Storyategy by Matt Davis - Book Review

Storyategy by Matt Davies

When it comes to branding a business, the power of storytelling is such an effective strategy in building a brand. Storyategy by Matt Davies is a great book to help unlock the power of your brand with a story-based brand strategy. Check out our book review:

Using stories across your brand is such a powerful way of communicating your messaging and meaning in a way that is a lot more effective and memorable than advertisements explaining features and benefits.

I was super excited when the book author Matt Davies sent me a copy of the book as it’s been on my recommended reading for banding books list for a while.

Let’s start by looking at the book cover design.

Obviously for people that know me well they know i love simplicity and black and white design, so this cover by Lucy Goodwin really sends sweet signals to my eyes.

I also like calligraphy style hand lettering, to me it gives off a professional premium, but at the same time a fun feel to the book. I got the feeling i was going to get some quality information from the book, and i was going to enjoy reading it.

The back of the book clearly outlines the 6 sections and insights to the book’s content, which is perfect and straight to the point with fluff included.

The author of the storyategy Matt Davies is a creative brand strategy with over 17 years’ experience, with a passion for using brand storytelling and ’archetypal’ branding as the basis for marketing and business strategy.

The book is a short one that only contains 136 pages, but it’s packed full of insightful information, Storyategy details a 6 step process that will help you to use brand storytelling to unlock the power of brand-based storytelling.

There is no fluff throughout the book, it contains ideas on how to discover, define, and live a brand story, and it will work with any size brand within any industry.

The 6 stages the book goes through are:

  1. Sketch the plot and set the scene
  2. Design your audience
  3. Discover your archetypal characters
  4. Define the evil
  5. Put your brand story together
  6. Set a strategy for living your story

​One thing many smaller brands don’t seem to tackle is brand archetypes.

This is very important when it comes to how a brand communicates to its audience.

In Storyategy Matt does a fantastic job of covering this topic with step 3 of the book, giving an overview of each of the 12 archetypes and action-based exercises that will lead you to discovering your brand archetypes.

It’s been my best read of 2021 so far and did not disappoint, so I highly recommend getting yourself a copy of Storyategy by Matt Davies and reading it.

Don’t just read the book, but also put it into action this year and follow the exercises letting people know your brand story.

I do recommend getting a physical copy as I have been informed that the Kindle version has layout issues which makes reading more difficult.

It’s not Matt’s fault it’s down to Kindle formatting issues, so grab the physical book as I personally don’t read digital books I prefer to hold a book they are more enjoyable this way.

Brand storytelling is not a new thing, and dates back thousands of years, storytelling alone has been around forever I suppose, and there is evidence of it from around 700 B.C.

The first recorded stories include the Epic of Gilgamesh and the lliad by Homer, and the fact that these stories were recorded enabled them to be spread quickly and widely across the world.

Never underestimate storytelling, especially for your brand!

Start sharing your story today!

A Quick Interview with Matt Davies

The Logo Creative – What inspired you to write Storyategy?

Matt Davies – At the time of writing Storyategy I’d just been headhunted by a global corporation having spent 16 years + in agency life. For that time I’d been consulting with leadership teams, running workshops etc on their brand strategy and then using that as a way of briefing creative teams.

As I was heading for a stint in the corporate world someone said to me I should write down all my methodology and tools that I’d been using so I didn’t forget them or lose them.

That’s how Storyategy was born.

The Logo Creative – Do you believe the principles can be used wider than what is written within the book?

Matt Davies – So the book is a high level look at how to go about aligning leaders around a compelling brand strategy based on the principles of storytelling. This is just the start though.

The challenge for businesses is to actually “live” the things their leaders agree on. In the last few years I’ve been fortunate enough to be taken on as a consultant by various clients to help them design their businesses around their brand positioning.

Together we’ve mapped and designed customer and employee experiences which prove to everyone that the brand really does stand for what it claims. The brand is not a veneer. Brand truth has to be experienced, not simply said. It has to be real.

The Logo Creative – For a new business start-up or a business looking to rebrand, what would be your golden nugget piece of advice for them?

Matt Davies – Ask why. And then ask why it matters to your customers. The main challenge businesses have is that they look at things from their own internal perspective.

Branding is the meaning that other people attach to you and your offer. It exists in their hearts and minds. So you have to continually look at everything through that lens.

First, you have to define who “they” are, why you serve them and why it matters (and that’s what the steps in the book help you to do).

Next you have to look at every micro decision that contributes to the way people experience your brand through that lens.

Why does this help them? Why should they care? Why does it matter to them?

The Logo Creative – As you mention in the book strategy and storytelling are key areas for businesses to focus on to make an impact. What would be your advice for people to start engaging to demonstrate their brand meaning through storytelling?

Matt Davies – For me it always starts with a leadership mindset. You need empowered leaders who believe that creating a successful business customer perception is crucial.

Why should a customer choose you over the competition? That is the starting point. If you don’t know then work needs to be done!

You need your leadership team to be aligned around the core strategic questions of why the brand exists (beyond making money), who it exists to serve and why they should choose it, how it should show up and ultimately what it offers.

Everyone should be pointing in the same direction. Everyone should have something important to customers to say, not simply something to sell. A big idea.

Without this kind of alignment and mindset, so much energy is wasted by businesses, as people begin to pull in different directions and “splinter” their thinking – and this is where great brands die in my view.

The Logo Creative – Graphic design in branding is such an important element to a brand’s growth and success, but the design should be driven by purpose not just design expression. For this to happen, a strong brief is essential. What are some key things designers should be asking clients to gain purpose led information?

Matt Davies – Designers should be asking why – and you can amp this up to the max (as I propose you do!). Starting low you might ask: why do we need a new website or brochure – or why is this project needed? Gaining that understanding is essential for you to do your job.

If you want to amp it up, ask: Why is this important to the customer? Why should they care? Why does it matter? Why is this a good thing?

If you want to go really strategic then ask: Why does the brand exist? If the answer comes back that the company wants to “make money” then challenge that.

I always say – “well that’s great for the shareholders, but why should I as a customer care? I don’t care you want to get rich! I care if you will solve my problem, help me have a great experience, and build my identity – so how are you going to help me do that!?”.

It’s all about thinking about things with the audience in mind – the brand exists in their hearts and minds…

Storyategy by Matt Davis - Book Review

 

Storyategy by Matt Davies is available on both Amazon and Wordery for trusted purchases.

Amazon UK | Wordery

Learn more about Matt Davies – www.mrmattdavies.me 


Also published on Medium.