In the hit Broadway musical, Hamilton, the final ensemble is called, “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story.” It recollects that all the founding fathers were allowed to grow old and tell their stories, save of course for Alexander Hamilton who died young in the famed duel and that it fell to his wife, Eliza to tell his story for another 50 years so he would be remembered and revered for all that he contributed to our nation’s founding (and that without that story he would have been forgotten). The same lyrics can also apply for brands today. Today’s consumers expect a brand to do more than just have the best products, services, and prices. They expect a brand to tell a story. If a brand doesn’t have a brand story, it will die and be forgotten. So who tells your brand story and what is it?
Ask yourself what is my brand story. You may think that you don’t have a brand story but you do. Your brand story is told by your website, social media, products, and services. It is the basic DNA of your company. It tells your vision and values. It defines what separates you from the competition. Just as in Hamilton, Eliza told Hamilton’s story, his values, flaws, sacrifice, and what made him so different and special compared to his political rivals, Jefferson and Madison. The play also clearly defines that George Washington had a unique and special story that established the brand that history remembers him for and separates him from all of his compatriots even still today.
So who should be the chief storyteller of your brand? As Harry Truman, famously said, “the buck stops here.”, meaning that it should be the owner, CEO, or President of the company who conveys the brand story. Successful leaders are game changers. They transform the hearts and minds of their customers, employees, vendors, Wall Street, and the media to act on their strategy, buy the latest product, or provide the latest assessment of their company. Storytelling is essential to achieve this. If the CEO or Company President isn’t able or unwilling to tell the brand story, it should be another key officer who is totally familiar with the brand’s DNA and convey the story to all stakeholders – employees, consumers, shareholders, and vendors. Just as in the play, Eliza Hamilton was uniquely qualified and perhaps the only person possible to convey Hamilton’s story.
In today’s business world, a brand story is essential in the global economy. Without one, your brand will die. With one, it will flourish and be remembered.