Do you have a storytelling or design problem?
A question worth asking for teams trying to build something people talk about.
Hi friends, welcome back to Off-Menu’s substack. For all you new folks, we’re a brand studio specializing in story & differentiation.
This newsletter is all about sharing insights & frameworks to help you build a uniquely memorable brand.
Yesterday I kicked off a new project with a client who’s unsuccessfully tried working with 6 (!) other studios.
On the surface, it's easy to see why this might be a red flag.
But I get introduced to startups all the time that have been burned by other studios.
In these scenarios, I do a little digging and am surprised to see the work usually isn’t *that* bad.
The design looks nice. It’s a step up from what they had. It’s not a total tank job.
The real problem? A lack of alignment…which makes creative reviews incredibly painful.
Naturally, individual team members have different visions for the brand.
Which makes for a muddled value proposition and confusing creative brief.
So before taking on this new project, I asked my point of contact why this engagement would be any different.
“We don’t have a design problem, we have a storytelling problem. Until we all rally around who we are, what makes us different, and a story we can all get behind, nothing we come up with will be that interesting.”
I found his answer to be illuminating, and potentially helpful to anyone else struggling with the same thing.
Telling a clear & cohesive story is especially challenging for teams launching new technology or creating new categories.
It’s so much more than just filling out a template.
If your company is having a tough time making design decisions everyone can get behind it might be a signal that your narrative needs some love.