We all have a personal metastory, a story that we build through every action we take, every choice that we act on, and every purchase we make. It is the story that emerges in the minds of others as they see us and our choices. This is true for people and for brands.
In True Story: How to Combine Story and Action to Transform Your Business*,* author and former ad man Ty Montague argues that consumers use the story of brands to tell part of their own metastories. His advice to brands: “People don’t buy products; they take actions that help advance their own personal metastory, and sometimes buying and using your product is one of those actions.”
True Story introduces five critical elements — what Montague calls the “the four truths and the action map” — that are the foundation of storydoing:
- the participants (your customers, partners and employees)
- the protagonist (your company today)
- the stage (the world around your business)
- the quest (your driving ambition and contribution to the world)
- your action map (the actions that will make your story real for participants)
Using a wide range of brand examples from various sectors, including Red Bull, Amplify, Nike and DeBeers, Montague describes in conversational prose how each brand discovered its own true story and won the eager support of consumers.