Stories are pretty essential in everyday life. Whether it’s the Bible (not me thanks), campfire tales, or a wedding speech, a lot of how we communicate revolves around having a story to tell.
What makes a good story? An unlikely circumstance, a funny occurrence, a situation with high stakes, a romance, a pivotal decision… Any and all of these can be great ingredients, but what does that have to do with branding?
When you’re a business, you’re telling stories all the time. In sales, in web copy, in recruitment, on socials, in your blog… In Dragon’s Den or a VC pitch.
Sometimes your story will be personal, something like,
"I left Google because I saw an opportunity for xxx unmet need."
"I think it's a crime that we can fly to the moon, but we can't recycle food waste."
At the end of the day, or as you grow, your story will need to say something about your company. Just like, ‘Think different’ does for Apple. And in just two words!
So how do you create a strong brand story?
Several factors go into your brand story. The landscape you work in. Your market position and differentiators. Your audience. Your strategic direction. Your mission. Your ‘why’!
STANCE is all about addressing these areas and is hugely powerful in two domains.
The first domain lies in the framework that is The STANCE Method. By working through the Situation your audience finds themselves in, the Transformation you’d like to take them on, your Attitude, the Niche you want to own, why you’re Confident you can own it, and your Expression, you’re creating all the content you need for a robust story.
A good brand story will have some of the same DNA as a story you might tell down the pub or a logline for a film script. When you write your STANCE, the stakes should be high and the time should be now.
The second domain lies in the STANCE games and exercises we use to get the story going. Each exercise is targeted at a specific letter in the STANCE acronym. Often the magic happens when one founder makes an epic statement and something clicks with the other parties involved.
After the exercises have been performed it’s about replaying the session and listening out for the gems that will create the most compelling narrative.
While working with one client playing our game, ‘Newsroom’, the vision statement literally fell out of his mouth mid-zoom. That’s what it’s about—probing through all the content and sifting for gold.
While working with Runway East, playing the game ‘Wakey Wakey’, again a magic sentence fell out of the COO’s mouth, “What I really love is giving our members a day they wouldn’t have expected.” After a bit of fine-tuning, this statement ended up steering the ‘why’ and the vision.
Figure out your brand story in a STANCE workshop
We have a page dedicated to our workshops, which you can explore below. You’ll also find a calendar link if you’d like to schedule a free 30 min chat as to whether a storytelling workshop is right for your business.
If you liked this blog you might be interested others, such as, 'There can be only one purest vodka', 'Convex case study', or 'Should you use brand positioning axes in your VC deck?' or in our course, 'Essential Brand Positioning for Start-Ups'.