Brilliant Reads: storydoing not storytelling, and the evolution from ‘no comment’ brand to ‘social brand’

This week, Brilliant Reads brings you storydoing, the evolution from ‘no comment’ brand to ‘social brand’ and how to make your ads inherently valuable.

The difference between storytelling and storydoing (Harvard Business Review)

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Image credit: marko zouridakis

In this post for HBR, Ty Montague of co:collective argues that really successful brands aren’t just storytellers, they are storydoers; they advance their narrative through action, as well as communication. He says storydoing brands have six main characteristics:

  1. They have a story.
  2. That story is about improving the world or people’s lives.
  3. That story is understood and valued by senior management for more than just its marketing benefits.
  4. The story is used to drive action and change in the company, in areas like HR and product development.
  5. The actions and the story are cohesive.
  6. Customers and partners engage with the story.

He also includes evidence that he suggests shows that ‘storydoing’ companies are performing better than their storytelling peers. The study of 42 publicly-traded companies he cites says that storydoers:

  • generate a higher number of mentions with more positive sentiment on social networks;
  • spend less on paid media as a percentage of revenue;
  • see their revenue and share price growing faster than those ofstorytellers.

(For more storydoing, take a look at this case study on TOMS.)

Moving Maersk from ‘no comment’ brand to social brand (Sloan Review)

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Image credit: rizky-kitsuneramen

This interview with corporate brand manager Anna Granholm-Brun shows how shipping and energy giant Maersk Group has evolved from a closed ‘no comment’ brand into a social one with over a million likes for its Facebook page, and a culture of transparency and engagement over the last five years.

As evidence of just how big the shift has been, Granholm-Brun gives an example of how they’ve worked with small business owners in Ghana: the company’s old policy would have been to give a speech about how it can connect Ghana and small businesses to the world; the new approach was to focus on a single motorcycle manufacturer, and the owner’s specific needs and concerns, to create branding story that had far more resonance in Ghana and beyond than traditional communications. They also regularly seed discussions on Google+ and LinkedIn groups to find out more about potential customers.

John Battelle on making advertising ‘inherently valuable‘ (bazaarvoice)

In this video the co-founding editor of Wired, John Battelle, explains four things that he feels are needed to make advertising ‘inherently valuable’ for viewers:

  1. A ‘liquid environment of data’ that allows marketer to understand the viewer and deliver a valuable message to them that has real resonance.
  2. For the viewer to understand the social contact they have entered into by providing their data.
  3. Infrastructure to manage this data in real-time.
  4. Creativity – the ability to interpret this data and covert it into knowing the right thing to say.

And finally here are few more Brilliant Reads for you…

Teckler: the new social network that rewards customers for sharing their data and content

US public now spends more time online than watching TV

Porsche crowdsources design for new 911 among Facebook fans

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