Your story used to be determined by your agency.
They'd go away and come up with a big idea. Typically, in the form of an ad.
The best ones were unique - an original notion or slogan that had never been communicated quite that way before. When it happened, they were easy to spot, easy to remember and easy to share.
Lately, a variation on this approach has been keeping us busy.
That is, helping brands define and share their own truly original position. Not a cutesy version for short term attention. Not a headline. A singular, compelling representation of their value and their values.
For many of the brands we work with, it's always been there. It's just hidden under a few layers of bias, sometimes fear, and then uncovered by research, positioning and execution.
But the position is truly, uniquely, their own. It's not something we dreamt up in clever isolation.
Sure, the process to get there varies based on the unique culture and characteristics of a brand. In our experience the special sauce is more about showing up and getting started than it is about getting hit by a mythical bolt of inspiration.
The more relevant part of the process is the less sexy function of getting rid of everything that's not essential to making your point.
Create freely. Edit ruthlessly.
A potent position only requires a certain amount of information. Organize around culture and shared experiences instead of clever story arcs to overly complicated narratives that people have to decipher. Take the things you know, break them down into their simplest parts, re-imagine them through the lens of your audience and make a statement.
Stand for something.
Not everyone will love it. (That's when you know you've got something.)
Taking the time to create a compelling story about why you do what you do, is worth every minute.
And it's how you grow.
P.S.-Don't only think about changing direction when you have to. Consider that it's important to plan and position while things are going well, not just when they go to hell.