By Jed Morley, CMO at Consensus
This 10-part article explains how to create a compelling brand story for your company, products and services. Great brands are great stories that are always in the process of being told, refreshed and continued. Great brand stories are easy to recognize and sometimes happen intuitively, but a clear framework can improve your chances of success.
If you missed it, read 10 Ways to Build a Winning Brand Story: Part 5 of 10
Part 6 of 10: The Brand Story or Brand Narrative, Messaging and Brand Pillars
Once you’ve built the core elements of the brand, you’re ready to start creating more complex brand elements. The first of these in the verbal realm is the back-story or brand narrative—and then messaging.
The narrative is a synopsis of the total brand story and how it expresses across all channels and audiences through the core brand elements. The narrative relates those elements to the company’s mission, vision and values. It creates some structure around the brand so you get a sense for where the brand came from and where it’s going. Gathering the back-story in one place is the proof for your brand strategy: it gives you a sense for how all of these elements are working together. It also gives you a sense for how they can live in different places as stand-alone, yet complementary pieces of your story.
The key message is the brand promise—that’s the highest-level message. The other value propositions, which are tried to other themes within the brand story, are also expressed as supporting messages and proofs. Messaging is a framework of verbal information about the brand organized in a way that supports the promise and other value propositions that live around the promise. Messaging is an extension of your brand story.
You define your messages by deconstructing your brand story into its component parts. These messages are factual aspects of the brand to communicate verbally or to create perceptions around.
Messaging is information expressed in clear language. Copy is where you interpret those messages creatively in the voice of the brand—the unique tone that expresses the brand personality in words.
Brand Pillars are brand strengths. Typically 2-4 in number, these brand drivers serve as key themes in developing the brand story and organizing its messaging.
By way of an example, it’s brand book for football (soccer), Nike’s outlines specific themes it wants to embody in connecting with its target audience: Football Obsessed Teens (FOTs for short) by being:
Authentic: Be Creative but always from within the game.
Iconic: Simple. Powerful.
Bold: Be big, expressive, unapologetic.
Innovative and technology: We are contemporary.
Link to Nike Football Brand Book: http://bit.ly/14dA2jb
Consensus ensures that your brand story is communicated consistently while emphasizing the parts that matter most to each member of the buying committee.
Consensus is Software as a Service (SaaS) that automates custom product demos to accelerate sales. Our interactive demo platform personalizes video and documents so each prospect automatically learns about your solution in the most relevant way. This cuts sales cycles and increases close rates. Our Demolytics™ dashboard helps you discover and engage the entire buying committee by gathering analytics and tracking who’s involved, what’s important to them, what they watched, and who they shared it with. This drives consensus and gets to a purchase decision much faster than traditional sales methods. Clients have cut their sales cycles by 68% and jumped close rates by 27%.