective of your messaging. We should definitely consult with internal experts in product, sales, customer success, and other customer-facing teams. However, it is important to take their input as one source of information.
Messaging is actually the middle step of product storytelling. The order of formulating a story starts with:
Positioning - How do we want our product to be perceived in the market? What unique value do we deliver relative to alternatives? What is our story?
Messaging - How do we communicate the value? How does our product help the user solve their problem? What buyer objections must our story overcome?
Copy - What words do we use to deliver the message? How do we describe the solution on multiple communication channels?
In summary, always start with the customer in mind, and start with the why. Check out this great piece on how people don’t buy products - they buy a better version of themselves.
Our messaging and positioning starts with this framework below. We combined messaging and positioning into one document and have it built out for each product, solution, and industry. We engage with product management to start and confirm the value proposition, key personas and their pain points based on current learnings from customers. Then we validate our messaging with sales, presales to gain insights into prospect conversations.
This has become the guide for the content/editorial team and the other teams in marketing to help articulate business value.