Ammon eating story sandwich

The Story Sandwich

Here’s Ammon delving deeper into this delicious concept of brand storytelling.

How to Make a Story Sandwich

Ahhh the sandwich, one of the most versatile and universally adored culinary inventions. Why? Because it’s everything you need in one convenient package. Although it may sound like a strange concept, a good story is a lot like a good sandwich, and much like a good sandwich, a good story should leave you feeling satisfied.

Think about a sandwich, it’s made up of two pieces of bread and some sort of meat or various fillings in between. Remove any one element and you no longer have a sandwich. Take out the filling and you’re left with two pieces of toast. No bread and you have a pretty unusual salad…

A story, like a sandwich, is comprised of three key elements: character, value, and threat. These elements are all dependent on one another and are crucial to the structure of the story. If you take away any one piece, you are left with something completely different.

Character 

A character acts as the bottom piece of bread, the thing that keeps the whole sandwich from falling apart. If you look at any good story there is a character. The character creates a perspective for the audience to follow. You simply can’t have a story without them (just like you can’t have a sandwich without bread). The character is the foundation which all other elements of the story are built upon.

Value

What does the character value most in life? This gives your character depth, and a reason for the audience to root for them. If your character isn’t likable then the audience has no reason to stick around. Value is your filling. It’s what gives the sandwich substance. Without it, it would be pretty bland like eating a dry piece of pumpernickel bread.

Threat

The threat is the second piece of bread. It’s the hook, line, and sinker. Now that the audience is invested, we must threaten what the characters value. This is the catalyst that makes the viewer want to see the story through. They want their happily ever after. When we threaten this, it creates suspense.

Change

This is a bonus. It’s the extra little kick. Like banana peppers or mustard, it adds spice. An unexpected change can take an already engaged audience by surprise and keep them on their toes. This creates a level of depth and intrigue to your story. Having a “change” or “shift” occur could be just what you need if your story feels predictable. Think of all the timeless films that have been remembered solely for their twist endings.

Have you built the right sandwich?

Now that you have a deeper knowledge of the key ingredients of a great story sandwich, put yourself in the viewers’ shoes. Take a taste. Is something missing? Identify every layer of your story sandwich. Has it left you satisfied? Or wanting more?

Tell us what you put in your sandwich here, we’d love to take a bite! Stay tuned for our next segment on The Three Magic Words for brand storytelling.

Still hungry? Go check out The Tell All to Storytelling and 5 Simple Storytelling Steps to learn more!

Stay tuned for the continuation of our storytelling series. Can’t wait? Contact us now. We’d love to help tell your story!

Book a Creative Session!

Blueforest Studios is a Raleigh Video Production company dedicated to telling powerful brand stories.

venn diagram rolls

5 Simple Steps to Telling Your Brand Story

In “5 Simple Storytelling Steps,” Ammon Ehrisman breaks down
brand storytelling in five simple steps.

5 Simple Steps

So you want to tell your brand’s story? Then you’ve come to the right place. It seems like a daunting process. Some of you have probably already spent many an hour staring down at a blank page, or with your fingers hovering over the keyboard while being mocked by a blinking cursor on your empty Google Doc.

 

No need to fret. We’ve all been there. You have something you want to say but you don’t know how. Luckily, you have Blueforest Studios to help (that’s us) and like with anything in life it’s best to start simple.

For those of you who are new, journey on over to The Tell All to Storytelling post to catch up on the many glorious benefits of utilizing good storytelling to enhance your brand. (You can also learn about why using video to tell your brand story is one the most powerful mediums here)

So let’s break this down to five steps to get you started on your masterful storytelling adventure.

Step 1: Start With Your Values 

 

What’s important to you? What do you care about?  What gets you out of bed every morning? Why did you start and what pushes you to keep going? Ask yourself this, and write it down. It’s the absolute best place to start. When you’re passionate about something, it shows. And ultimately, that’s what’s going to stick with people. It’s also going to be what makes you unique. It’s a huge part of what you’re going to be bringing to the table. Need help figuring out what you value? We’ve created a handy dandy cheat sheet to help get the juices flowing.

