What's Your Fall In Factor?

I just started reading The Hobbit to my two youngest daughters. Each night as I sit down on their bedroom floor, open the book, and start reading, something magical happens: all three of us fall into the story.

We’re no longer in a bedroom. The three of us enter the story and travel along side Bilbo, Gandalf, and the others on their journey. This explains why every night my daughters say the same thing when I close the book:

“Don’t stop reading!”

Great stories have a “Fall in Factor” that captures us and won’t let go. The same is true of great brands.

You’re probably accustomed to thinking of your brand as having stories that you communicate through messaging, marketing, and advertising. Your brand has a lot more in common with The Hobbit and other great stories than you think.

Just like a great story, great brands have a villain, a hero, struggles, crises, and resolutions. These elements reach out and captivate us.

Nike’s villain, for example, isn’t Under Armor, Adidas, or any other competitor. Nike’s villain the human proclivity for apathy, laziness, self-doubt, and disdain of losing. Read Phil Knight’s biography, Shoe Dog, and you see that this was true from the very beginning of Nike’s story.

Clarify and protect your brand story. It’s yours! Don’t let it devolve into someone else’s story.

Ask the following questions at your next team meeting to clarify your brand story:

Who is our true villain?
What does it look like to be a hero in our brand’s story?
What distractions prevent us from moving our story forward?
Everything becomes more clear when we view our brand as a story. We remember who we’re fighting, what we’re fighting for, and our role in the story.

You build that “Fall in Factor” that every brand craves. The people who come in contact with your brand will say the same thing:

“Don’t stop reading!”

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Andrew Robinson