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No Story? No Brand.

brand branding marketing

Are you telling your story right? Stories leave an indelible mark on people that can last for years to come, continue to grow, and deepen the relationship. You need a story to be a competitor.


June 22, 2012 2:45 by


Here is an example of the type of storytelling chosen by several major brands:

Lifestyle / Emotional Brands Heritage / Funcational Brands
Lexus Toyota
Starbucks Maxwell House
Target Walmart
Deisel Levi’s
Method Dawn

Be original, not a “me too”.

No matter which type of storytelling a brand chooses, the most important thing to remember is to tell one. Many brands lose their competitive advantage because they lose focus and thus lose the attention of their loyal customers.

Equal® vs. Splenda® is a perfectexample of two brands in the same category, competing for an identical customer, but one owning the story.  When Equal, the former alternative sweetener leader, was challenged by the launch of Splenda, it made storytelling mistake #1 – blatantly copying Splenda’s story in order to compete.  Equal, made with aspartame, was a well-branded product known for its light blue packets. When Splenda launched onto the scene in its sunny yellow packets, it quickly captured the market by introducing Sucralose, a new zero calorie sweetener “made from real sugar.” Instead of forging ahead with its own unique story to compete, Equal copied Splenda’s story and launched a similar product in the same exact color package.

Here is the product story verbatim from the Equal website:

Equal may have attempted to compete with Splenda in the Sucralose category, but a story copycat will never be the winner. Splenda takes storytelling so seriously it dedicates an entire part of its website to it www.splenda/com/story.

What brands should be telling their story?

Every brand that wants to compete and stay relevant in the market should be telling their story. Stories are essential to a brand’s success because, as part of oral tradition, they compress a product narrative to the heart of the brand’s DNA.  As important as a captivating design, stories makes people decide if they like you, if they trust you, if you understand their needs and if they want to do business with you.  Stories leave an indelible mark on people that can last for years to come, continue to grow, and deepen the relationship.  You need a story to be a competitor.

This article is an introduction to a book in development Brands in Glass Houses by co-authors: brand marketing consultant Said Baaghil and content marketing consultants Debbie Williams and Dechay Watts. 

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