Workshops

Brand Storytelling

Today, brands play in an intensely competitive attention economy where human attention is the scarcest resource of all. Storytelling has emerged as the valued currency of this vital new marketplace for capturing customer hearts and minds. Neuroscience now backs up the long-held belief that story is the most powerful means of communicating a message. Savvy marketers understand this and are moving their customers through powerful brand stories.

The Brand Storytelling Strategy Workshop series integrates the latest innovations in story strategy and science to help your organization gain the clarity and confidence needed for your brand to build an advantage in the marketplace.

The Blake Project’s Brand Storytelling Workshops are a highly facilitated, consensus building experience. They are designed and delivered using an accelerated learning format that stimulates key stakeholder involvement and interaction. The Emotive Storytelling™ process guides strategy and design of powerful messaging and stories that drive engagement and emotional connection to your brand. Our extensive storytelling experience, storytelling science expertise and time proven insight combine to help your organization gain unique knowledge and take action using the newest advances in narrative communication and media psychology. Each workshop in the brand storytelling series is designed to incrementally build on each other from story line to story voice to story architecture. Individual workshops can also be selected as stand alone sessions that deliver value in their respective mission areas.

The Brand Storytelling Strategy Workshop Series is ideal for strategic brand initiatives that focus on market challenges, market opportunities and organizational change.

Workshop 1: Brand Story Archetype, Personality and Map

This one-day intensive workshop is designed to guide marketing communications teams to build a compelling brand story map that informs the verbal and visual development of brand communications at all touchpoints. The power of a brand lies in its unique story. How this story is told verbally and visually is critical to the invention and transformation of an enduring brand.

Working from your brand’s current positioning in the marketplace, participants will engage in a strategic and creative session designed to generate a storytelling framework and map for telling a consistent brand story.

Workshop elements include important consensus building activities:

  • Identifying communication challenges and relevant insights that influence target customer engagement with the brand story.
  • Defining the brand characterization, archetype and archetypal personality attributes that support the brand mythic story and strategic messaging.
  • Defining the verbal and visual cues that identify your brand archetype and forms the basis of your brand story.
  • Development of your top-level brand messaging strategy delivered in a guidance document that distills the essence of your brand story into a storytelling framework and storytelling map that will inform and guide future brand communications.

Developing a compelling story line for your brand is not a copywriting exercise –rather, the brand story is the universal idea that inspires brand messaging and the marketing communications that flows from it.

Who should participate? The nature of this workshop requires strategic decision making that is often the domain of executive and senior leadership most responsible for corporate communications, investor or public relations, marketing and brand management and marketing communications. Ideal group size is 10 – 15.

Timeframe: One full day involvement for participants. One-week advance preparation and one-week post-workshop review and consolidation period for The Blake Project.

Deliverables: One full day highly facilitated workshop. An executive summary will be provided following the workshop that presents the core decisions from the session. This guidance document distills the essence of your brand story into a storytelling framework and storytelling map that will inform and guide future brand communications.

Outcomes: Clarity and confidence on the universal archetypal theme, tone, personality that informs all brand messaging.

Workshop 2: Brand Voice

Brands, just like people, have a voice – the tone, manner and personality of communication that distinguishes one personality from another. Brand Voice is a more specific and highly useful tool for marketers to create and manage the unique personality of their brands over time.

Brand Voice is designed as an intensive one-day creative development workshop for corporate communications and marketing executives. This workshop is designed to create the foundation of a strategic and differentiated brand voice that will help people in the organization tell the brand story in a consistent, coherent and compelling manner.

Brand Voice builds upon the initial foundation established by the Brand Storytelling Workshop. Brand Voice defines the language, tone and dynamic range of the brand story. This workshop guides the organization in how to speak as a brand. Brand Voice focuses on “what you say and how you say it” in a manner that will resonate with target customers and be differentiated in the marketplace.

