Narratives allow marketers to champion purpose, mission and a sense of work to be done.
Classic brand positioning has become too simplified, too static and too old-fashioned. It doesn’t capture the breadth of audiences and stakeholders or allow marketers to leverage current events, societal issues and topical news. It is a dated framework that is too simplistic for today’s companies and economy.
- Nike, for instance, engages with narratives on equality and wellness.
- Apple with privacy as a fundamental human right.
The narrative framework brings the entire strategy of a company to bear, allowing it to address different audiences and different issues as they change.
Here are a few ways to help marketers turn narratives into a cohesive strategy and plan:
- Visualise company strategy on a single page. One of the most engaging parts of the narrative process is getting the strategy on a single page.
- Align on issues and audiences that most threaten the strategy. Accurate strategic assessment of threats will make or break marketing execution.
- Measure whether present company narratives are resonating. This is where brands can statistically identify what they own and don’t own in the market,
- Build a map of the narratives you want to own. Research indicates that the most valuable companies in the world manage 5-7 narratives simultaneously.
- Execute the narratives across comms, advertising, digital and social.
- Differentiate narratives from storytelling. A story has a beginning, middle and end. A narrative has a beginning and a middle, but the end is yet to be written.