PULL Inc. Blog

What’s at the center of your brand storytelling strategy?

by Thomson Dawson

in Brand Strategy, Marketing Communications

Every enduring story is based on a transcendent idea that’s bigger than the story itself. The elements of any story – characters, plot, environment – can clarify, focus, and influence the idea expression, but it’s the big idea that drives the story. Not the other way around.

An enduring brand story brings an “idea of value” to life where it will be experienced by people who care about its purpose and spread its shared-values to others. Storytelling is at the white-hot center of how humans share ideas that matter and build relationships between them. As marketers, we invest tremendous energy and resources into the act of storytelling.

All story forms–movies, books, ads, even tweets– have a core idea that brings purpose to telling the story in the first place. This is especially true for brand stories. It’s about a bigger idea. Some call it the “true north”, the vision, archetype, the essence of the brand, but the core idea behind the brand story is the centerpiece of what makes a value proposition irresistible.

From the startup in its early stages, to an established global brand–storytelling leads the way forward but the idea of value is its path. This is not about advertising budgets. Millions have been spent telling the wrong story about a valuable idea to the right people.

The methods, execution and production of things that tell brand stories have forever changed. We now live in an idea economy driven by digital social interactions. Brands with big ideas of value catch fire at light speed, lead markets and build unimaginable market value wealth for all stakeholders. Me-too brands crash and burn.

Big ideas change cultures and then we tell stories about it. Ideas of value first, brand story second. At the center of all your communications– advertising, press releases, investor reports, packaging, events, customer service – the big idea your brand represents must be the main character in your brand’s story.

Editor’s Note:
PULL offers a one-day-issue-based intensive workshop designed to guide marketing communications leaders and teams to better define and express a compelling story that informs and guides the verbal and visual development of brand communications at all touch points. For information email Thomson Dawson.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bill Jerome October 12, 2012 at 5:26 pm

The core idea for the most successful brands is not so much a story but the celebration of the “brand experience.” You might consider the points raised at http://visionarygrowth.net/archives/216

Thomson Dawson October 12, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Thanks Bill for leaving your comment. I read your article… it’s spot on and I reccommend it to all who find your link here.

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