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“It feels like therapy.” Not the name of our new podcast (though wouldn’t it be a good one?) but a piece of feedback we’ve received after running our storybook workshops at Sonder & Tell. 

Most recently, it was played back to us at a day we hosted for Pembroke VCT, talking heroes and happily-ever-afters with their portfolio brands spanning paint, eyewear, underwear and gelato.

And after this occasion, we did a little reflection on why our workshops feel like therapy – and the feelings we’ve seen our clients experience at different stages. Here are our top ten:

  1. Relieved: You get the chance to articulate your problems out loud. And trust us, there’s no holding back.

  2. Challenged: Who are these people asking me these questions? Can we get to the answer already?

  3. Enlightened: We play those problems back to you in a different light. And find other problems you hadn’t thought about. There are a lot of aha's at this point.

  4. Critically assessed: You’re guided by an expert, who has the critical distance to tell you what’s important and what’s not. (That ex you can’t forget = that product feature you won’t stop talking about.)

  5. Childlike: You can feel like a kid, observing something for the first time. We talk in heroes, magic powers and guiding beliefs to get you to approach your strategy with fresh eyes.

  6. Studious: You get to draw, write, share and apply your new thinking with others. (More fun kid stuff.)

  7. Safe: It’s a safe space – no idea is too small or too silly to share.

  8. Expansive: We move you from the nitty details to the big picture, to see the overall impact certain choices could make.

  9. Structured: We guide erratic thoughts into a solution that makes sense.

  10. Clear: You feel a touch lighter as you leave with clarity on the problem you’ve brought to the table. 

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“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.”

― Graham Greene
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At the helm of our brand therapy strategy studio is our Accounts team. Charlie’s joined us recently from the world of packaging design, and brought with him his oh-so-sonder take on building great client relationships: “Remembering little nuggets of people’s lives – what they did over the weekend, about their holiday – and asking them about it the next time you speak with them is a special way of showing you care about the person behind the business.”
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We're Not Really Strangers is a card game made for driving meaningful conversations and deeper connections. There are three levels of cards – from ‘what do you think my name is?' to ‘what’s a question you’re too afraid to ask’ and even ‘what’s the worst assumption you’ve ever made about me?’ We especially love its Instagram for being so deep in its feelings, and the box microcopy: 'There are two ways to play this game: play safe or play to grow. The second is how you win.'

Think of a challenge you’re facing. Write it down. How does it feel? Speak it out loud. What about now? Talk it through with a friend. And now?

Consider how the shape of a problem changes depending on how it’s shared.

Hit reply to submit your prompt


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Browse our page to see what the team is reading and a few of our favourite brand and copywriting books. When you buy from you're supporting independent bookstores. And we're donating the 10% affiliate cut from our store to BookTrust, the UK's largest children's reading charity. 

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Sonder & Tell · Sonder & Tell, Unit 28 · 40 Bowling Green Lane · London, EC1R 0NE · United Kingdom