How to Use the Core Story Principle to Build Brand Value

What is a core story?

If your communication doesn’t match up with your brand values, your stakeholders will not understand your brand’s offering, and there will be a gap between your brand’s external image and your company’s internal identity. Using a core story is a strategic way of aligning your communication to create a consistent message about your brand.

Your core story is your central brand message and the basis of all your communication. The aim of using a core brand story is to close any gap there might be between your brand’s external image and your company’s internal identity and ultimately building your brand’s value. The story should be relevant and appealing to all of your stakeholders, so they are drawn to it and want to connect with you, your brand and your company.

What are the benefits of using a core story to communicate your brand values?

The benefits of using a core brand story include:
- A platform for basing the rest of your storytelling (and other) communication on, resulting in consistent communication of brand values
- An easy and efficient way of communicating your brand values and your company’s mission and vision
- Stakeholders easily understanding and becoming drawn to connect with your brand values and company
- A way of aligning, enhancing and communicating your marketing and communication strategy
- A way of differentiating your brand and business and standing out from the competition
- A way of engaging your stakeholders in the brand story, resulting in more positive psychological co-creation and word of mouth

Where do you “find” your core story?

The most important criteria for your core brand story is that it must be authentic – either based on an authentic personal story (like what motivated you to start your own company), or an authentic problem (like using fictional characters to illustrate the problem you are solving through your services). A good start on a core brand story for a small company or solopreneur is why you got started in the first place, what your values are and what your mission is with your company – basically your about page on your website.

However, for bigger and/or older companies, more people have had an influence on the brand and have helped co-create the brand through interacting with it. Therefore, the bigger the company, the more stakeholders you want to involve before creating your story. Consumers, customers, employees and others can be involved in creating the story. Through listening to these stakeholder groups’ stories about their experiences with the brand (for example customer reviews), you can create an authentic co-created story that includes the internal culture and external experiences with the brand. Involving a lot of stakeholders in creating your core brand story will also be effective in lessening the gaps in external image and internal identity.

How do you use your core story to communicate your brand values?

Think of your core story as a way to direct the rest of your communication. The articles you retweet on Twitter, share on Facebook or LinkedIn are more valuable to your brand if they have something in common with it (making retweeting web design articles more valuable if you are a web designer). The blogposts you create should establish you as a form of expert in your field of service, in turn making your brand and service more valuable and attractive. Your goal should be to communicate valuable, meaningful and interesting messages about your brand, that your stakeholders can connect with. Basically, before communicating with your stakeholders, you want to make sure that your message is consistent with your story and brand values, so as not to confuse your stakeholders about your brand.

By the way

Fog, Budtz and Yakaboylu (2004) have written a whole book (Storytelling – Branding in Practice) about how to find and use your core brand story, written for larger companies.

Travel Insurance for Seniors – Why the Elderly Should Plan for the Unexpected

Travel insurance for seniors is a necessary part of every senior’s vacation pre-planning. It’s important for senior citizens to know what countries they are going to visit, what activities they are going to do, and they need to know how long they are going to be away.A comprehensive travel insurance package is just as important as the rest of your travel packet. Your health is always an uncertain issue. You can pick up a nasty disease; you could slip and fall down a flight of stairs, or you could accidentally walk in front of a speeding bus.Travel insurance is a good idea to have it if you are a senior citizen. There are just too many situations that could go wrong for you to take any chances. You don’t want to roll the dice when it comes to your personal health in another country.How to Select the Best Travel Insurance for SeniorsNow that we have established that having travel insurance is a wise decision to make, the next step is how to select the best travel insurance for seniors. Here are some important tips:• Accident and Health Coverage – Probably the most important types of coverage for travel insurance for seniors are Accident and Health. Accidents can happen at any time, so it is nice to know that you are covered under those circumstances. It’s also possible for most of us to maintain good health by eating correctly, exercising, and seeing our doctors for regular check ups. However, seniors are more prone to strokes, heart attacks, and other serious complications because they are older.In addition, if you require hospitalization or emergency care in a foreign country, you could be expected to pay for the treatment upfront if you don’t have any insurance. This might cause some better hospitals to refuse treatment unless they are paid upfront.• Life Insurance – If you already have life insurance, make sure you are still covered if you are in another country. It’s especially important to check if there is a clause for repatriation in case of death while abroad. There are many seniors and other young adults who die while traveling or working in foreign countries each year. Many of their families are left with the responsibilities of having the remains flown back to the U.S. This can be very expensive and stressful at a time of family suffering.• Liability Travel Insurance – This is particularly important for seniors who want to rent cars and drive during their trips. Cars are already dangerous in the U.S. When you drive in another country, you might find yourself in situations where there are fewer rules and regulations on the road, and far more accidents. If you cause an accident, you could be held liable, and that might mean some jail time until you come up with the money for the fine, or until you pay off some family.I know one man, who was stuck in an Indian jail because he struck and killed some farmer’s cow. Cows are sacred in India, and they roam many streets. I know of another situation where a traveler was burning a candle in his bungalow on Koh Samui. He forgot to put it out before he left for a night of partying on the beach. When he returned, his bungalow had been burnt to the ground. He was also put in jail for a few months because he didn’t have any money to help compensate the owner. Liability insurance could have come in handy in his situation, as well.Travel Insurance for Seniors – ConclusionDon’t play Russian Roulette with your health. Make sure you have good travel insurance for seniors before leaving on your upcoming trip.

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