Step 2: Know Your Audience

 

Who are you talking to? You need to know who your target audience is. What do they value? What are their priorities? Different groups will react and resonate with different content based on what matters to them.  

Step 3: Find the Common Value

 

What’s the common denominator, folks? Take those two lists (what you value and what your audience values) and find the common ground. This should be your platform, your driving force, your message. If you are able to connect with it, AND your audience can connect with it, you’re on the path to something unstoppable.

Step 4: Build your Brand around those Values

This is the ticket. If you connect with what you’re saying it will cause people to not only hear what you have to say but feel it too. People might not remember exactly what you say but they will forever remember how you made them feel. By crafting your brand around a common value between you, and your audience you create something authentic that resonates with others. Being relatable gives life to your brand. You become more than just a company but an entity that someone can connect with.

Step 5: Use Stories Everywhere

Use. Stories. Everywhere. Look for every opportunity to get your story out there. Whether it be videos, on a business card, taglines, events you sponsor as a company, or even by word of mouth. Think of creative ways to showcase it individual to you. Own your story and give it all the air time it deserves. This is what will separate you from the hundreds of other companies in your field, your story is uniquely yours.

 

Stay tuned for our next post on how to prepare your very own story sandwich. Can’t wait? Contact us now. We’d love to help tell your story!

Book a Creative Session!

Blueforest Studios is a Raleigh Video Production company dedicated to telling powerful brand stories.

Does your brand need a story? Should you have a brand story?

Do you truly know your business’ image? Well, let’s say your friends and family tell you about a cool new restaurant, or some great organic grocery store. To start, they tell you their experiences with the business. They mention how the employees act, the look of the store, and it reflects the whole organization. They’re painting a narrative of what that business is about. They are creating a brand story, and your business has one too. If you’re not proactive, your customers and employees will spread word to create it for you. But you’re in luck: you can take actions to do your own storytelling. Here’s why you’d want to do it.

Creative session with ammon

Cultivating a fanatic audience

It’s time to be honest, there are probably dozens of companies that do what you do. Some of them may even do it better. But in today’s passionate social culture, it’s not about “what” or “how” you do it. The modern customer cares more about “why” you work the way you do. This is the core of your story.

Need proof? This past decade, you’ve heard more buzz about fair trade, organic, and vegan than ever before. There’s a reason people drive right past a discount grocery to shop at Trader Joe’s. They want their hard earned dollars going to a business that champions similar values in all their work, not just a few shelves of organic food.

A genuine voice resonates more deeply. If you’re transparent and consistent in your ideals, strong customer engagement is natural result.

Building a strong company culture

Your employees have a voice that’s just as important as your customers. If you’re doing business just to maximize your financial bottom line, your team is going to feel insignificant. Low employee morale is a real mood-killer for doing business.

If you want a team doing their best work, you’ve got to revamp your company vision. You need a narrative to serve as a spiritual mantra for everyone you work with. Lukewarm employees sour the customer experience and dampen your productivity. When you have a team that feels your brand values as deeply as you and your customers, you’re literally breathing life back into your business.

Blueforest Studios Culture

 

Crafting healthy relationships with the public

We know that word of mouth about your organization is going to spread with or without you. So, your company needs to make every interaction a constructive one. Of course you’re thinking, “I already know I should give good customer service.”

You’re right, but that also means being proactive instead of waiting for your customers come to you. These days, most people research on the web before buying from a business. A good narrative in part means reaching out to these reviewers.

Social media is a great start for this forward-thinking engagement. Start productive dialogues instead of giving them generic “we’re sorry for your experience” messages.

By engaging your audience and learning from them, you’re improving your brand story. Furthermore, you’re showing bystanders that you value community involvement. They’re going to remember that next time they need services like yours.

Sculpting your brand story can be great, if you know how to create it

The narrative you want to tell is all about speaking to the mutual “why” of you and your audience. Discover your essence with Blueforest Studios brand storytelling and have it delivered through incredible video content. Set up a chat and learn how film can be your most powerful tool for your story marketing needs.

Creative session with ammon