What’s Your Master Narrative?
Thursday, August 22, 2013

What’s Your Master Narrative?

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Every brand, every day, tells a story.

Whether you’re a start-up, a mom-and-pop, a consumer packaged good or a corporate giant, every day you open your doors and put your brand out to the world.

How do they get to know you? Via your master narrative, the story you’re telling that lets the public learn who you are, what you do and what you stand for. For example, Dunkin’ Donuts tells a story about keeping people running with America’s favorite all-day coffee and baked goods to billions of busy consumers, whereas a brand like Staples puts forth a story of one-stop shopping for office supply needs.

What’s important to note about any master narrative is that it must be clear, concise and centered on something that everyone in your organization believes in—from the top down.  When we work with our clients to develop messaging, we always start with the who, what, when, where and why.

As a quick exercise, poll several of your employees across a host of business functions and ask them to tell you what your company does and what you stand for. You’re likely to get many different answers, most of which don’t do much to reinforce your brand’s master narrative.

Whether you need to define or refine your company’s master narrative,

take some time to gather your most trust advisors and sit around a table asking yourselves four key questions:

Who Are We? - When answering, think beyond the functional benefit and focus on the emotional benefit you afford your core consumers.

What Do We Stand For?At the end of the day, it’s the unwavering commitment associated with your brand that will leave clear, indelible marks on the mind of your customers. Spend some time thinking about the one thing that will always remain at the heart of what you do and start from there.

How Do We Stand Out? Take a close look at your competitive set and look for gaps within your category. These holes represent opportunities to tell your story a little differently and develop communications tools that will help you cut through the clutter.

How Do We Stand Tall No Matter What? Today it’s nearly impossible for most brands to avoid some form of issue, whether it’s a disgruntled employee, a dissatisfied customer, a voluntary product recall or a full-blown crisis. Take some time to talk through how you will maintain your master narrative in the face of adverse situations. That may be, perhaps, when it matters most.

Read 45453 times Last modified on Thursday, 22 August 2013
Tracy Tilson

President

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