Make Me Care

Brand Directors have many responsibilities. They have to manage as many touch points with a consumer as possible from packaging, promotion, distribution, pricing and on and on. Perhaps their most vital role is their job as brand architect or chief story teller.

Brands need stories like we humans need oxygen. Brands can’t survive without these stories because they serve an essential function to grow a business.  Why are stories so important?

Storytelling makes me care.

Make Me Care
A brand director finds a community she wants to reach and the brand’s story lead you somewhere – a promise. It helps you find your ‘once upon a time’ moment that pulls people toward your business.  Great story telling helps you find a way to get your brand top of mind but more importantly, close to heart.

Story telling requires a lot of work. Ironically, sometimes they also need to be incomplete. Great stories only give you some of the information and they make you work for information. 

Whether it is through discovery, a treasure hunt or the sheer absence of information, great brand stories require a story teller and an audience who is interested. Think of the absence of the shark in Jaws.  It is what is missing that sometimes helps you complete the picture.

The theory of 2 + 2
Andrew Stanton is a filmmaker and known for great work like Finding Nemo and other Pixar gems. He talks about the unifying theory of 2 +2.  You don’t give your audience the 4, you make them fill in the story to help engage your audience along the path.

Your community has a need and your brand, in telling its story gets its audience to participate on the journey with you. Brand management’s work isn’t to give them the answers but to supply the equations. Check out Stanton's Ted Talk called the clues to a great story. 

William Archer, the Scottish theatre critic from the 19th century, said that drama is anticipation mingled with uncertainty (Have you made me want to know what will happen next). This is exactly what brands do when they succeed. They entice you to want to know what happens in the brand’s journey.

The Wonder of It All
A brand can invoke wonder that is authentic and you are emotionally connected into their world view. The community is a willing participant and shares a deeply held value.

Here are five brands telling stories that have connected with me by making me aware but more importantly, making me care. These are brand’s that are very close to the heart of their communities. The test that they matter is that I would miss them if they were gone. 

What brands are close to your heart? 

Five Brands that tell rich stories.

Tom's Shoes - One for One. 
We are in business to improve lives.

Alex and Ani. 
Made in America with Love. 

 Krista Tippett. On Being. Radio/Podcasts/Writer
Conversations and communities on what it means to be human and how do we want to live in it? 

 James Dyson. Inventor, Creator and Inspirational Leader. Encouraging Young People to Think Differently, Make Mistakes and Invent and Realize their Potential.

Whole Foods. The Whole Planet Foundations. 
Caring for Communities. 

Top Image by Andrea Matus deMeng

Listen to my interview on Charlie Pozner's Podcast called the BOOMER Business Owner.

Jeffrey Slater

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