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The Story in Branding | #2 No Magic Formula

Updated: Mar 5, 2019

Robert McKee: "Story is about eternal, universal forms, not formulas." (source: Story).

He continues "all notions of paradigms and foolproof story models for commercial success are nonsense". We would argue this goes for branding and brands as well. Despite trends when we look at the totality of global branding, we find an incredible variety of branding and storytelling.

Coca-Cola is no more typical of branding than Cillit Bang, Uber, PlanetCare, PostNL, Grolsch thousands more of branding examples.

Through storytelling, brands have been and will keep on exciting audiences in different ways, on an emotional level like Nike's Kaepernick campaign, or functionally like Miele and its state-of-the-art appliances. By turning something that’s not very aspirational like electric cars into a dream, like Tesla has; captivating the audience from one innovation to the next, pushing the dream out further each time. Or Red Bull’s breath-halting space jump project, where millions witnessed live how a glass ceiling was shattered by Felix Baumgartner. These were not the product of a magic formula, but of passionate storytelling.

So, to close off with a quote loosely based on McKee: "No matter where a brand story is made - Amsterdam, Kuala Lumpur, or Rio - if it's of archetypical quality, it triggers a global and perpetual chain reaction of pleasure that carries it throughout YouTube or Instagram stories or cinema, generation to generation.”

Storytelling has been hyped and booed off stage. We don’t really like either extreme. We simply value storytelling as a proven set of principles (not rules) to excite and entice an audience, build a brand and create great work. Nobody describes storytelling better than Robert McKee. That’s why we decided to take you with us on a journey, describing and capturing what we can learn from storytelling and its principles. We’ll start with a quote or excerpt from aforementioned book and illustrate the essence through a marketing example.

We will help you achieve Growth for Good by getting to the core of your brand, (re)shaping it, and connecting it to your audience. Peas+Carrots

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