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Why Your Story Matters for a Unified Brand (and Business)

Last week, Fast Company told the story of a blog post from Ben Barry, a designer at Facebook who is credited with helping the tech firm clean up its branding.  From that blog post, Fast Company drew a short list of tips for companies also looking to revamp their brands.

The list offers great advice, and Barry’s blog post provides us with a rare peak behind the curtain into one of the world’s most innovative firms. But the authors of both of these blog posts take for granted something that Woden endeavors to capture for every client of ours: Their unique story.

Barry mentions Facebook’s mission as one of the reasons he wanted to work there. Indeed, firms’ mission statements or “About Us” pages have taken on nearly sacred importance in today’s world of feel-good capitalism.

In 2015, customers don’t just buy what you do, they buy why you do it. And for brands operating in competitive marketplaces, a story offers a chance to differentiate their offerings from the competitions’.

But for every Facebook or Starbucks – firms with a distinct, guiding sense of purpose beyond the balance sheet – there are thousands more who continue to operate without such an animating spirit.

Perhaps their busy executives have overlooked such a vision in favor of more prosaic (if necessary) tasks of running of business, such as managing receivables or hiring a new sales team.

But developing a great story and capturing the essence of why your company matters – to prospects, clients, and staff – is as important a task as any.

Why? Because it will make every other decision easier, more clear.

Facebook was able to streamline its visual identity from this mess…


…to the clean, welcoming interface to which we’ve all grown accustomed because it had a deeper set of principles that guide all its operations – a mission to “give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”

This mission informs not just its visual identity (sleek, unobtrusive, elegant) and brand (forward-thinking, smart, technical), but its HR practices, facilities, and engineering as well.

While the insights on design and corporate politics that these two blog posts delivered was certainly valuable, neither offered any hints for a business still searching for its brand narrative – its mission.

This is a shame; understanding why your business exists will make running it easier and more profitable.

Woden works with many small businesses, family offices, and startups that are often so focused on building great products that they don’t make the time to invest in their stories. We help them to discover what drives their business and why their customers value their services; or, more importantly, why their prospects will value their services.

If your business could use some help in this arena, give us a call today. We can help develop your story to unify your brand, engage potential customers, and provide the clarity and purpose you want to develop into all areas of your operations.