By Rex Hammock

As a marketer, no doubt you’ve noticed an increase in the use of the term “brand story” during the past decade. We have. In fact, for several years, the first thing you’d see when entering our offices were these words displayed on the wall: “Your story starts here …”

Story is a great metaphor for what goes into creating and growing a brand. Unlike an earlier era when brand and logo were often confused, brand story underscores that a brand is much more than what’s in a graphic standards manual.

Perhaps companies need a brand-story standards manual based on the same ingredients found in great literature: Characters, setting, plot, conflict and theme. Using this approach to brand storytelling would be an ongoing way to use various forms of media to reinforce elements found in all great stories.

The characters of your brand story would be your employees and customers—as well as the “bad guys” who create the problems your customers face. The setting would be those places and times where customers discover the needs your product solves. The plot would move toward keeping your product relevant to the challenges customers face.

Most important, your brand’s stories would always reflect your company’s core theme—its central idea or belief. In business, we have another term for theme: mission.

Remember how much you loved to hear great stories, well told, when you were young? That’s how much your customers will love to hear about your product if your brand is part of a great story.


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