Here are three stories:
- I had a dream last night that I was driving.
- I had a dream last night that I was driving, but I didn’t have any hands.
- I had a dream last night that I was driving, but I didn’t have any hands. My wife was in labor in the backseat. I steered with my teeth, weaving in and out of traffic, making it to the hospital just in time.
The first story is boring. The second story is weird. The third story is weird, but at least it’s a story, and that’s because it has conflict.
You passed middle school English class. You know that all stories are supposed to have conflict in order to qualify as stories.
Similarly, brands need some level of conflict in order to rise above the level of mere commodities and become something that people can actually care about. While storytelling and conflict can take a variety of forms within a brand, the most common way to introduce interesting, loyalty-breeding conflict into your brand is by creating an enemy.
But why would you want to harsh things up like that? Isn’t there a better way?
The good news is that no matter how nice you are and how good your brand is for you, your customers and the universe, you can absolutely find an enemy that you can define yourself against.