Authentic Brands: From Storytelling to Storydoing

Here’s a video by Ty Montague on authenticity and why it requires branding professionals to move from storytelling to storydoing. Though his focus is on corporate, product and service brands, rather than place brands, Ty’s proposal rings true nevertheless.

From Story Telling to Story Doing

Today’s most successful businesses are storydoers, writes Ty Montague (@tmontague on Twitter) in his book True Story: How to Combine Story and Action to Transform Your Business. “The old way to market a business was storytelling. But in today’s world, simply communicating your story in the hope that customers will listen is no longer enough. Instead, your story must be expressed through every action your organization takes.”

“These companies create products and services that, from the very beginning, are manifestations of an authentic and meaningful story—one told primarily through action, not advertising. Indeed, the best run companies—from small start-ups to global conglomerates—organize around a coherent narrative that is then expressed through every action they take, from product design to customer service to marketing. Storydoing firms are more nimble, more adaptive to change, and more efficient businesses.” Source


Storydoing in the Place Branding Context – Some Thoughts

In the place (country, city, destination) branding context, storydoing is just as important for an authentic brand as it has become in the corporate world. Take New Zealand, for instance, a country which has been telling its story of a 100% Pure, clean and green food exporter and tourist destination for a long time.

Functioning both as a national brand, a country brand and a destination brand, the 100% Pure and clean, green proposition has become hugely important for this remotely located country as a means to reach potential visitors and consumers thousands of kilometres away.

Yet, the country’s green brand credibility is put at stake by man-made environmental issues such as polluted water from New Zealand’s ever-growing dairy industry, or declarations by the NZ Government to follow, rather than lead in global efforts aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions as a cause of the greenhouse effect and global warming.

Storydoing would require the country to make headlines on the environmental front as a proactive leader, rather than settling for a follower and a country which tells its green story of pristine landscapes through feature films like the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.  In other words, storydoing in a place brand context means leadership and concerted action among a country’s major businesses and political elites, which together have to do everything they can to support and live up to the espoused place brand values.

Further Reading on Brand Storytelling

Storydoing – not an easy task for place branding and marketing professionals. If you’d like to learn more about or order Ty Montague’s book, here’s the link to True Story: How to Combine Story and Action to Transform Your Business on Amazon.


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