Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Who fools who?

Image remixed from toei

Brand stories fall in to two categories. Non-fiction and fiction. The difference between the two is the difference between persuasion and deception.

Not that I would assign such a dark designation to a local restaurant I recently visited, but the example serves well. The restaurant in question uses the French-Vietnamese heritage of its chef and owner as an on-line appetizer. The name of the restaurant itself follows up on this theme. As does the carved wood décor, and the touching story at the back of the menu about the chef’s Vietnamese grandmother.

Right… we are so ready for some of that delicious French-Vietnamese fusion cuisine, yes?

Well, sorry. The food turned out to be your standard sushi, admittedly with an exotic price tag. The only thing French was the aioli in one of the hand rolls. The only thing Vietnamese was Grandma. The disconnect between story and reality created an unnecessary disappointment.

When telling a brand story, start with the facts and build from there. Find the beauty in the truth. It’s always in there somewhere. Finally, check your finished story against where you began. Still hold up? Good. You’ve got something that starts persuasive and stays that way.

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