Brand Storytelling In graphic detail

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I recently had the privilege of talking about brand storytelling at the 2017 Built Up Festival in Portland, Oregon. The gist of my message was that brands don’t just have stories, they are a story.

The conference organizers, from their founts of infinite creativity, arranged to have an artist translate my presentation into a visual representation in realtime. This is what she came up with!

There’s a lot here, but I a few things jumped out to me:

1. The upper left it reads, “You Get a Story” three times. I’m struck by the repetition the artist employs. What did she want us to take away from it? Here’s my guess: good stories immerse our senses. We lose ourselves in them. Getting a story actually means the story got us. We got gotten!

2. Two overlapping circles appear on the middle-right of the page. The artist labelled one circle “You” and the other “Them”. She nailed it! Consumers, employees, investors, or whichever audience we’re trying to reach, connect with our brand story because our brand story and their story share key narrative elements. Our struggle is their struggle. Our idea of a hero mirrors their idea of a hero, etc.

3. “The Struggle Bus” runs along the bottom of the image. I talked about how important it is for us to understand the struggles people face, but since I never talked about a Struggle Bus, I have no idea what the artist has in mind. There's even a Captain Struggle Bus. Even though I don't understand the reference, it's got me thinking, which is the whole point.

Seeing it in this form makes me think about these concepts in a fresh way. Special thanks to the artist (I’m sorry I didn’t get your name) and Built Oregon for inviting me.  

If brand storytelling interests you, check out The Narrative Mind, my new pod-class series that I launched this week.