Navigating narrative

Pinpointing a storytelling strategy for your brand

Claudio Branca at EACD Coaching Day in Milan

Today’s communicators face two great challenges: first, they need to answer a demand for brand stories  – a demand that is growing at a faster rate than the amount of stories a brand can feasibly produce. Secondly, brand stories are more fragmented than ever before, consumed by different audiences and diffused across a wide range of media platforms and channels – in the process losing their effectiveness and sense-making potential.

In the face of these challenges, it’s a tough call for communicators to develop and manage a consistent narrative, and it's even harder to offer a seamless brand experience to stakeholders.

That's why EACD Italy Regional Group organised a coaching day last Friday to explore storytelling as a strategic mind set for orientating every single fragment of your narrative in the right direction.



The importance of storytelling as a strategic tool, and not just window dressing, was emphasised by the coaching day's guest speaker, Claudio Branca (pictured at the top of the page). Claudio, who is innovation manager and partner of corporate storytelling consultants Storyfactory, explained to Communication Director Magazine: "Storytelling is much more than putting down your business message in cute, emotional or inspiring words. It’s much more than giving the perfect pitch for your idea. It’s a competence, giving you the tools and strategies you need to make the right decisions for your brand and business."



During the coaching day, a tool similar to a compass was used to analyse the narrative positioning of a brand and its audiences, to define a storytelling strategy and to imagine how to react to a counter-storytelling aimed at this narrative. As Claudio explained: "When a storm of adverse narratives approaches your own brand narrative – and it will happen, sooner or later – you’ll better know if the best thing to do is sticking to your planned route, slightly adjusting your direction to gently avoid the tempest or re-orientate your storytelling completely."


Summing up, EACD regional coordinator for Italy, Marco Magli, head of media and external relations at Avio Aero, a GE Aviation business, said "Storytelling provides the right tools to trace a route and make sure that all of your stories will travel as one – just like a well-commanded fleet". With fail-safe storytelling used hand-in-hand with the business strategy, you and your organisation will be able to escape even the toughest storms relatively unscathed.

A version of this article orginally appeared on the EACD website titled: "Setting the compass of storytelling".

Image: Marco Magli