Brand Storytelling: The Clues to a Great Story

TED talks are a gold mine of knowledge. Because the TED website’s topics include not only technology, education and design (TED) but also business, science, activism, health, storytelling and everything in between, one can get lost on the site for days.

A number of these short talks (most are around 20 minutes) revolve around storytelling. While they don’t necessarily address brand storytelling, they do offer insights that a brand could apply to its efforts to engage audiences through its brand story. I’ve gathered four talks I found particularly useful, and I’ve included a brand takeaway for each. Enjoy Part 1!


Filmmaker Andrew Stanton knows a thing or two about effective storytelling and breaking storytelling conventions. But no matter the type of story, one rule remains: the storyteller has to make the audience care. Stanton draws on his experience at Pixar as well as his own life to explain what makes a good story, why the audience wants to be put to work, and the roles of drama, anticipation and uncertainty in a gripping story. If for no other reason, watch the talk to hear a great opening for a presentation.










What brands can learn from this talk

The success of a brand, at least from a marketing perspective, isn’t defined by a collection of isolated events, executions or campaigns. Instead, it is determined by how well the brand exists over the long haul—how effectively a story can be woven around the brand and told in a way that makes the audience care, propelling them forward and enticing them to “read on” (so to speak). “If things go static, stories die, because life is never static,” Stanton says.

Ensure that your brand is consistently creating content, whether it be Facebook posts, tweets, an email newsletter or videos. You’ve heard the saying “Keep your audience engaged” time and time again, but it’s imperative for your brand’s ongoing narrative. When your content ends, so too does the act of telling your brand’s story.

Read more from Jon here.

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Jon Thomas

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I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
— winston
In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
— Russ Wright
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
— Ken

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