Strategic Brand Storytelling Workshop

Derrick DayeJanuary 22, 20163 min

Narrative structure. Audience engagement. Character development. These terms once lived solely in the arts. In the films and plays we watched, the books we read. But today, they’re central to brand marketing success in a changing world where marketing channels have become much more dynamic and the consumer is seeking relevant content in all marketing touchpoints.

With this recasting of the marketing landscape comes a need to build new skills within marketing teams and strategically craft the story structure of your brand. Today’s marketer must think about story first before selling. Because the way to the audience’s heart (and loyalty) is through compelling and memorable story.

Building And Communicating Brand Value Through Story

In this unique strategic storytelling workshop for one client brand, experts from The Blake Project utilize the screenwriter’s toolkit, best practices in brand management and resonant methods to build the most advantageous story structure.

Leveraging screenwriting devices such as the inciting incident, the controlling idea, and genre, teams build a brand story structure that motivates target customers, provides strategic clarity, builds emotional connection and most importantly, identifies the unique and authentic company characteristics that drives all brand story execution.

The workshop is designed for 8-15 people and can be equally effective with only marketers or a cross-functional group. (Note: if the workshop end product is to be utilized beyond marketing, we recommend that other functions participate in the workshop itself.) Each brand storytelling workshop is customized to meet client needs. With the optimal blend of methodology education and hands-on creation, this workshop gives marketing teams a repeatable method for brand story design.

A sample workshop exercise:

Genre – establishing contextual guardrails for your audience (and your brand)

Marketers have long ignored what storytellers have relied upon for centuries as a critical shaping force in story creation: genre. It provides critical context to the audience and makes them more receptive to the story they hear or see. Genres exist in every industry and the organizations that identify and adhere to their genre build stronger customer relationships and are more resilient in the face of competitive threats. We will review genre possibilities, identify one major and two minor genres, and outline their implications on company storytelling.

In this essential workshop, marketing teams develop a brand story structure that guides all brand and/or organizational storytelling. It manifests in a one-page strategy document that often plays the role of the brand creative brief to support teams. The demands associated with a single page produce very critical thinking about what is truly most important to the brand and its audience. By practicing this level of focus upstream in the strategy process, all downstream execution – both product and marketing – becomes much more consistent and resonant.

The Power Of A Brand Lies In Its Unique Story

For brands interested in diving deeper into story design methods and application, the two-day version of this workshop builds the Brand Narrative Support Map. This critical document captures each existing company initiative that supports the brand story, and identifies those that need to be created in order to build the strongest story possible. This piece ensures that workshop instruction transitions seamlessly into real-world application. We also cover principles of cinematic marketing in day two and evaluate the role of video in marketing over the next decade for organizations of all types.

The outcomes of The Blake Project’s brand storytelling workshops have proven vital for startup, emerging, regional, national and global B2C and B2B brands in:

-Capturing engagement
-Defining winning narratives
-Responding to competitive threats via brand messaging
-Building emotional connection
-Ensuring internal and external communications stay on brand
-Shaping perceptions that the value of products and services are high and unique
-Anchoring the brand culture with one ‘ownable’ story
-Educating brands on the best practices in storytelling strategy

Developing a compelling story for your brand is not an exercise in copywriting, instead strategic brand storytelling expresses the universal and differentiating truths behind your marketing.

Please email me for more about how this strategic workshop can help your brand use the power of story to move its target audiences. (NOW DELIVERED ONLINE)

Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Licensing and Brand Education

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