World building beats branding
Branding is about strategy and vision.
Marketing is about tactics and goals.
Imagine building an immersive experience, a world, in which your branding and your marketing takes place.
Before you can tell a story, you describe the world in which that story is set.
The world your hero is living in now.
This includes the challenges he/she faces and the vision they have of a better life.
In order to build worlds, you need to create maps complete with clusters of places that you bring to life by investing gravity, power and culture in them.
Gravity is an invisible force that attracts people and holds them in your world.
You create it by talking about your values, beliefs and principles. People either feel aligned with them or repelled by them.
There is a power structure in every world.
The one you are living in now has.
Its 1%s establishment.
The ones who control almost everything.
These peeps won’t give up their seats without a struggle. The fastest way to unseat them is to zag whilst they continue to zig.
The culture is created by the people who live in your world based on the pre-set gravity. You help them do so by talking about what is meaningful and important to them as it relates to the value you create for them.
The world you create provides the context and the backstory for every piece of content and every offer you create.
That backstory colours each story you tell.
It provides a path from one story to the next…
From one place to the next.
Never forget that your ideal prospect is on a journey, their journey, over which you have little to no control.
If you are lucky, their route will pass through one or more of the places in your world before moving on.
By making your world memorable.
By making your world different.
By giving your world gravity.
They may come back at another time because your world is new and different from the world they have constructed for themselves.
They feel drawn to your world.
When you set out to construct your world ask yourself how you can make it a multi-sensory encounter?
If your business had a playlist what would it be?
If it had a philosophy what would that be?
What would the vibe be like?
Your graphics, the font, the design of the page, the style of writing, the theme and the message we deliver all add character and colour to our brand.
But there’s more to world building than plain vanilla branding…
It’s about leaving breadcrumbs for your peeps to follow so they can continue their journey… find a path to another place in your world.
Places are nouns.
Context (vibe) is the adjectives and the motivations that link the places together.
Your stories entertain but without context they do not provide a deeper experience for your audience.
The context is created by building a multi-sensory world into which you invite your reader.
There they discover characters and backstories and inside jokes — and your WHY.
It’s where your audience has a specific experience when they encounter you.
That could be described as:
but it’s unique to you.
You build an ecosystem in which your audience feels at ease.
The landscape and the tone reflects your major themes and preoccupations as well as the nature of its morality.
Good world building shows your audience things they see every day in the conventional world and pokes at them with distaste.
Great world building shows your audience things they don’t like but are blind to, either because they’ve trained themselves not to notice or because they believe there is no alternative so they cannot avoid them.
You probably have the makings of a world already so the first thing to do is to survey it.
Map out all the places.
Discover the paths in between.
Think about the playlist.
Notice the vibe.
Then you can start being deliberate about developing it.
Making it feel more substantial.
Giving it an atmosphere.
I am deep in the process of creating a training for consultants and expert service providers who are already clients of mine to help them develop their world building skills.