How we create brand foundational narratives.

Ulysses and the Sirenes

A great brand story is one that dramatizes the product benefit, gives cultural meaning to the brand, amplifies the role that the brand plays in people lives and inspires consumers to follow the brand’s journey.

A great story also needs to have narrative intensity, it needs to have a tension.

It all starts with a core tension:  the goal which the brand empowers the consumer to reach, and the struggles and barriers that need to be overcome to reach that goal.

Our process to create a Foundational Narrative follows two steps:  defining the core brand story, then refining it into a proper foundational narrative.

Before we work on the foundational narrative, we establish a story structure.  We navigate the journey from the brand’s strategic building blocks to the articulation of its story.  Then we make a narrative analysis of this draft story and, finally, distil it into a foundational narrative.



  1. Defining the brand’s core story.

We often use a brand story workshop to create the core brand story.

With the brand group, we carefully establish the story’s building blocks, and create a draft, focussing on the key tension between the “goal” and the “struggles” at the core of the story.  We define the story’s protagonist, the hostile forces, brand and product roles, goals and morals.


  1. Archetype and narrative analysis, and final distillation

We work with narrative analysis experts to enrich the brand story, and examine its cultural resonance.  We establish correlations with other cultural narrative frameworks.  Then we distil the story into a core foundational narrative.

See pages on Foundational narrative theoryNarrative Archetypes and Narrative trends.



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