Great Brand Stories Come From Answering 5 Questions

Some companies struggle to define themselves and what they do. I see it often when I go to the “about” page of a brand’s site and can’t immediately understand what they offer. More often than not I’ll need to Google the company to find news coverage describing them.

So why is it that some companies fail to clearly get to the point about what they sell and why it matters? Because they don’t understand the basics of storytelling.

News stories answer the following questions: what, why, who, how, when, where. For instance, knowing how a product will make it easy to quickly secure my data will help me appreciate why I might want to buy it.

All businesses need to know the answers to these questions. Whether it’s at the brand level or at the product level, if your team doesn’t know why your product matters and if your site doesn’t clearly state the customer benefits, for instance, then whatever is unique and wonderful about what you’re selling won’t resonate as much as it should.

So as you’re conceiving your startup or launching a new product or repositioning your business, make sure you and your teams are absolutely clear about the answers to these questions:

  • What is your product or service?
  • Why does it matter?
  • Who is it for?
  • How does it work?
  • Where and when is it available?

Once you can clearly and succinctly address these questions, you’ll be able to tell a compelling customer benefit story that will help you, and your, team connect.

What Are Politicians Thinking?

Here’s the thought every Canadian politician has considered recently: how can I get voters to love me with the same unwavering commitment they have for Rob Ford? OK, maybe Ford Nation doesn’t actually love the embattled Toronto Mayor, but they certainly are a surprisingly forgiving bunch.

So amid all the self-inflicted scandal that follows Ford, and in light of the hard-to-believe popularity rating he maintains with his core supporters, other politicians have to be asking their strategists: how the hell can I get voters to stick by me no matter what I do?

Well, given the waning respect for elected officials at just about every level due to scandal and politicking that’s seemingly focused on staying in power and not on what’s best for voters – politicians simply need to separate themselves from the so-called political elite by showing why they’re also frustrated by leaders.

Candidates also need to:

  • know the voters who share the same beliefs and connect with them often
  • find the simple insight that transcends your voter base and then stick to that message
  • position yourself as one of your voters so they think you share their hopes and frustrations
  • keep your opponents off balance

Ford makes it look easier than it is to stand out from the pack of political leaders. But if he can do it, so can others.