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Storytelling in the Construction Industry: How Stories can unleash Potential
Building & Real Estate Campfire – Employer Branding 11 January 2024

Storytelling in the Construction Industry: How Stories can unleash Potential

We can look back on a turbulent year. The third in a row, which brings with it crises and challenges, now that I think about it. It is hardly surprising that the socio-political situation also has an impact on the economy in our country. Hardly any sector is exempt from this. If we look at the construction industry, we see that these facades are also beginning to crumble.

From exploding building material prices and increasingly scarce building materials to the growing shortage of skilled workers, this sector has a lot to shoulder. Added to this is the omnipresent inflation, which makes planning and forecasting difficult. However, the fact is that the economy is and will be characterized by stagnation rather than growth both in 2023 and probably also in 2024. Rising cancellations in residential and single-family house construction are the driving forces behind this.

Baukultur Vergangenheit Zukunft Agentur Berlin - Storytelling in the Construction Industry: How Stories can unleash Potential
Source: Life of Pix on Pexels

There are already various measures in place at a political level to counteract this negative trend, such as the goals of the “Alliance for Affordable Housing”, which has been a project of the traffic light coalition since the beginning of 2022. However, the companies themselves can also make a contribution and renovate themselves through storytelling in the construction industry.

In today’s digital world, where information is ultimately available in abundance, it is more important than ever for companies to stand out from the competition. The art of storytelling is an effective way to do this. Stories have always fascinated and touched people. In this blog post, we will look at how storytelling can be used in the construction industry to attract customers, build trust and bring projects to life.

Bauprojekt Lebendige Historie Agentur Berlin - Storytelling in the Construction Industry: How Stories can unleash Potential
Source: Pixabay on Pexels

This is how much Potential Storytelling has in the Construction Industry

When we think of the construction industry, the first things that probably come to mind are cold concrete, loading cranes, minimalist high-rise buildings, heavy tools and flying steel shavings. So at first glance, not particularly emotional or sexy. But when we consider what comes out of such construction projects, then we should actually think about this industry in a completely different way. After all, long-planned and eagerly awaited dream houses, modern think tanks for the next economic miracle, magnificent government buildings full of prestige and historic buildings that will outlive us all are being built here.

So if we want to transform the cold steel and concrete into warmth, life, laughter and sparkle, the best way to do this is through stories and addressing needs. After all, we love to learn more about personal anecdotes, realized career ladders and values that connect us.

Schwäbisch Hall understood this principle many years ago and addressed customers’ hidden desires directly with the “You’re not buying a house” commercial. In this video, the building society opens viewers’ eyes to what is important when building their own four walls, because there is so much more to a new home.

5 Tips on how Companies can use Storytelling to their Advantage

1. Establish an emotional connection: A good story arouses emotions and creates a relationship between the company and potential customers. In the construction industry, stories about successful projects or inspiring clients can help clients identify with a company and develop trust.

2. Communicate the vision: Storytelling also allows companies in the construction industry to communicate their vision and values in an authentic way. Through stories, anecdotes and evidence from their day-to-day work, they can show what drives them and why they are unique. This helps to attract potential customers who share similar values and can identify with the company’s vision. A look into the past also helps to show what kind of hero’s journey the company has already gone through and how the identity was created.

3. Simplify complex information: The construction industry often involves complex technical information that can be difficult for laypeople to understand. Storytelling offers the opportunity to convey this information in an accessible and entertaining way. Stories can simplify complex concepts and make them understandable, which helps potential buyers make better-informed decisions.

Bauprojekt Emotionales Storytelling Agentur Berlin - Storytelling in the Construction Industry: How Stories can unleash Potential
Source: Mikael Blomkvist on Pexels

4. Highlight the people behind the projects: Behind every construction project are individuals with unique stories. Whether they are architects, builders or craftsmen. Focusing on these people helps to build a connection on a human level and turn materials into faces. Storytelling about talented employees, their qualifications and their passion for their work appeals to potential customers and partners on an emotional level.

5. Customer references and success stories: Stories and reports from satisfied customers and successful projects can show how the construction company meets the needs of its clients and what positive impact this has had on their business or quality of life. They also show that a company keeps its promises and works successfully.

