I am about to use a word I've never used before.
There, I've typed it.
I don't use words like narrative because they have become the domain of candy-assed jargon slingers. But I'm using it today because I am so incensed about the up-coming Presidential election in America and what I believe are the lessons that we in marketing could learn.
President Obama--silver-tongued President Obama--has had almost four years in office and he's failed, utterly and miserably failed to articulate a narrative about what he's done, what he's going to do and where the country is going.
As the eastern portion of America slowly recovers from a storm of Biblical proportions, it would be easy to creative a narrative about the important and necessary role of government in our lives.
But an American brand story is missing.
A story about noble aims.
A story about opportunity.
A story about fairness and equality despite inculcated unfairness and inequality.
All of this is missing in our election discourse.
No story-line has emerged.
There are about five or ten brands in America that have a story-line.
That have a creation myth that people believe in and admire.
The rest throw out websites, commercials, tweets and horseshit randomly and willy-nilly.
Take a company like Verizon.
They spend nearly $2 billion a year on marketing.
And each expenditure only reaffirms how hated they are.
They have no core.
No founding story.
All they have is $49.99 deals.
Brands, Presidential or not, need to do three things.
I call it the 3 D's:
1. They need to define who they are.
2. They need to demonstrate what they do.
3. They need to disseminate their story so it becomes word of mouth.
Of course there's a fourth D.
It's called dicking around.
That's what most of us will wind up doing.