Creating an Emotions Driven Brand isn’t Just a Marketing Job. Your Brand Story Must be Integral to Organization-Wide Strategies and Tactics

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It’s been shown again and again, the stronger the brand, the stronger the business. Managing your brand today requires an orchestration of filling every part of your organization with the qualities of your brand Story; not just your traditional marketing communications channels. In other words, brand – and business – management today is about 360° Brand Story Building™.

emotions, emotional, market research, stories, storytelling, branding, brand

360° Brand Story Building

At its very best and most powerful, your Story transcends time, culture, and location because it speaks to those ageless and unchanging truths about the human experience.

When you’re choosing a new business affiliate or alliance, do you think about your brand story? When you’re setting your social responsibility and sustainability priorities, do you think about your brand story? When you design your employee orientation and training courses, do you think about your brand story?

In a new white paper, 360° Brand Story Building™, Edward Wachtman and Sheree Johnson of StoryTellings™ Consulting, Mark Campbell of Solaia Consulting and Deneen Allen of Watermark Hospitality have brought together their extraordinary depth and breadth of experience to challenge the notion of the marketing function having the sole responsibility for brand building. In the paper, the authors discuss how to discover, design and execute a brand story -- rich in emotion -- into the strategic as well as tactical decisions organizations make, beyond and including marketing.

Citing examples from Nature’s Path, Aman Resorts, Patagonia, Jack Daniel’s and other brands, the authors illustrate how to translate the mythic qualities of a brand into the operations.

It starts with discovering your brand story. Ms. Johnson of StoryTellings™ Consulting says, “A quick Internet search of companies reveals that many view their brand story as a version of their company histories. Interesting as these histories of the founding and evolution of the company may be, they are not your brand Story.”

The authors talk about brand story as the “big S” story. It’s the narrative that, in the telling, portrays the heart and soul of the brand and emotionally connects your brand with the consumer. Mr. Wachtman of StoryTellings™ Consulting notes, “At its very best and most powerful, your Story transcends time, culture, and location because it speaks to those ageless and unchanging truths about the human experience—those mythic experiences such as birth, death, growing up, growing old, kinship, struggling against all odds, etc.”

When asked how companies discover and articulate their brand story, Mr. Wachtman continues, “Great brand stories start with great research. The purpose of this research is to identify the ways in which customers connect emotionally to your product or service category and then to the brand itself. The best brand Story research uses analytic techniques borrowed from the disciplines of literary criticism, mythography, depth psychology, and educational research.”

“Once you understand the mythic qualities of your brand Story,” continues Ms. Allen of Watermark Hospitality, “you have the essential building blocks for consistent operational decisions. For example, Amanresorts, one of the premier luxury hotel companies in the world, continually delights its guests with special places that embody their brand Story of the nomad and explorer who seeks deeper cultural meaning. Amanresorts carefully weaves place and time with sensory experiences to deliver on their brand Story.”

As a further example, Mr. Campbell of Solaia Consulting talks about Nike + iPod, “This partnership works because the Nike and Apple brand Stories are complementary. Nike’s brand Story and Apple’s brand Story both embrace risk and mastery and address a core desire to have a special impact on the world. Both companies create superior products that empower their customers to bring out the very best in themselves. Taken together, these two brand Stories increase the already strong emotional connections both companies make with consumers.“

To sum up, Ms. Johnson notes, “First, get clear about your brand Story and what you are relentlessly pursuing. Then tell your Story consistently in everything you do. If you build your story, you will build your business.”

Click here to download the white paper: 360° Brand Story Building


Edward Wachtman co-founder and partner of StoryTellings™ Consulting will be speaking at the June 24, 2010 meeting of the Advertising Effectiveness Council in New York. Mr. Wachtman will discuss how the StoryTellings™ research methodology provides deep insights to ad development teams for concept development.


Deneen Allen is the Principal of Watermark Hospitality Inc. Watermark works with hospitality and tourism clients to bring their Brand Stories to life through facilities design, product development and guest experience programming.

Mark Campbell is the Principal of Solaia Consulting. Solaia helps companies articulate their unique Brand Story and craft marketing and communications solutions to meaningfully differentiate the brand and create enduring bonds with customers.

Sheree Johnson and Edward Wachtman are Partners in StoryTellings™ Consulting. StoryTellings™ helps organizations discover their Brand Story and the unconscious emotional motivations that drive consumer and employee behavior.

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