Branding by Matthäi

A good example of how brands develop an identity through stories and stand out from the competition is the construction company Matthäi. Through its history as a family business, it represents its clearly defined and communicated values such as quality and reliability. This allows outsiders to get a clear idea of what it is like to work at or with the company. The Group writes: “Our actions are characterized by a clear attitude and unambiguous values. Quality in work, community in living together, sustainability for a future worth living and regional roots are what set Matthäi apart.”

To give this principle even more weight, the construction group has set out these values in the Matthäi Declaration of Values. The Matthäi Group and its employees are committed to upholding and promoting these values. It quickly becomes clear on the website that the construction company’s focus is on people and team spirit. Both through headlines and statements such as “We see ourselves as a community – like a family business” or “Focusing on people”, but also through the imagery, which comes across as very likeable, approachable and authentic.

Baukultur Erfolgreiche Projekte Matthaei 1 - Storytelling in the Construction Industry: How Stories can unleash Potential
Source: Website Matthäi

Baukultur Erfolgreiche Projekte Matthaei 2 - Storytelling in the Construction Industry: How Stories can unleash Potential
Source: Website Matthäi

Your own Hero’s Journey – Communicating hurdles and Mistakes openly

Another remarkable and positive aspect to be emphasized is Matthäi’s examination of his past. On the dedicated page “Learning from history”, the organization addresses the fact that the founding brothers Hermann and Rudolf Matthäi accepted commissions for the Nazi leadership in 1933. They write: “This means that our company bears responsibility for having supported the National Socialist regime and profited from it economically. We will not forget this responsibility. It is part of our corporate development and, above all, a lasting obligation that we try to live up to through our actions.”

By promoting projects for education, diversity and research, they put this into action and advocate the approach: “Knowledge and education are the most powerful instruments against all forms of extremism”.

“For us, learning from history means doing even better in the future. We therefore not only promote lifelong learning on our construction sites and offices, but it has been an integral part of our identity for many years – also and in particular due to our company history. Time does not heal wounds. Nor does it alleviate guilt. But it gives us the opportunity to build something better. And we are grateful for that.”

Sustainability and Social Responsibility in the Construction Industry

Especially at a time when sustainability and social responsibility are becoming increasingly important, it is crucial to establish an emotional connection with customers. This is also or even especially true in the construction industry. After all, it has a major impact due to the mass of materials and resources it consumes. Both the appeal from politicians and the plans of construction companies show that the focus will shift to sustainable construction. The entire life cycle of a building is considered in terms of CO2 emissions for building materials, space and energy.

Bauwirtschaft Nachhaltigkeit Story Agentur Berlin - Storytelling in the Construction Industry: How Stories can unleash Potential
Source: Website Geiger Gruppe

The Geiger Group is driving sustainability forward as a project close to its heart, with the slogan: “We are creating the circular society”. The website focuses on the path to the future. The continuous change that the company has undergone for 100 years is constantly emphasized. Geiger has also established its own sustainability management department directly under the management, which is responsible for ecological, economic and social projects and the path towards greenhouse neutrality. Geiger has taken concrete measures to achieve this goal and has been certified by the Bavarian State Office for the Environment for trading in ecopoints since 2021. In this way, the construction company creates a very authentic appearance that builds trust with website visitors.

Firmengeschichte im Storytelling Agentur Berlin - Storytelling in the Construction Industry: How Stories can unleash Potential
Source: Skitterphoto on Pexels


We see that companies can communicate their messages effectively and accessibly through stories about sustainable construction projects and their efforts to protect the environment and assume social responsibility. But the following also applies beyond this: good storytelling is required for companies in the construction industry to establish themselves as attractive (employer) brands, create a bond with their customers, partners and (potential) employees and make themselves memorable to people. This is the only way to transform materials and building projects that initially appear cold and static into warm feelings of home, belonging and the future.

We recently carried out a detailed analysis of the implementation of storytelling on the careers pages of the top 20 German companies in the construction industry with the highest turnover. In our latest Storytelling Report, you can read which companies perform best when it comes to attracting talent and potential employees and which still have some catching up to do in terms of employer branding and storytelling in the construction sector.

The results of our storytelling report in the construction industry and how the 20 construction companies with the highest turnover use storytelling on their careers pages can be found in the corresponding blog post on employer branding in the construction industry.

Read Laurence’s blog post to find out how storytelling works in the real estate industry and creates dream homes.

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