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Blog | Once upon a time, your brand…

The Princess and the Frog

I once had the pleasure of visiting Pixar’s headquarters in Emeryville to view a pre-screening of a project I was working on for them, marketing The Princess and the Frog to multicultural markets.

As Daniel Pink notes in his book, To Sell is Human, Pixar’s success could be traced to the story DNA they infuse into every film they produce.  If you notice, all of their stories follow a basic pattern.

Once upon a time there was …
Every day …
One day …
Because of that …
Because of that …
Until finally …

For instance:

Once upon a time there was … a girl named Tiana, who had a dream of opening a restaurant, like her departed father always wanted.
Every day … Tiana worked as a waitress, taking double and triple shifts, rather than having fun with her friends and spending time with her family.
One day … she was magically turned into a frog by the carefree Prince Naveen who was tricked into being transformed as well.
Because of that … they venture out together into the dangerous New Orleans bayou to find a way to change back and meet some friends along the way.
Because of that … they learn the only way to change back is for Naveen to kiss a Princess.
Until finally … they fall in love and get married.  When they kiss, since Tiana is now a Princess, they magically turn back into their human form.

Stories have the ability to help us understand and remember complex ideas far better than a rational point by point pitch.  They make us visualize and empathize with the characters.  And they create interest and intrigue about the conclusion. Instead of telling your “elevator pitch” once again, try telling the story of your brand in this format.  You may be surprised how compelling your story is.

Once upon a time there was … a company that needed help with their marketing.
Every day … they would receive media opportunities for sales reps, they would see all the things their competitors were doing, and they always wondered if they were doing the right things to promote their business.
One day … they enlisted the help of a strategic marketing firm to help them plan and develop their advertising.
Because of that … they got experienced advice and high-quality creative to promote their business.
Because of that … they got more customers and their sales went up.
Until finally … they realized they had made the right choice by hiring experts instead of trying to do it on their own.