The Brand Story – A Story Worth Telling


Every business has a story to tell

Everyone loves a good story and why not? The stories are entertaining,

informative, engaging and above all human; they connect people to

people and businesses to customers. Stories are about communication

and communication is the essence of marketing.

We have at our disposal the best communication tool in the world

never known, the Internet, and we waste it. Websites are used as if

they were company brochures. The techno-experts would even like us

remove its visual and kinetic elements and transform it into an academic style

journal to appeal to SEO gurus. We went there and we did.

Search engine optimization is great, but who is going to go to your

website if it is boring to browse and tedious to use. It is time to move on.

A place of communication for the rest of us

The Web is a place of multimedia communication, and with the increase

bandwidth and broadband connections, we can use it effectively to

transmit our marketing messages. But communication is a funny thing,

just because we speak, write and present information does not mean that we


Since I advocate storytelling as a way to deliver your

marketing messages, I will illustrate my point – you guessed it – with a

story. In his book “Information Anxiety”, Richard Saul Wurman relates the

the following story attributed to U.S. Representative Pat Swindall, of


“A woman who is filing for divorce went to see her lawyer. The first question

he asked him was, “Do you have any grounds? “

She said, “Yes, about two acres. “

“Maybe I’m not clear,” he said, “Do you have a grudge? “

“No, but we have a carport,” she replied.

‘Let me try again. Does your husband beat you? ‘ he said impatiently.

– No, usually I get up before him, she said.

At this point, the lawyer decided to try a different tactic. ‘Madam, are you

sure you really want a divorce? ‘

“I don’t want it at all, but my husband does. He claims that we have

difficulty communicating. ‘”

That’s a beautiful story ; it offers everything a good story should communicate:

a meeting, information, emotions and the truth about the human being

state. The only thing that would make this story more effective is if it

was delivered by a human voice that could add character, emphasis,

and personality.

Marketing is nothing more than telling your story in an effective way that

integrates your identity into the minds of your audience, connecting and

communicate who you are, what you do and why your audience

should do it with you. Branding and positioning are the results, not

the process.

So tell me a story – It’s all in the delivery

One of the great storytellers of the last forty years is a radio host

and commentator, Paul Harvey. In his hay, he had everything one

great storyteller needed to make a memorable impression: the voice, the

cadence, attitude, writing and “schtick”.

He presented his comments as if he were reading the newspaper,

even, reading the page numbers when he came back from

commercial, “Page Two.” He created his stories by introducing the

listener to a character in the most casual manner, perhaps referring to

him by a diminutive first name. At the end of the story, he

tell you who that person really was and invariably it was someone

famous, and the story he told revealed something unusual or hidden in

the background of that person. Each story had a strong point of view, and

each comment ended with the slogan “… and now you know

the rest of the story. ”Paul Harvey’s little radio commentaries are

prime example of Sonic Personality ©

“Content is not a communication”

Web Experts Still Talk About ‘Content’ And How ‘Content Is King’

on the Web, but as Curt Cloninger wrote in his article “A Case for Web

The “content of the narrative is not a communication”.

The content stays there until it is proactively delivered, and

the plain text content on your website is as far from proactive as it gets.

Stories must be communicated effectively if you are to deliver your

desired message. Left alone, your audience will scan, jump,

misinterpret and generally overlook the point you are trying to convey.

The only effective way to make sure your audience doesn’t misinterpret

the message of your story is to deliver it with a human voice: one with

character, cadence, accent, language and an attitude that represents

who are you. A well-told story creates expectations and relevance; this

creates an image and identity, and focuses on the business promise you

must complete.

Counterfeiters don’t need to apply

As good as your storyteller is, he or she cannot overcome a fake. You

should be honest with who you are and what you really do. Each company

has an operational character and ethics. Trying to communicate a

message that conflicts with this corporate character is a prescription for

failure. Apple and Dell are two good companies, but Apple Computer is

cutting edge; Dell is not. Walmart and The Gap are successful

companies, but The Gap is cool and Walmart is Walmart. No matter how

hard a company tries, they can’t be what they aren’t, and try

can only create false expectations, confusion and failure.

A plan to create your brand story

Whether you write the story yourself or hire someone to write it for

you first need to gather the necessary materials. The easiest way to

to collect material is to create a series of questions which, when answered

reveal the brand’s history. Think of the process as an interview.

Maintaining the brand’s history

1. What was the original vision of the company?

2. Who were the founding fathers of the company?

3. How was the business created?

4. What was the guiding entrepreneurial philosophy?

5. Is there a creative genius or technical assistant behind your vision?

6. What is the big idea behind your product or service?

7. What does your product or service do for your target audience?

8. Is your vision based on the quality, cost or uniqueness of your

a. Some products,

b. Services,

vs. Knowledge, or

D. Delivery system?

9. Has your goal changed since the inception of the business?

10. What is your vision for the future?

Once the material is collected, it must then be put into story form. You are

you don’t write research paper, nor do you create ad copy. You are

tell a story, and as such it should be written as a story. If like

suggested that you deliver the story using audio, you should write it for

speech and not for printing. There are a variety of multimedia

styles that can be used ranging from Paul’s radio commentary style

Harvey to Ken Burns documentary style PBS starring

accompanying graphics and photographs.

It’s not just the story, it’s how you tell it

If you’ve ever tried to tell a joke you’ve heard from a professional comedian

and messed up, you know how important it is to tell a story. It’s not

just the words; it is the rhythm, the cadence, the accent, the intonation, the point of view,

and an attitude that makes the story funny, memorable, interesting or


Our previous article entitled “The Sound of Business” details

how the concept of Sonic Personality © delivers marketing and brand messages

Stories in a compelling, inventive, entertaining and memorable way. This

explains the power of the human voice and the need to integrate it

in your website.

The LED is the message

It is hard to believe that there are companies of any size or

sophistication that do not have a website, but it is even more difficult to

understand how so many companies with websites, have no idea what

the web is.

The Web is generally described in technical terms, but in fact the Web is

simply a place designed for communication, a place where

conversations take place, where information is exchanged and where

transactions are carried out. If you can accept the idea that the Web

exists to continue your communication efforts, it goes without saying that

delivering your story is the raison d’être of your website. And without the

the sound of the human voice, the delivery of connective emotional content,

and the transmission of intelligent, interesting, useful, entertaining and

compelling stories, the web is a wasteland, a

random confusion environment.

Source by Jerry Bader

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