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At Sonder & Tell we use a story structure to build a brand’s strategy. We start with the hero. Who are they? What’s the problem they need solving (the practical one and the deep emotional one)? And what’s the journey they need to go on? We believe starting here helps brands think of their customer first, and the positive role they can play in their lives.

For us, your hero is your aspirational target or the ideal customer persona. It’s not about capturing your whole addressable audience but about finding a unifying mindset that goes beyond demographics. Nike builds its brand for the aspiring athlete, Oatly for the post-milk generation, KatKin for the hardcore cat parent.

Last year, we worked with Manors to reposition them from a golf-inspired fashion brand to a brand with clothes you could wear on the course. Through surveys and conversations with modern-day golfers, we identified the hero and mindset as the “frontier golfer”.  They’re the people looking ahead to the next game, the next adventure. Who want a brand that frees up the way they can look or feel on the course. And we used the “fairway golfer” to define what we were not.

Our story structure means that if you identify your hero, you know who you need to be in order to be their guide. Think Dory for Merlin, the inspiring coach shouting Just Do It for aspiring athletes, or in Manors case, the explorer brand pioneering a new frontier for the game and the culture; that progresses with the people who play it. 

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“The hero’s journey always begins with the call. One way or another, a guide must come to say, ‘Look, you’re in Sleepy Land. Wake. Come on a trip. There is a whole aspect of your consciousness, your being, that’s not been touched. So you’re at home here? Well, there’s not enough of you there.’ And so it starts.”

― Joseph Campbell
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The Interview Header

What are some of the mistakes people make when it comes to brand? Emily Dehn, S&T’s Strategy Director says the worst but most common is “telling consumers what the business wants to say, rather than what they actually want to hear.” From an English Lit degree and start in finance to Head of Words and now Strategy Director, read about Emily’s career path to this point, why words are so important to strategy and her list of best brand books. 

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Meet Manors. A brand that believes golf is not just a sport to be mastered, but explored. Taking cues from sports like surfing and cycling that are intertwined with travel and adventure, the brand is about journeys to parts unknown, the early mornings and the playing through the rain. (See their latest article on playing golf on the perfectly imperfect island of Tobago). But it’s also about exploring a new way forward for the world of golf – valuing the rules that better the game and questioning the ones that don’t. Respecting the sport’s past but progressing with the people that play. Check out their new frontier collection. And a chance to win a three-day golf experience in St Andrews here. 

Draw a picture of your hero. Where are they? What are they doing? What are they thinking?

Hit reply to submit your prompt


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