The Gospel of Brand
Your Brand story: FACT OR FICTION?
I think in words. Now that might seem painfully obvious at first blush, but deceptively less so once you actually give some thought as to how exactly YOU might think. When faced with an insurmountable obstacle, do you conjure ideas and solutions in the form of letters and words and deftly rolling sentences, or are you more inclined to envision images, illustrations, equations, colours or sounds to help inspire and illuminate the way forward? When staring down the blank page or canvas, are you more motivated by the piercing rallying cry or the billowing battle flag?
Even in business, the creative muse can communicate with us in many different ways. For many, the spark to ignite our passions and convictions is buried within flowing narrative, where the difference between words of wisdom and worlds of opportunity is but a single, strategically placed letter.
This is the strength of the brand story… for while a picture might say a thousand words, is there any guarantee that it’s even saying the right words?
Or that, devoid of context, those words are even being interpreted properly? It’s important to note that while the sword may stab (or in this case the picture of the sword may inflict a paper cut), the pen can set hearts afire and ignite a cause, build communities or erect defensive walls, inspire, enrage, create gods and monsters, and if needed, make them bleed. Plus, as the broken pencil lead in the palm of my left hand (the remnants of a grade 4 classroom argument turned bad) can attest to, the pen also stabs.
So while a visual is indeed valuable, and an arrangement of sounds or music can certainly express a multitude of emotions, great effort should be taken to ensure that these mediums are simply reflections of a deeper, driving main concept. Why trust an image or even a logo to say a thousand right words when the exact words can be written? And for that matter, how can we possibly expect them to convey a story at all when one hasn’t been crafted in the first place? Where marketing without consideration and confirmation of brand reduces its image and effectiveness to just a likely story, an authentic, well thought-out and well-crafted brand story can work internally to re-ignite desire and direction, and outwardly to secure an emotional connection with the right audiences in order to direct them to a particular call to action.
While a ridiculous amount of research has been conducted to prove that there are seven basic plots that a story can follow, an argument can be made that there is in fact but one: Who am I? And even more importantly, Why am I? This too is the true nature and value of the brand story.
Galvanized by the sage wisdom of Hemingway, who wrote “There is nothing to writing… all you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed” while following an intricate (yet deceptively simple) formula for story structure and success of conceptual development we refer to as Unfussy Brand Math©, we’ll use research-driven interpretations and recommendations in conjunction with our natural ability to think in words in order to write your authentic brand story. Here, the beating heart of your brand – a combination of purpose and truths, aspirations, core values and beliefs, and the promise of unique intangible offerings, is captured in an epic saga sure to prove essential in the directional selection of all business and marketing decisions. Whether through paragraphs or pages, the essence, goals and direction of the organization is articulated for shareholder audiences as both a beacon of hope and motivation, and as a corporate manifesto to incite a movement toward new standards of operational excellence. You are the hero, but a hero is defined by their motivations, intentions and actions – and in large part by the very people, places and ideals they serve to protect and uphold. Who needs to hear your message of hope and happiness? What is your promise to them? What daring feats will you accomplish today and tomorrow and every day afterward? How exactly does your story twine with that of your audience – making theirs richer and more fulfilling… and for that, why can’t they live without you?
While not necessarily primed for cut-and-paste external audience readership, the brand story works to inspire and propel the development of additional, targeted communications in the form of a messaging platform supporting tagline and key messaging, campaign headers, elevator pitches, and body copy or content to be used in conjunction with brand-influenced creative concepts and visual identity and design elements to define and animate all sales, marketing, advertising and public relations efforts moving forward.
Written into the brand story are the ties that bind audience to business, loyalty to profit, intangible to tangible, and cause to effect, and through it, the chaos of uncertainty and random marketing output is transformed into the well-ordered beauty of complex ideas and lofty ideals into sound, comprehensive and actionable plans, structured brand and messaging platforms, and bold, purposeful design finely-tuned to the needs and wants of your audience. Here, words quite literally become worlds when derived from relevant in-depth research and understanding, combined with intuitive, joyful creative flair, and used with strategic purpose and meaning to pump not just new life and new ideas into the heart and soul of a person, place or thing, but work to power the face of new visual identities and creative elements, the voice of new messaging and communications, and the intentional actions of targeted marketing effort and delivery. From manifesto to dream journal, ballad, fable or gospel, the words define the story which inspires the reader, awakens their imaginations and ignites a fire in their bellies.
At Unfussy, we think in words to expose the beating heart of your brand… ensuring narrative and visual cohesion in order to simply, properly and effectively determine and execute meaningful marketing action.
It’s fact, not fiction, that when navigating the complex, fluid relationship between internal business effort and external audience interpretations, you need more than a tall tale to promote the attraction and emotional connection of loyal audiences, the building of strong brand communities, and the growth of sales and revenue.
What you need is a good brand story. Contact us to find yours.