Claudio Seguel is the Director of Brandstory, the brand new Chilean organization that carries out the training based on a new look, more human and deeper, about brands and their coexistence with the market. “We are looking to tell more stories and less PowerPoints” – he explains. And it has been years since Marketing, with a strong base in psychology, discovered that people do not consume exclusively by basic needs. The relationship with the brands is more and more private and demands, from the consumer’s point of view, that their values be defined to win their heart.
How was the idea of Brandstory born, or, in other words, which needs were born to be satisfied?
Brandstory was born 2 years ago, under the need of recovering that way of doing marketing that focuses on people. Nowadays in Chile the level of publicity and marketing are based on branding and the product; formulas already tested to do business are still being used but they overlook the consumer. It was when I read a book by Christian Salmon called Storytelling, which encouraged me to try to evangelize this concept that is based on people’s stories versus the stories that are offered by the brands.
What is brandstory based on? What is it?
Brandstory is the story that a brand has; a concept that was born in the 90s in the United States, and that is based on the Storytelling of a brand, contrary to Branding. In the 80s companies made products more than brands; but today those brands have to create a story that is sincere so people could enter into an emotional connection with those brands. People do not need promotions, discounts or presents, because they know they have them; what people know is that the product or brand in question gives value to their lives. And that can only be achieved by a story.
Does this discipline exist in other countries of the world? Has it got “cousins”? Where does is look for influences?
Yes, it was born in the United States in the middle of the 90s, in fact Peter Guber, former Sony Pictures and current CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, is one of the pioneers of storytelling for the success of the businesses. But besides, the French political current has its important exponents like Christian Salmon, who in my opinion is one of the men who fully manage the storytelling. But we can also highlight the Spanish Antonio Núñez with his works “Será mejor que lo cuentes” and “Storytelling en una semana”. In Europe and the United States storytelling is strong, but in Latin America it is almost non-existent, so there is still a lot to do. And in this sense, with Brandstory we are pioneers in a technique that is very basic but nevertheless effective, and that many forget to employ.
Which kind of “student” predominates in Brandstory?
The course is aimed at marketing managements, people from the world of agencies and innovative and independent people. For example, in our first course there are journalists, designers, advertising executives, a psychologist, an artistic director for films and partners of small agencies that have used the pattern of the storytelling from the course with high success in their works and personal projects.
What is the most important lesson that someone doing the course learns?
That all of us have a story to tell and that many times those stories are the beginning of a big business. They have understood that a brand without a story has no business opportunities and that people do not move by actions nor promotions, but by stories. All of us have emotional need and those needs are replaced by the stories. They have understood that we live in the economy of attention and that the only way to attract the attention is by giving meaning to their lives and that branding alone cannot do it, only brandstory can.
In a market where there is a permanent conflict between the emotional and the commercial, the appearance of disciplines like brandstory talk not only about the search for ways for selling more and better, but also about a clear humanist current that invades the world, where we realise that the person is the first and the last in any problem, and every effort should be directed at captivating their hearts.
“All of us have a story to be told, and those who are part of Brandstory play the role of transmitting our own life and labour experiences to those who take the course. So we are referents that work as a stimulant that helps to take out the best stories from each of the participants, at the same time of giving incentive to innovation and the looking for success of business through storytelling.”