It’s not just the brand story but how you tell it

Brand storytelling (MW 7 July) is an intuitive tool for managing the complexity of modern marketing in an interactive, multi-platform, multi-channel age.

However, there is a subtle difference between storytelling that uses narrative thinking to structure a brand and its marketing activity; and corporate storytelling that illustrates company valuesin a compelling way (as Diageo has done).

To do either well, brands need to break their story down into narrative, plot and telling style. Narrative involves the meaning, moral or premise of a story and is linked to a dramatic conflict that is partially resolved when the consumer chooses a brand.

The plotting stage deals with how units of the narrative play out across media and on interaction with the consumer.

Finally, a consistent and ownable “telling style” allows consumers to recognise the brand whenever they encounter the story.

Ed Woodcock, strategy director, Aesop

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