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Your Brand is the Stories People Tell About You

This weekend I saw a comment a friend had posted on Facebook: “[Husband] and I went to the Edina Art Fair today, in hopes the photographer who inspired our Italy trip would be there again this year. When we first started dating, we went to the EAF and stopped in our tracks in front of a huge panoramic of Positano, Italy. We each said, “I want to go there,” and then joked {because we’d only been dating a couple of months} that if we got married, we’d go there for our honeymoon. 2.5 years later, we stood in the spot we remember seeing in Darren Olson’s photo, and had another couple take a photo of us. A little surreal to think that joke turned into reality. Today, we saw his booth and I immediately started crying. What an amazing, adventure-filled three years it has been. I could hardly hold it together when I told Darren the story! I can’t WAIT to have one of his canvases hanging on our wall.” 

In marketing, we often talk about the power of story. While many brands have refined their brand story, it’s rare to find a brand that is truly listening and looking for their story through the lives and mouths of those who love them. Every time someone talks about your company, they’re writing a paragraph in the story of who you are. To think your story starts and stops with you (or ends at the point of transaction), is like only reading the prologue.

Your brand is the stories people tell about you. If you want to know who you really are…just listen. They’ll tell you.


est est est wine Last weekend a group of us headed out to celebrate my bestie's 33rd birthday. Noticing a wine claiming to hail from an Italian region referred to as "EST! EST!! EST!!" our waitress asked if we knew the story behind the unusual name.

Depending on who you ask, sometime between the 10th and 12th centuries,  a Catholic bishop was traveling through Italy on his way to Rome. The bishop sent a servant ahead to scout out village taverns with great wine. When the servant found a satisfactory wine he would scrawl EST (Latin for "it is") on the door. Legend has it that the servant was so impressed with the wine being served at a Montefiascone inn that he enthusiastically scrawled Est! Est!! Est!!! on the door.

Several days (and several glasses of wine) later, the story is still sticking with me.

Storytelling matters.

Cin cin!