The only brand strategy that really counts is the one in people's minds when they come to making a decision.
The power base of every great brand is built on a story. Stories live at the centre of all persuasive communication, and great leaders have always known about stories. Martin Luther King said, "I have a dream..." and a nation stopped and listened. Great brands have a persuasive, enduring story. Told well, the story of the brand is central to the position and the competitive advantage of the brand. Managed well, the story holds consistently to its truth but is regularly refreshed in its telling.
Over time, the story can be retold and its interest kept contemporary in short hand. A page in a magazine, or a billboard, or a 15 second TV commercial can capture the essence of an established brand's story, without even a word of copy.
Richard Branson tells a challenging story. His Virgin brand of irreverence and 'cut to the chase' offers an ever-evolving story. The same tongue-in-cheek irreverence coloured the 'good for you' story of Nudie. Aldi arrived in town to challenge the big two supermarkets. With a gutsy price-philosophy, their story flowed into the word of mouth of local shoppers.
Penfold Grange is built on a classic story. A product with a story of human endeavours and timeless investment in grape growing and winemakers skill. A product you pay a globally recognized premium for and then trust that when opened it will deliver on its promise. And when it does you can't wait to tell the story.
The story is not the facts of the company - how many employees, when the company started etc. It is the soul and the why of your company.
A few key points to consider:
- Do you know your story and your audiences?
- Are you telling the same story with your employees?
- Are they telling the same story as your customers?
- Is your story authentic?
- Is your story engaging your audience?
- Do your actions deliver on your message?
In the end there are three things about a great story:
- People want to hear it
- People want to tell it
- People want to participate in it.