Branding is All About the Story

I have always thought that storytelling was an important part of branding. In fact, much of my work over the last couple of years has been around brand storytelling. And while much of this has had a digital component (or was largely digital in execution), I relied on an understanding of storytelling, brand building and marketing to piece the whole approach together. But fundamentally, you need to have a product or a service that can be talked about. You need something to build your story around. And in the space between the story and the consumer, you have the "experience". It is the experience that is a moment of sharing between your brand and your consumers (more on this in the upcoming The Future of Your Brand is Content).

The way this works is by adding value to the point of interaction within the life of a consumer. For example, when I rode a Ducati motorcycle, I loved it. It made me love the brand. There was nothing like that small adrenaline rush I got while riding. The street cred was awesome. And you could see it in the eyes of everyone around you (and in the eyes of your fellow Ducatisti). But what happens if you have a product that isn’t sexy? How do you find a way to build that connection with your consumers and allow them to tell your story?

In this great presentation above, Paul Isakson provides the answer — "add value through content". Now, of course this is easier said than done, but Paul also provides some great examples of campaigns that are already doing just that — Nike, My Vegas and the Dominos Pizza Tracker. But for all those agencies out there, just remember there are pitfalls — see content will kill your agency.

Update: Iain Tait has a nice post that tracks the rise of the ad agency from the boom in the 60s and asks what a NEW agency would look like now (via Kevin Rothermel).