We believe that every story is an opportunity to change the world, and we treat every engagement that way. We know that when our clients present themselves as their most authentic self, they inspire others to do the same. That's how we're making the world a better place—one story, one client, one commitment at a time.
Think about the brands you love. Take a minute to reflect on one or two reasons they matter to you. How they make your life better. What you would miss if they were suddenly gone.
Now think about the brands that have let you down. Take a minute to reflect on what went wrong. When and why did you lose faith in what they had to offer?
This simple exercise is designed to illustrate that brands are not unlike people. Where there is love, there is trust. Where there is trust, there is a desire to understand. And where there is understanding, there is a real opportunity to build a meaningful relationship. There is a willingness to commit to a future and be "in this together."
Great brands get two things right.
What distinguishes great brands from all the others isn't the product, service, pricing, or advertising. What elevates great brands is much more subtle and pervasive than that—it's their underlying belief system. It's the "why" behind the "what" that drives everything they do. It's the reason why they make the products and services the way they do.
Great brands deeply connect with who we are, what we need, and who we want to be. They understand the lives we lead—the rituals and experiences that are overly complicated or missing—and they have a vision for making our lives better, easier, more delightful.
Where lesser brands go wrong.
While great brands are built on the substance of deep empathy for their customers and aspiration for what's possible, lesser brands go for sparkle. They define their brand in smaller terms, focusing on logos and taglines which can only carry a company so far. While every brand ultimately needs a voice and visual expression, these are only as authentic or enduring as the belief system that informs them.
Great brands invest in their own story.
Not all brand narratives are necessarily written down, or need to be. Steve Jobs certainly didn't need one, yet we felt empathy and aspiration in everything his Apple gave us. He was there to ensure it. As the ultimate brand steward, he led all of Apple's brand ambassadors to do great work around the world.
A brand narrative does for a company's brand what a business plan does for a company's strategy. It is the process and vehicle for aligning leaders and teams around what's important. Which customers really matter? How can we make their lives better? Which problems are most important for us to solve today? Tomorrow? Never? What do we do that nobody else can?
By unpacking the "why" behind the "what," great brands create the strategic and emotional blueprint that guides everything they say and do—from the kind of people they hire, to the products and services they offer, to the types of Tweets they post. In other words, it's a tool that helps everyone on the team, anywhere in the world, make decisions that contribute to a shared future.