Posted by Jeremy Parsons | December 2, 2022
We’ve been at this thing almost six years now. This quest of finding and telling stories of true, brave, beautiful brands. Maybe it’s the holiday season approaching, or middle age, or the cold, but I’ve reflected a bit on our own origin story quite a bit lately.
My natural bent (often to a fault) is forward-facing and future-oriented.
The not-yet style of living and leading.
“Don’t give up.”
But sometimes, this style of living and leading prevents me from slowing, stopping, and even being still, to reflect, to be grateful for the path we’ve taken to get here.
I remember sitting in meetings for years before launching Guild, with this quiet urge that I wanted to shout. I would sit with big-budget brands that were vulnerable enough to share worries that their campaigns weren’t connecting.
Did anyone know how to tell their story? Could there be a better way than shouting louder & spending more advertising money?
I certainly didn’t know all the answers (and still don’t), but I had an instinct.
Brands have a hard time telling their story. Not because their story is hard to tell.
But because they live it. They breathe it. They’re too close to it. It’s hard to translate that perspective into the language of their own customer journey.
They’ve been oversold a bill of hollow goods that the noisiest, or shiniest campaign wins.
It doesn’t work. It can’t in a world oversaturated with digital content.
We are all looking for connection. And brands thrive, create impact, & dare I say, change the world for good when they don’t make up shit about themselves, but when they just show us exactly who they are.
Isn’t that how real friendships work?
We are distrusting of the friend who shows up and talks the whole time, pretending life is perfect. But authentic ones, those are the ones worth our very discerning trust instincts. Because that friend (who shows up curious, empathetic, friendly, and honest) is a friend you never avoid.
And a collective of those types of relationships are the ones we’ve been grateful to forge.