First and foremost, a brand must tell the right story which is guided by the shared values and ideals established by the brand promise. Yet, it is the emotional connection with the story that is driven by the brand voice. Brand Voice is a composite of feel, language, tone and messaging. Brand Voice establishes the distinctive personality of your brand that builds deep emotional connections with customers, employees, strategic partners and stakeholders.

The Brand Voice Workshop features a highly facilitated process that incorporates interactive discussion and consensus building team exercises. Participants will gain clarity and confidence in strategic and creative decisions as they develop the brand voice.

Brand Voice Workshop elements include consensus building activities:

  • Defining the tone and manner in which your brand communicates with customers, retailers, employees, partners and diverse audiences.
  • Defining the range of your brand voice. The dynamic range of your brand voice focuses on how far your brand voice can extend and still remain relevant and adaptable to different marketplace conditions. Mood, tone and manner are required to say the right things, the right way, at the right time.
  • Defining the language used in brand communications. This is more than simply selecting words. The language your brand speaks must be the language your target customer speaks. Clear and effective communication begins with understanding and comprehension. Are your messages clearly heard, quickly recognized and easily remembered?

Who should participate? The nature of this workshop requires strategic decision making that is often the domain of executive and senior leadership most responsible for corporate communications, investor or public relations, marketing and brand management and marketing communications. Ideal group size is 10 – 15.

Timeframe: One full day involvement for participants. One-week advance preparation and one-week post-workshop review and consolidation period for The Blake Project.

Deliverables: One highly full day facilitated workshop. An executive summary will be provided following the workshop outlining the core decisions from the session. This document serves as a tool for effective internal brand engagement and maintaining the consistency of your brand voice across the organization, delivering on your brand promise from the inside out.

Outcomes: Clarity and confidence on the language, voice, tone and primary messaging that informs brand communications.

Workshop 3: Brand Story Architecture

Well before actual development of a brand story, it is sensible and wise to consider the overarching strategy and implications of story development through a rich ideation process focused on story architecture.

Brand Story Architecture is an intensive one-day imagineering and strategy workshop designed for corporate communications, strategic communications and marketing executives. This workshop is designed to envision and evaluate the big ideas and implications early on the path to developing a compelling brand story. This workshop guides an organization to better evaluate story approach considerations.

The Brand Story Architecture workshop is designed to complement the outcomes generated by the prior workshops in this series. Participants will engage in a strategic and creative session designed to mature the brand storytelling framework and storytelling map into an actionable strategy. This Brand Story Architecture workshop can be selected as a stand alone session independent of other workshops.

Brand Story Architecture Workshop elements include consensus building activities:

  • Brainstorm idea generation. Evaluate story approaches and types. (Examples: genesis/historical, scenario, process focused, symbolic/animated, live action/animated, documentary, docu-drama, testimonial driven, reality-based, etc.)
  • Human to Human connection: Identify strategies for how your products or service touch the lives of actual people. Key messaging and story line needs to be specific enough to be believable and universal enough to be relevant. This step also takes into consideration global requirements, regional variation, and cultural difference.
  • Identify and consider implication of potential story characters and personalities (Examples: customers, employees, sages, patients, users, actors, celebrities, leadership, scientists, professionals, researchers, founders, partners, etc.)
  • Consider implications and range of story scope. (Examples: engagement strategy, high level content framework, customer touchpoint influences, viewing opportunities, story distribution strategy, etc.)

Who should participate? The nature of this workshop requires strategic decision making that is often the domain of executive and senior leadership most responsible for corporate communications, marketing and brand management and marketing communications. Ideal group size is 10 – 15.

Timeframe: One full day involvement for participants. One-week advance preparation and one-week post-workshop review and consolidation period for The Blake Project.

Deliverables: One highly facilitated full day workshop. An executive summary will be provided following the workshop outlining the core decisions from the session. This document serves as a guidance tool for effective for marketing communications and strategic communications teams.

Outcomes: Clarity and confidence on the language, voice, tone and primary messaging that informs brand communications.