Book Excerpt: 'Why Johnny Can't Brand: Rediscovering the Lost Art of the Big Idea'

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Every brand is like a story too. It's the story of what you stand for, why you stand for it, how you got to the point where you stand for it better than anyone else, and where it's going to lead you. It can be explained with a beginning, a middle, and an end, starting with "There was this problem. Then a company decided to help people with this problem by creating a new and better solution. The solution helped people not only in one big way, but lots of little ways as well. Now the world is a better, happier place. Maybe we can help you."


In short, to communicate as effectively as we can, anything that can be packaged into story form should be packaged into story form. Brands are no exception.


So at this point, we'll take the "what, how, and why" of our Unique Ownable Specialty and write it down in a one- to two-page narrative, the brand story.


A living document. The brand story will be like the "executive summary" for your brand. As it evolves over time, it should house the key selling language, Golden Metaphors, and special phrasing you gain from your continuing consumer dialogue and experience in the field. We call these key language threads, which you'll want to utilize as much as possible in all communications. You'll always gather new data and get smarter the longer you live with your brand. As you develop your naming structure, DSI tag lines, DSI performance examples, and more, you'll want to build those in as well.


http://www.dmnews.com/pdffiles/johnny.pdf


Reprinted from "Why Johnny Can't Brand: Rediscovering the Lost Art of the Big Idea," by Bill Schley and Carl Nichols Jr., by arrangement with Portfolio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Copyright David Inc., 2005.


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