Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ten Elements of a Compelling Brand Story, Part 2

By now, you should be well on your way to setting pen to paper (more likely, fingers to keyboard) to write your own brand story. If you have any doubts, please understand that creating this story isn’t a pointless exercise, but rather a way of thinking about your brand in a new light. Why bother? Because it will help you tap into the most lucrative market segment in history: the Baby Boomers.

6. Be sincere. If you believe in your story and are convinced by it, your audience will be, too. So express yourself in a genuine way that’s honest, straightforward and earnest.

7. Radiate enthusiasm. Don’t confuse this with rah-rah cheerleading and over-the-top excitement. Real enthusiasm springs from the soul with gusto, making your brand story even more lively, interesting and inspiring. If you communicate a passion for your brand, others will feel it, and react accordingly.

8. Say it with style. There’s nothing wrong with understatement, but if you don’t pull it off artfully, you risk boring Boomers, and that’s communication death. Fact is, most of the time, a little pizzazz goes a long way, so speak in a vigorous voice. Make your story spirited, exciting, eye-catching, enchanting. See everything in your mind’s eye, including sounds, tastes, smells, colors, then paint vivid word pictures with vibrant language. Make the audience feel what you’re talking about. Make every word the perfect word. Imbue each sentence with a mellifluous rhythm and resonance. And, of course, don’t just talk about what’s happening, show it.

9. Respect the audience. When it comes to advertising and marcom, Boomers have seen and heard it all, so they can be an impatient bunch. Respect their time and attentiveness by telling your brand story as concisely and cogently as possible. And don’t clutter your story with too much detail. Boomers are bright, well-educated, worldly people, so you can trust them to draw the proper conclusions based on what you’ve presented. If you think you need to say a lot to be convincing, watch Pixar’s UP. It provides an ideal example of wordless storytelling in a lengthy montage of the main character’s life from childhood, through marriage and into old age. Without saying a word, it’s as meaningful and moving as any book you’ve ever read.

10. Keep it real. This isn’t to say that your story can’t make a crazy leap or take a flight of fancy (see Pixar’s UP), but the theme and basic message that the audience takes away has to be something they can realistically relate to. The believability factor is crucial to the success of your brand story. So, develop a style that’s uniquely yours. Live with your brand story until the characters and their world become as real to you as people and places you’ve known all your life. Make the story real for yourself, and you’ll be able to keep it real for others.

Now that you know what it takes to be a good storyteller, it’s time to write the story of your brand. If you feel that you don’t have the time or talent, find someone who does, because storytelling is one of the most effective ways to connect with Baby Boomers, and that’s like money in the bank.


Kevin Atteridg said...

Definitely some great tips! Both part 1 & 2!

Vince Vassolo said...

Thanks Kevin, I'm glad you enjoy. I see you're a writer as well. Hopefully you can take something out of my postings and create your own style.