What We Do
We analyze brands and make strategic recommendations based on a deep understanding of story and character—what we call the Story Framework™ approach.
“I was blown away by your ability to get all of the information, research and opinions out in the open and then for your team as an independent group to reassemble all that material into an intelligent, insightful, simple story. Many times we have so much information, with so many opinions, it is difficult to clarify and get to that simple idea.”
— Jim Trebilcock, Executive Vice President Marketing, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group
Background on the Story Framework™ Approach
Story Telling versus Strategy : It is easy to think of story only in terms of execution—the book, the movie, the television commercial—but every story has two principal components: story telling and story strategy. Story telling is the part that is visible to the audience. It’s all the specific ways in which you express the story. To those crafting stories, however, story strategy is of equal importance. It’s everything the storyteller needs to know before beginning to tell the story.
A good story is like an iceberg. What the audience sees is just the tip of what the storyteller knows.
Metaphors of Business Strategy: Most brand analysis approaches brands through the metaphor of war or the metaphor of science.
Analysis through the war metaphor assesses the competitive landscape and results in strategic recommendations focused largely on beating other brands. Analysis through the science metaphor generally focuses on understanding and influencing consumers and results in strategic recommendations designed to manipulate behavior. Both of these metaphors are valuable, but neither addresses the relationship between the brand and its audience. In the war metaphor, the audience is equivalent to the landscape over which competitive brands fight—the key relationship is with competitors, not the audience. In the science metaphor, the audience is equivalent to the lab rats being observed and experimented on—there is a relationship, but it must remain objective and distant.
Analysis through the story metaphor focuses on the meaning and purpose of a brand. It is about connecting with the audience on an emotional level—helping the audience members to identify with and recognize themselves in the brand.