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June 27, 2017

How Emerging Brands Build Magnetic Brand Stories | Part Two

Influence By Design, Thoughts and Ideas on Brand Innovation | Continued

How to Build Your Emerging Brand Story Platform.

To understand why a brand storytelling platform is useful and powerfully effective, it’s first important to understand what it is not. A brand storytelling platform is not a tagline; not an ad campaign; media strategy; not copywriting; not marketing communications; not visual images.

A brand story telling platform is not customer/consumer-facing at all. Instead, it is the brand owner’s strategic discipline that narrates and guides the relationship between a growing brand and its audiences.

Defining such a core strategy begins with careful research. It doesn’t have to be complex, in fact it begins with the basics– the audience, brand and category. What’s going on with these factors? What don’t you know? Where are the drivers of brand relevance and resonance. Why does your story matter and to whom? These questions must be thoroughly probed and evaluated with the objectivity and rigor of journalistic and social science.

This type of exploratory investigation and observation will establish a baseline of facts for you to bring out the brand’s unique narrative.

But facts alone are not enough. You must also have insight from intuition, knowledge, experience and empathy on your customer’s hero journey. To do that, brand owners and stakeholders from every area and specialty of the enterprise must gather in one place and have meaningful conversation and debate to determine:

• The emotional drivers and connections customers/consumers have that lead them to engagement and purchase in the category.

• The consumer’s quest or hero’s journey

• The core purpose for brand to exist (beyond profit).

• The ways and venues customers/consumers encounter and experience the brand.

• The brand archetype that defines the personality and character of the brand.

• The “one and only thing” customers receive from the brand they highly value and can’t get anywhere else.

These discussions should be facilitated and represent every part of the company that influences the brand’s behavior in the marketplace– executive management, sales, product development, operations, distribution, customer service and so on.

Rich insights from all stakeholders not only improves the quality and depth of the conversation, it also builds support and consensus for the outcome across the enterprise. This level of enterprise-wide buy-in is absolutely essential for success because an emerging brand’s story must be deeply anchored with internal audiences if it is to translate and connect with external audiences.

The Bottom Line.

Advertising is under enormous pressure to adapt to the new marketing realities of the digitally connected world. There is no longer any reason to use terms like “digital”– it’s all digital now. The new normal for marketers is about creating useful non-marketing- brand-owned content that tells a transcendent brand story and fosters long-term relationships with audiences.

For owners of emerging brands to do this effectively will require them to adopt disciplined strategic processes and storytelling techniques that that unite business goals and brand attributes with deep audience interests, needs and passions.