TalentZoo.com |  Beyond Madison Avenue |  Flack Me |  Digital Pivot Archives  |  Categories
Brand Storytelling When There's Nothing to Tell
By: Sarah Jane Dunaway
Bookmark and Share Subscribe to the Beneath the Brand RSS Feed Share
Occasionally, we as brand marketers may find ourselves between a rock and a hard place. Whether your specialty is social media, writing, design, or strategy, we all experience the same situation — a situation that requires us to truly think outside the box in order to come up with anything creative or useful in our brand messaging.

Just like people, brands are unique and deserving of our love...right? Not quite. Sometimes people look similar or act similar or maybe are not deserving of our love. The bottom line is that people are still people. Same thought applies to brands.

So the question is, how do you tell a story when there’s nothing to tell? What about when a client or brand you represent wants you to tell a story that you know is simply non-existent?

Ask yourself, “What do you know?”

What do you know about the brand? Maybe the brand really isn’t for the small business or big business. Maybe its customer base really does consist of mid-size businesses. Maybe the brand really shouldn’t go after the vacationers, but rather should focus on permanent residents.

Stay true to what you know, but also do enough research to back up what you know. Successful campaigns are also accurate campaigns.

Think Optimistically

Brand storytelling is difficult to do when you don’t have a good story. Whether you’re working on new blog copy or designing the next ad concept, think optimistically.

You could be representing a politician you don’t support, a cause you don’t understand, or a product that tastes sour. Call me overly optimistic, but there’s always a positive side to every story. You just need to figure out what the positive side is going to be for your message.

Don’t Lie

When all else fails, don’t resort to lying. Unless you fully support the idea that bad press is still good press — which does have some truth to it — I don’t recommend you resort to lying about your brand.

I have come across clients and brands less interested in telling the truth and more interested in offering a perception of what the brand should be, rather than what the brand actually represents.

Sometimes we just have to ask ourselves if it’s worth forfeiting our integrity. As David Ogilvy once stated, "If you tell lies about a product, you will be found out — either by the Government, which will prosecute you, or by the consumer, who will punish you by not buying your product a second time."

Bookmark and Share Subscribe to the Beneath the Brand RSS Feed Share
blog comments powered by Disqus
About the Author

Sarah Jane Dunaway is a brand strategist and design consultant, and the writer and creator behind the blog Clean & Proper. A former member of the paper and printing industry, Sarah Jane specializes in helping businesses of all sizes streamline marketing communications by creating compelling brand identity systems and corporate identity packages. Find her online here

Beneath the Brand on

Advertise on Beneath the Brand
Return to Top