Brands are vehicles for stories.

November 11th, 2019

Sarah Trounce is Strategy Director at The Click. For more than ten years she worked as a manager in a range of creative organisations spanning urbanism, cultural strategy and place branding. In 2019 she completed an MA in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, then relocated to Norwich. She shares what she thinks makes an exciting brand and why words matter.

Finding my place

I grew up in East Anglia so Norfolk feels a lot like home, even after ten years in London. I came for the compact size and the relative quiet, with the caveat that I knew there would be a well-established community of writers here to support and inspire me. I knew I had to leave London when I felt my body physically relax every time I caught the train to Norwich.

Story first, then design

My role at The Click involves carrying out extensive research on the brands we work with, conducting interviews and leading workshops, developing brand strategies and transforming our clients’ ambitions and values into compelling messages that then inform the design.

Whenever we talk about brand, what we’re really talking about is story. The story behind your brand is what connects people to your products or services. It’s what makes you different, and hopefully special. Without a clearly articulated story, there is nothing to suggest that people will care.

Authentic, not imagined

While I love reading and writing fiction, a brand narrative is not something that can be conjured from thin air. It comes from engaging with the people behind the brand, hearing their stories, memories, concerns, desires and ambitions. I spend a lot of time having animated conversations with our clients about what they’re trying to achieve, facilitating creative sessions with their teams, and asking their audiences what they think.

Culture is everywhere

I can’t imagine my life without the books, films, exhibitions, plays and podcasts that have had such an important role in shaping my interests and identity. But culture is also inherent in the everyday world – the places we live and work, the daily conversations we have. I love working with brands that place a big emphasis on building a positive company culture where talented people are nurtured and celebrated. Hopefully the stories I help create can reflect a little of every individual’s personality and aspiration!

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