The essence of brand storytelling
A brand story is not just your about page or a manifesto, even though those are sometimes helpful and required. A brand story is an evolving story and conversation you carry with your stakeholders. It is how you communicate on linkedin, social media, original content that you create for your blog and the added value you bring your customers. It is the emotional value you bring in addition to the tangible value you deliver.
Voice & Tone
A good voice and tone doesn’t just convey information, it conveys yourÂ spirit.
There are several brands that have a unique voice and tone that is equally recognizable to a unique visual identity.
Whether it’s Old Spice, the Dollar Shave Club or Rolex, good brands have a voice and tone. They have a sense of humour, a style of talking, a certain attitude. There are funny brands, grown-up brands, sophisticated brands and super smart brands. Whatever the positioning you decide is best, it takes time to ensure the voice and tone is aligned and communicates your essence in an effective manner. It takes time until your voice and tone elicit the right response and becomes a recognizable facet of your identity.
A good voice and tone doesn’t just convey information, it conveys your spirit. It’s the difference between being liked and being understood. Many brands settle for being understood, it takes a voice to create an emotional reaction.
2. The Israeli Vacuum for good global storytelling
Just like politicians have speechwriters, it’s time for CEO’s and CMO’s to have LinkedIn writers that articulate their vision in a cohesiveÂ manner.
There are very few Israeli brands that present a cohesive story across the board. Most of the content is hardly inspirational. When you look on LinkedIn at CEO’s and CMO’s, it’s rare to hear an original thought. It seems they have a fear to express a bold opinion and their writing is very timid. Often, many of them just share content from bigger names and attach a one-word emotion such as “Wow” or “Inspiring”. If you don’t believe me, just scroll through your feed and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
It’s time CEO’s and CMO’s start acting like politicians and hire people who can articulate their thoughts in a real and thoughtful manner.
It’s also important they dare to be a thought leader in their field and express their thoughts on where their field is heading. This inspires confidence and will inspire growth. It might even start affecting their thought process and manifest in their behaviour.
Part copywriter, Part Journalist, Part Machiavelli
What makes a good brand storyteller? Isn’t that just a glorified way of being a copywriter?
An exceptional copywriter is naturally a storyteller. However, copywriting is a very broad term of people who make their living with words. Most copywriters at the agency level are limited to short and catchy phrases, That’s the creative that wind the awards and attracts the cool kids. A brand storyteller is someone who goes beyond the catchy headline and captures the essence of the brand time and time again. He is more of a journalist in nature. But unlike a journalist who is committed to the truth and bringing it to the public (traditionally), the brand storyteller is committed to the client and to crafting a story that serves a purpose of growth and credibility.
A good brand storyteller is also part Machiavelli. His words need to engineer emotion, understand human psychology and invoke reaction and action. Last but not least, a good brand storyteller needs to be worldly and curious, because ultimately, you need to know what’s already out there. You need to know the difference between a cliche and a killer catch phrase, between yesterday’s news and tomorrow’s. It’s not an easy job description to fill, but you’ll know when you meet the right one.
Israel is home to some of the most talented designers. However, design is only part of the story. It appears that most brands are just visually differentiated from each other. Or that brands are settling just for a good tagline that represents their USP.
However, brands could greatly benefit from starting to tell a story and present a raison d’etre, a big idea behind their business that connects on an emotional level. Branding is too big an idea to simply entrust with a designer. Visual representation is important, but it’s even more important to infuse your brand with a good story and some real personality.