I recently read a well-written book named “Storytelling: Branding in Practice.” As you know “storytelling” is a buzzword in brand strategy. Unfortunately, it is an often-used yet seldom-understood concept. “Branding Through Storytelling” is a nice “how to” guide to finding, unlocking and leveraging corporate stories to support brand strategy.
You may ask why storytelling is so important? The authors claim that by sharing our stories, we define “who we are” and “what we stand for”. This has been the case since tribal ages. As we live in a complex and ever changing world, now “brand stories” gradually become synonymous with how we define ourselves as individuals, and brands become the symbols that we use to tell our stories. By preferring certain brands, we associate ourselves with certain values. Brand stories become handy by building a bridge between the company and the consumer.
From company point of view, stories reflect the values of the brand and communicate consistently what the brand stands for – both internally and externally. This is particularly important, because for many companies, values are merely fancy words. They look good and sound catchy on corporate websites, presentations and annual reports. But they are just WORDS. You hear them and 5 minutes later you forget them. That’s why many companies create words that represent their values by using acronyms. On the other hand, when you tell a genuine story about a time when the company actually walked the talk, you inject real meaning into those “words.”
So how do you gather these stories? The easiest way is to interview key employees who have been with the company for a long time. But the book gives you some nice examples of how large corporations have built-in systems to find and unlock stories. It is an easy and fun read. Go grab a copy!