Oct 28. 3 min read

The one-night (brand)

How to create value through meaning

Companies often feel that branding is something you have to do once and then you have a blueprint that your entire organization can simply refer to, copy paste the instructions and you’re all good.

However, we’re here to tell you that things don’t quite work out that way. Obviously, we’re biased and we want you to commit to a 12 month program that includes a nice retainer. But hear us out… In branding as in romance, the more time you put, the better it gets.


The evolving story:

No matter how deep and profound your brand strategy is, your brand is ultimately judged by the stories it tells and your commitment to finding interesting ways to communicate with your stakeholders.

AirBnb is just a platform that doesn’t even own real estate, however it’s brand has tapped into the transformation it brings to its customers, the sense of adventure and discovery it constantly provides. By creating content across all of its digital platforms that brings authentic experiences, real-life inspiring stories, it constantly inspires and always puts its fans and followers in the mood for their next adventure.

Marketing vs Branding

While marketing is constantly dealing with figures and kpi’s, branding deals with the intangible sense of belonging, with the journey to create memorable experiences across all of its touchpoints. Branding is the constant touch that makes a party great, the obsessive yet strategic attention to detail, the right balance between guests, the right playlist, the ambiance, the intuition and the counter-intuition.

Casper just sells mattresses online.  But really, they sell dreams. They sell the product of a great night’s sleep. They ignite the imagination of what might be if you only could have that legendary night of sleep.

Casper’s decision to expand their narrative, and not sell product but rather an experience, is a strategic decision that has paid off tremendously. It’s not a gimmick, it is entrenched in every facet of their operations. From the content they create for their digital platforms, to the videos they create all the way to the micro-copy on their site  their service design and packaging.

Casper is storytelling at the highest level and it shows that brand building and meaningful storytelling is ingrained in their DNA and encouraged by ownership / upper management.

Is your organization really ready to start telling a story?

When it comes to your business, everyone wishes it was a brand that stood for something. Everyone wants to be an Apple and not a Dell, a Tesla and not a Hyundai.

Smart CEO’s and CMO’s always make the argument though that the brands we love are a result of millions of dollars of ad and pr spend, and without that kind of budget, it’s simply better to focus on USP’s, on price and clarity. “Maybe one day we’ll also do that…but in the meantime….”  But really smart decision-makers know that the value of brand and story isn’t about creating the next Apple or Nike. It’s about investing in your customers and caring enough to give them an experience alongside a product or a service. It makes much more sense to invest in an existing customer than it does to try and always attract new ones.


Some of my clients, past and present.