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The # 1 Criteria for Great Brand Storytelling

While your organisation’s history, traditions, challenges and successes are an important part of the brand narrative, modern brand storytelling is about inspiring and engaging people on a cause worth believing in.

Belief is at the core of great brand storytelling and underpins a great marketing program.

Customers Buy Because They Believe in Your ‘Why’

Author Simon Sinek popularised the concept of ‘why’, stating that people don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it – because they resonate with your core belief, your cause, your purpose.

Research shows that people are now not just buying with purpose but also for purpose. Younger generations in particular, such as Generation Z and Millennials, are prioritising the ‘why’ of brands over the ‘what’ of brands.

‘Why’ Statements Are Really ‘We Believe’ Statements

While your vision and mission tell people where you’re heading and how you’re going to get there, your ‘why’ conveys why you believe they matter.

Some of the most compelling brand narratives start with, or have embedded in them, ‘we believe’ statements.

For example:

  • Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla believes ‘the faster the world stops relying on fossil fuels and moves towards a zero-emission future, the better’. This belief drives its mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
  • With a belief that ‘the basic attribute of mankind is to look after each other’, renowned humanitarian and eye surgeon Fred Hollows set in motion a legacy to end avoidable blindness by providing access to quality and affordable eye health.
  • Edgar’s Mission, a not-for-profit sanctuary for rescued farmed animals believes ‘If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others, why wouldn’t we?’. This belief fuels its mission of ‘kindness’ and vision for a humane and just world for all.
  • Maker of durable outdoor clothing products that cause no harm to the environment, Patagonia expresses its belief as ‘we appreciate that all life on earth is under threat of extinction. We’re using the resources we have – our business, our investments, our voice and our imaginations – to do something about it’.
  • Swedish car manufacturer Volvo believes in ‘omtanke’, meaning ‘caring’ and ‘consideration’. For Volvo, it defines its approach to safety, sustainability and customer service, and underpins a belief in ‘making a better, safer and more considerate world’.
  • Founder of the Virgin Group, adventurer and known as ‘Dr Yes’ to his staff, Richard Branson unsurprisingly says ‘I don’t believe that that little word “can’t” should stop you’. And that pretty much sums up Branson’s approach to building an empire of more than 400 companies.

Engage Hearts and Minds with a ‘We Believe…’ Statement

Belief is at the heart of powerful brand storytelling, releasing a potent emotional energy that galvanises the hearts and minds of employees and customers, alike.

What’s the cause that ignites your passion? What do you believe about this cause? Why does this cause matter?

As an example, here’s my belief statement that drives my passion to help build purpose-drive brands that make the world a better place:

I believe brands with vision and purpose, supported by shared core values, move humanity forward. That’s why I’ve made it my mission to build purpose-driven brands by empowering leaders to think bigger picture, strategically align their brand with a higher purpose and enhance their reputation through communications that uplift people and aspire for a better future. 

I’d love to know, what do you believe?


©Ros Weadman 2022 Ros Weadman empowers leaders to think bigger picture, strategically-align their brand to a higher purpose, enhance their reputation through communications that engage hearts and minds. Ros’s new book ‘Enhance Your Reputation’ is out now. Order your copy here.

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