5 areas where your brand story lives and grows
No matter what industry you are active in, you have a brand, therefore you also have a brand story. It is a continuously living and growing system that can be transformed and influenced either from within or by external factors. Either it is newly established or with some years behind, it is changing and adapting to new events from inside your organisation and outside, in the open world.
Brand creators take a variety of proactive steps to set a direction for the brand narrative. Some of those steps are experiential marketing (EXM), Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) communication, sponsorships. These actions benefit the brand image if they reflect it properly; they also effectively tell the world about its values and goals. Based on Integrated Storytelling principles, a story is a system of Micro Stories that can independently develop, but all these influence the bigger picture. Below are 5 areas that generate these Micro Stories and expand the brand storyverse.
Teams do not just represent a brand story; they also co-create it. Moreover, each team member has a distinct role. Like story heroes, which direct the course of the narrative, team members play a part through their work and their personalities, contribution to team spirit, and even their own life experiences. They are one of the bridges to the open world outside the brand internal ecosystem.
Partnerships and actions beyond your product and services
As the saying goes – “Tell me who your friends are…”. Strategical cooperations are good for business, but there is more. They are also a great reflection of the brand values and tell us where a brand strives. Partners you work with participate in your brand story and expand it. The results of your collaborations not only bring good business but add another page to your narrative.
Your clients, beyond the reviews and feedback they give you
Similarly to partners, your clients expand our brand stories with their own success. Beyond the 5-star reviews, your story lives and grows through how your collaboration transforms your clients in the long term and develops their narrative.
Changes you create in local and global communities
CSR brought businesses into the social and cultural context as active players. It is not about SoMe banners and hashtags. The real changes are those that make a brand story live in this context. While not anyone can run a worldwide awareness campaign, we encourage you to look in the immediate surroundings where change is needed. Keep in mind that actions speak louder than words. Even more so, when you empower people to take action and make it part of the narrative you share with them.
There are ups and downs in any story, as the classical three-act story arc shows us (See the illustration below). The challenges we go through as people are not our weaknesses; on the contrary, they help us grow and learn. The same applies to brands. Being honest with their audience about their challenges makes brands more authentic; it shows their journey towards growth and how they belong to the same open world we all live in.
Visualization of the Three-Act Structure. Integrated Storytelling by Design, Klaus Sommer Paulsen, 2021, Routledge
Article first published on July 21st, 2021
in The Experience Economist (AdventureLAB’s newsletter)
Author: Ecaterina Capatina (Access LinkedIn profile)
Concept developer and Brand Manager at AdventureLAB
Find more about how Integrated Storytelling can be applied to design a brand story from the new book by Klaus Sommer Paulsen – Integrated Storytelling by Design, published by Taylor & Francis Group on July 7th 2021