We know brand stories are powerful. The science and chemistry tell us as much. And we understand the symbols we need to use to convey what brands stand for and what that says about who we aspire to be. Job done.
Except, when it comes down to it, what most brands get wrong is that they want to be the hero who saves the day…
Yes, stories should be heroic. But stories are by nature selfless. They’re cautionary or inspiring tales of others that show us what to do and what not to do – so we can avoid or do the same.
A selfless brand communicates about the people it exists for, not itself. They’re the true heroes. Elevating them to defeat and overcome whatever obstacles stand in their way in their daily lives is exactly the kind of story brands ought to be telling.
This isn’t to say that there isn’t a place for the brand in its ‘own story’ – the exact opposite. It’s at the heart of it because it’s exactly how the hero is able to overcome. The brand or the product or the service is the enabler for the hero. It’s at the centre of their journey. It’s their armour, it’s their staff. Great and purposeful brands enable.
We see it in public and we privately try to emulate it.
Professional athletes shattering gender perceptions by ‘dreaming crazy’.
Technology’s ability to enable us to express ourselves and create in spite of lockdowns – – because ‘creativity goes on’.
So, forget the Knight.
Design and tell your brand story by becoming the sword.
Help the hero overcome what stands in their way.
Enable a powerful, selfless triumph.
Because that’s exactly what storytelling brands do.