Posts Tagged ‘brand’

There’s a new name association game in town that can tell us a whole lot with a little (one word actually). It’s called Brand Tags and you can play the game yourself at http://www.brandtags.net.

The concept here is that the site flashes up a well-known global brand and participants type in the one word that comes to mind when faced with that logo/brand name. There have been 1.7 million brand tags and counting. Once you’ve personally tagged five brands, the real fun begins as you are able to scroll through those 1.7 tags by brand name. Enlightening fodder indeed.

So what do all of these brand tags mean for brand story? They mean that we can and should find brand story themes by listening to our customers.

Let’s take 3M as a case study. If you scroll through 3M’s tags, you’ll notice many words that describe customer perception of 3M – paper, post-it, technology are among the most tagged. But what’s the singularly most tagged word of all for the 3M brand? INNOVATION. Now that sounds like a compelling theme to inform a brand story. And even more importantly than the fact that it’s a compelling theme from which to begin weaving a story is that it came directly from customers of 3M. Which brings us to another major guiding principle of brand storytelling:

The best way to create a truly authentic brand story is by inviting your customers to narrate your story with you.

Your customers’ perceptions and experiences already contribute to the living and evolving story of your brand. And actually, your customers will keep telling stories about your brand whether you invite them to or not. So why not continue to encourage their voices and let those honest and authentic customer experiences guide the themes of your brand stories?

And once you’ve begun (or continue to) identify and refine those core customer experience themes or “brand tags,” the real fun begins: you’ll have some storytelling to do.

Advertisements

“Personal stories make the Ford Story as individual as you are. Read theirs. Submit yours.

Ford has recently launched a new storytelling campaign that is about sharing the stories of those who make Ford trucks part of their everyday lives. And it’s compelling. Just take a look at the OC Fireman profile video at

http://www.thefordstory.com/your-stories/how-we-rely-on-ford-super-duty-trucks-as-fire-fighters/

Sure, you could argue this video portrait is about Ford trucks. But mostly, it isn’t. And that’s the point. It’s about a universal protagonist – firefighters – doing what they do best by selflessly keeping us all safe. And the supporting players that makes it all possible are the Ford trucks they drive to the front lines of fires every day. This is classic story structure at work in a new story-based form of brand building.

A loveable protagonist (Ford’s customers and in this case firefighters) come up against an obstacle: fires that threaten you and me. We’re immediately invested in this protagonist as they are in essence our protectors and well, since 9/11 especially, they are one of the most iconic symbols of goodness in America today. In order to overcome their challenge of keeping the public safe, they need a dependable, strong, sturdy vehicle. Enter Ford trucks. Ford becomes the supporting player that helps the protagonists overcome their challenge and achieve their goal – keeping us safe.

Think for a minute about a story you could tell about a protagonist (your customer) who is overcoming a challenge that affects society at large. How is your product or service helping them achieve their goals? How do their goals help make the world a better place? If you can tell a story that answers these questions, you are one step closer to building your brand through the power of storytelling.

Think of one? Or maybe several? If so, it may be time to discover the best way to share some of your branded stories.

Ladies and gentlemen! Mesdames et messieurs! Signore e signori!

It is my honor to welcome you to a freshly minted brand storytelling insight forum destined to expand the way you view storytelling in company branding – both internally and externally.

Why storytelling?

Well, of the many insights I’ve gained in recent years working as a filmmaker and creative business communicator, one that continually comes to top of mind is this:

In the age of information overload people keep giving and getting more information when what we really want is insight and what we crave is meaning.

Now story, as I define it, is the most meaningful way to communicate information.

Story is how we connect the dots of the facts we are presenting. Without story, they remain merely dots. But once we connect these dots with the lines of emotional context – of protagonist, challenge and success – what we end up with is a  far more meaningful experience indeed.

And so the guiding principles of story and storytelling has guided much of my work as both a filmmaker and creative branding strategist and communicator over the years and I feel it’s high time to both articulate that and celebrate it!

As I prepare to leave my current position at a small creative agency and venture out into many new brand storytelling ventures, I hope to share some of the insights I’ve discovered and will continue to discover along the way.

Enjoy!