Two of my favorite marketers recently did an episode of the CMO Moves podcast together. Among other things, they do a great job of describing the strategic value of story. Kurt Kane recently moved from CMO to President at Wendy’s, and Tony Rogers went from CMO at Walmart to Chief Member Officer for Sam’s Club.
Early in the conversation, Tony describes Wendy’s approach as courageous because, he says, “It feels like you guys have decided on a personality for the brand and you really stick to it.” He asks if that is the key to all the earned media that Wendy’s has been enjoying.
Kurt responds that it all comes back to storytelling. He points out that being really direct and behaving as a challenger to the QSR category has been an authentic part of the Wendy’s story going back at least as far as the iconic “Where’s the beef?” commercial in 1984. He explains how understanding that story dynamic, and using it to embrace the conflict inherent in the brand, gives them the confidence to double down on the story, especially in social media.
Here’s the link to the podcast.
Both Tony and Kurt have been through Character Camp a number of times over the past 14 years. Each time I go through the story framework process with them, I get new perspective on ways that effective and experienced leaders can leverage the stories of their brands.
I hope you find their conversation as interesting as I did.