Company Success Stories-A Lesson from Clif Bar

Have you ever thought about company success stories? Most of us are captivated by the startup company “started in a garage and became a millionaire” type stories. I wasn’t looking for an object lesson, but I found one in an interesting place.

I snagged a Clif Bar to munch on before the Run for Kids 50k this past weekend, and as I read the package (I know, I’m a nerd) I was instantly transformed from a casual snacker to a believer in the Clif Bar mission (a little dramatic, but you get the general idea). Below is a slightly modified version of what is on the packaging of ever Clif Bar and package they sell.

You read it and tell me that you don’t feel some sort of connection on a deeper, personal level with the company and what they believe in:

In 1990, I lived in a garage with my dog, skis, climbing gear, bicycle and two trumpets. The inspiration to create an energy bar occurred during a day-long, 175-mile ride with my buddy Jay. We’d been gnawing on some “other” energy bars. Suddenly despite my hunger, I couldn’t take another bite. That’s the moment I now call “the epiphany”. Two years later, after countless hours in Mom’s kitchen, Clif Bar became a reality. And the mission to create a better-tasting energy bar was accomplished. Thanks, Mom!

Clif Bar has grown since 1990, and still the spirit of adventure that began on that ride continues to thrive each day. As the company evolves, we face many choices, yet we always do our best to take care of our people, our community and our environment. Gary – Owner of Clif Bar Inc.

Now, I don’t know about you, but we don’t sell snacks. We don’t have packaging (if you ever figure out how to package a Blackhawk instructor pilot’s services, please let me know!). So how do we share our own company success story with our employees and customers?

It all depends on your preferences. You can start using a new hire welcome letter. You can hold town hall meetings. Whatever you decide to do, don’t forget the importance of tying emotion into the story. Memories that are tied to emotions are more strongly embedded in the receiver’s brain. When you read the Clif Bar story above, you’re filled with a sense of pride and excitement at the struggles they faced and overcame.

Think about your own company’s story. Can you tell it in a way that makes people excited to hear and share it with others? 

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