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This is where the story begins for your brand.

The brand story we create will provide the foundation for everything we say and do. That can cause some hesitation.

Needless to say, the idea of crafting the right brand story can be daunting. How do we know that it is the most authentic story? How can we ensure that it will be as powerful as it could be?

Before we let the intimidation or uncertainty of it all overwhelm us, remember one thing: a great brand story grows naturally from the purpose of an organization.

That one thought can provide the clarity that we all need. So why do so many brands fail to connect with this most fundamental of ideas?

Often what happens is that brands will define a value proposition or a positioning statement. And then stop there.

While a value proposition or a positioning statement are valuable tools, they are simply not as compelling as the purpose that the brand embraces.

Why is that? Quite simply, it has to do with the rational vs. the emotional.

Value propositions and positioning statements are rational thoughts. They talk about what your brand does and even what it does for your prospects, and maybe even why that is unique among all the other choices out there. That’s a good exercise to go through. But, it’s also too tempting to stop there. The rational thoughts you develop from that exercise seem like they are enough. It’s easy to rationalize.

The larger opportunity lies in finding the emotional core of your brand. That lies in your purpose.

Value propositions and positioning statements express your strategic thoughts about you. They are inward-focused.

Your purpose statement describes the profound difference that you will make in a life (or a community or even the world). It speaks to the needs, desires, and aspirations of those you hope to serve. It’s about them. Not about the brand. That is what makes it so irresistible.

Stories built on a value proposition may be interesting, but they very rarely achieve the impact of a story built upon the emotional clout of a brand’s purpose.

We will say that we want the facts. But the truth is that we all want to be inspired. It doesn’t mean that the facts are unimportant. It simply means that a brand can’t stop there. It needs to find that thing that will raise up those it hopes to serve. The thing that will inspire everyone. That lies in the purpose it embraces.

It’s the thing that makes brands unforgettable. And magnetic. Great brand stories begin with the brand purpose.

Dan is an expert brand strategist and author of the book Big Audacious Meaning — Unleashing Your Purpose-Driven Story. He is a founder at Will & Grail — a brand innovation company, helping organizations find their unique, undeniable and unshakable sense of purpose and create innovative experiences that bring it to life.

Originally published at https://www.dansalva.com on March 19, 2020.

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Dan is an expert brand strategist and author of the book Big Audacious Meaning — Unleashing Your Purpose-Driven Story. He is a founder at Will & Grail.

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