First, the mentor needs
an authentic personality
because people trust other people, not
anonymous entities. Users must feel a real
personality behind the brand - which isn't
necessarily the exact replica of the CEO,
but is usually pretty close to the true
personality of the founders.
Since the personality will impact how the brand looks
like, but also how it acts, there mustn't be a major gap
between the image you want to convey and the
experience the users have when using your product or
hearing about you in the press.
Your personality reﬂects in
- your tone of voice: the words you use
- your look: the design elements of your
logo or web page
- your behavior: the events you
organize, the pricing you set, the
charities you support, the content you
Everything you do as a brand must be consistent with
your personality. Any true gap might feel inauthentic
and therefore dent your credibility. So choose from the
Then, the mentor needs
higher values he stands for
the connection with a person starts as soon
as you talk to them: you encounter their
personality. But when you find out what
their true values are, that's when you decide
if you want to be a part of their world or
not. It's exactly the same with brands. Users
want to know how you see the world and
how you think it should be.
Most brands have very weak – a.k.a. mainstream - values
because they fear being cut off from a portion of their
users. But when you want everyone to love you, well,
nobody really does. They 'kind of' like you. Not great for
Your higher values also reﬂect
- your tone of voice
- your look
- your behavior: the battles you
choose, the mission statement you put
up, even the products you create or
the way you promote them…
Once again, mind the gap between what you say and
how you act! When you're small, people won't
necessarily react negatively, but they certainly will feel
Lastly, the mentor needs
to empower the user to
achieve their truth
That's the trickiest part. It requires to
empathize with your users so deeply that
you'll know them to their very core. Based
on that, your goal should be to do
everything you can to help them become
who they aspire to be.
You have to find out their true aspiration in life. What
truly aches in their heart, something they're not
necessarily aware of; what they truly long for, but think is
impossible to achieve; what they truly dream of, but
would never say out loud because it would feel
Remember, the hero of
the story is the user. The
brand is (only) the mentor.
That's also tricky for most brands, who
instinctively tend to promote themselves:
"We sell the best product, so you should
really choose us" is what most homepages
shout out. In real life, we know bragging is
bad for relationships, but in marketing, we
just go for it.
The key is to love your users. To be obsessed with them.
To want to be there for them. Not just to say it, but to
actually take the strategic decisions that will make their
life easier, happier, more beautiful, more meaningful.
That's the story they want to hear. Don't you?
The truth you empower your
user to achieve, reﬂects in
- your baseline
- your user experience: in your
product, on your website and, even
more, in your customer service
- your communication: the advice,
guidances & inspiration you distill in
your blog, emails, webinars, op-eds,
- your behavior: how you involve your
users in your events or any strategic
decision you take
In a nutshell,
Brand storytelling means
telling a story your users
will love because it's
about how your brand
will help them become
what they aspire to be.
It's as much a philosophy as it is a tool,
A BRAND CAN BE DEFINED
IN ONE SIMPLE SENTENCE.
IT'S THE NORTH STAR OF
YOU CAN USE THE
"WE'RE A UNIQUE BRAND THAT'S ALL ABOUT TRUTH. "
Choose an adjective to describe your unique personality as a mentor.
Choose a verb to synthetize your mission and higher values,
in relation with your user's quest.
IS A CURIOUS BRAND THAT'S ALL ABOUT LEARNING.
Note that it's not about seeing – and that 'curious' has a double meaning the founders
meant to give to their brand: curiosity for the world and kind of awkward.