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  • Storytelling: Branding in Practice

    By: Klaus Fog, Christian Budtz and Baris Yakaboylu
    Springer, Denmark: 2005, ISBN: 3540235019
    GEG Booklist: 2189
    Rating: :idea::idea::idea::idea::idea:

    One of the problems with branding is no one is sure what it means. Most people have now figured out that a brand is not just a mark or logo. Most organizations no longer think that a re-brand is a change in print media, delivering new letterhead and shiny business cards. The problem with buzzwords is that they catch your attention and then dissipate, somewhat like the smell of bad cooking. Combining two buzzwords has the potential for heartburn.

    Occasionally, a book surfaces that provides food for thought, true nourishment that can be savoured slowly, a comfort food. In Storytelling: Branding in Practice, the authors have delivered a feast with typical European flair. North America is addicted on a diet of fast food, quick superficial how-to books that don’t deliver sustainable nourishment.

    The state of knowledge around both branding and storytelling in North America is less substantive than you may think. Europe has been working from a relationship-based marketing approach that uses the art of narrative as a foundational tool for at least the last couple of decades. We need to catch up. We need to wake up. North America is no longer the main creative force in business. We don’t have enough intellectual capital, which means we need to focus on how to use the shrinking intellectual capital we have much more creatively. The ability to re-vision the Three R’s: Recruitment, Retention and Retirement is becoming the number one priority in many organizations.

    Storytelling provides an accessible entry point into a complex topic – using the world of storytelling to anchor a brand, both internally and externally. Since the beginning of time, myths have carried meaning for the human race. When the stories told within organizations are made explicit – a corporate mythology or core ideology becomes visible. The authors drive home the point that ‘branding is the goal – storytelling is the means’ and deliver both the theoretical foundations as well as some practical applications illustrated through case examples.

    The authors remind us that the challenge facing companies today is to build solid values into their brand. Storytelling carries the value-system of an individual, a people or an organization and provides a container where the emotional experience of that story can live. If you are going to read a book that weaves the art of storytelling into the art of branding, this would be my first choice.

    What others say:

    The book carries branding to the next step, which is storytelling.

    Philip Kotler, Professor of International Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

    One of the very best marketing books of the year.

    Seth Godin, bestselling author of Permission Marketing

    Check ‘Em Out! ( …) its’ a detailed guide to the creation of powerful sagas that move customers to engage the brand.

    Tom Peters, bestselling author and CEO, Tom Peters Company

    It’s a big deal to compress your company’s story into a brand. This book is the first step on that long journey.

    Kevin Kelly, Founder and Editor-at-Large, Wired Magazine.


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