+ Last week, there was a piece in Adweek called Why Agencies and Brands Need to Embrace True Storytelling, which was trying to make the point that storytelling and branded content are not the same thing.
I beg to differ.
Branded content is the extension of the story of the brand. Plain and simple.
What is missing from the piece, and perhaps what the author was trying to say, is that it's the way in which branded content is approached and created that needs to be better.
It is more than just whipping up a Facebook post for your brand page or online video or brand-sponsored stories on some website or in a magazine. The content needs to tie into the larger narrative of the brand story. Branded content are just chapters of the overall storybook that's being written. It's not like these things can exist in silos, nor should they.
When crafting branded content, the story themes should be carried through. They should be ways to extend the story, bring up new chapters, dive deeper into characteristics, and support the overall theme.
And as I've written about before, every touch point with a customer is part of the story. From inside a brick-and-mortor shop to customer service to the advertising, you can't separate these things. They are all part of the complex fabric that make up the overall brand story and bring to life the essence of the brand.