The Value of Compelling Stories

We’re back! I know it’s been a couple of weeks. Did you miss us?

Hello? Is there anybody out there?

If there is, can you tell me in 100 words or less who you work for, what it is your company does, and why I should buy your products and services? Can you do it in 50 words? How about 25?

Whether you give me your 12-page corporate marketing brochure, or I meet you at a party this Labor Day weekend and we shoot the breeze for a few minutes over drinks, no amount of hip and fresh marketing lingo is going to convince me to buy your stuff – not unless you tell me a compelling story.

Marketing writer Mark Thompson calls this a good “brand” story.

“Brand stories are what drive our critical interactions with our customers and stakeholders: they are (to use a common marketing formula) what propel awareness, consideration, trial and buying…the more coherent and compelling your brand story, the more it will power the success of your enterprise.”

Mark emphasizes many of the things we try to convey to our clients on a regular basis, including being very clear and concise as to who you are, what you sell, and why someone should buy. He suggests that the watchwords of a strong brand story are clarity, consistency, and character:

Clarity. First, make sure you know what you wish to say. This is the content of your brand: who you are, what you do, who you do it for, why it matters to them and how it's different from anything else in the marketplace.

Consistency. Then, make sure you say it (and show it) in the same way, wherever and whoever with you do business. This is how all your communications, actions and accomplishments start to work together, building up into the unity that is your brand presence in the marketplace.

Character. Finally, give it a little oomph, panache, flair. This is where your personality shines through. It's what brings you to life at an emotional level. It's what makes people want to connect with you. It's what turns necessity into desire. For example, it's what turns the statement, “I need a new cell phone” into “I want that new cell phone.”

You can read Mark's entire article The Power of a Good Brand Story at