Brand Stories Hold The Power

Mark Di SommaDecember 25, 20131972 min

Great products sell themselves. No they don’t. But equally, people don’t just buy brands either. Today’s customers are for the most part far too sophisticated and informed to buy generic-quality products with a nice or familiar name attached to them and a decent media budget.

What people buy, and pay for, is stories – and in order for those stories to resonate, everything that reaches customers needs to ring true. Product, service, distribution…All are inseparable components of the brand story because they collectively contribute to how people feel. They bring the story to life. They give it credibility. They provoke engagement and emotion. And ultimately build brand equity.

Sometimes companies with iconic brands forget that. They somehow believe that because the branding process can add margin, brands must equal margin. So they figure they can nip or tuck one area, two areas, three areas, and still everything will be OK. The margins will hold if they still have brands. Wrong. So wrong. Brands can only add margin when everything else is right.

Make a promise. Deliver on it.

Get it right and the circle is seamless. Get it wrong and the circle is vicious. Because when you don’t pay attention to delivering on every detail of your story, the story itself is compromised. Your brands degrade. To names.

Instead of a portfolio, all you’re left with is a list.

Making the list longer or wider doesn’t add diversity. It’s not a segmentation strategy. It just adds complexity, cost and confusion to what is now a catalog.

A simple human truth soon kicks into play. If you don’t give people valid reasons to pay more, they won’t.

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Mark Di Somma


  • Ankit Mohan

    December 26, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    That is so well written, and something that is around but wasn’t yet mentioned aloud. With social media hype, in this century, consumers are looking for brands that are more human, more receptive of their emotions. Even if you go by advertisements, some of the most successful advertisements on air today are those that tell a story or strike an emotional chord. But all this fails, if companies don’t deliver on those emotions.

  • Mark Disomma

    January 3, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Thanks Ankit – stories need proof otherwise they are just fairytales. Cheers, Mark.

  • Andrew

    January 16, 2014 at 4:54 am

    “What people buy, and pay for, is stories” That’s a great way of putting it Mark. I don’t think brands really understand how important stories are to the human psyche. In fact, marketers should probably undergo a brief crash course on effective storytelling and incorporating that into various processes so that the end result as the customer sees it, is a cohesive consistent story.

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