Stories are as much a part of our daily lives as our workplaces and neighborhood landmarks.
Big, enduring stories become icons – not just of corporations, but of whole cultures. A great story is a repository, not merely of functional characteristics, but of meaning and value. But if we are to identify and effectively leverage the essential elements, or “immutables” of our stories, we must become fluent in the visual and verbal language of archetypes.
The creators of great stories have intuited this simple truth. For example superstars in the film industry understand that their continued popularity does not hing simply on the quality or success of the films they make or the visibility they attain. Rather it depends on creating, nourishing, and continuously reinterpreting a unique and compelling identity or meaning.
Tom Hanks imbues every role he plays with the spirit of the wide – eyed Dreamer.
These identities are not only consistent – they are compelling. Love ’em or hate ’em, you can’t help but notice them. In fact, we can’t help but be mesmerized by who they are and what they implicitly stand for. It is the deeper archetypal meaning in their stories that kept people tuning back into these stories.
Stories that really grip attention always have archetypal quality. When the next big story breaks we’ll all be caught again, because each story that so mysteriously grabs us is some version of “Once upon a time….” – a mythic tale acted out in real life. Sometimes the storyteller simply intuits the archetype. Sometimes they are guided by a conscious system. The Star Wars series – as well as spin-off action figures and other products – hold endless appeal. In making these films, George Lucas has been guided by Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, which outlines the rich and evocative stages of the Hero’s Journey. The popularity of each episode is derived in large part from the way Lucas consciously crafts the entire series to convey archetypal characters and mythic plots.
You want to have your Brand Story grab – and keep – our attention for the same reason: it embodies an archetype. Your story can capture the essential meaning of your category and communicate that message in subtle and refined ways to dominate your market.
What Can I Expect?
Here’s an outline of “Your Brand Story” itinerary.
PART I PRIMAL STORIES: A SYSTEM FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF MEANING
- The First System – Ever – for the Management of Meaning
- Your Story as an Asset
- Archetypes: The Heartbeat of Enduring Brands
- Postmodern Marketing
PART II THE YEARNING FOR PARADISE: DREAMER, TRAVELER, SAGE
- The Dreamer
- The Traveler
- The Sage
PART III LEAVING A THUMBPRINT ON THE WORLD: HERO, REBEL, MAGICIAN
- The Hero
- The Rebel
- The Magician
PART IV NO MAN IS AN ISLAND: REGULAR GUY, LOVER, JESTER
- The Regular Guy
- The Lover
- The Jester
PART IV FINDING YOUR HERO’S JOURNEY: POSITIONING AN ARCHETYPAL BRAND
- Uncovering the Archetypal Meaning of Your Brand
- Telling Your Brand Story
- An Example
PART V DEEPER WATERS
- What is Your Story? Capturing Story Essence
- The New Corporate Story: Branding and Organizational Congruence
- Leaving a Legacy: The Ethics of Archetypal Marketing
Your Travel Guide
Story teller Peter de Kuster is the founder of The Heroine’s Journey en The Hero’s Journey and an accomplished speaker worldwide. His books and stories about the Hero’s Journey – making money doing what you love – have reached millions of creative professionals worldwide in the last decennium.