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The Story in Branding #4 | Exposed to reality

Robert McKee: “There’s been no conspiracy to keep secret the truths of our art. In the twenty-three centuries since Aristotle (...) nothing in the craft of storytelling is abstruse. In fact, at first glance telling story for the screen looks deceptively easy.”

How strikingly similar this is when you think of branding. It seems so easy to fill in a brand key, a brand onion and/or to write a brand story. [Then again, “filling in” is completely the wrong wording, because as we laid out in our blog “No Shortcuts”, every word, every comma needs to be right.]

But that’s only the start. After this phase comes the manifestation and the communication.

As a marketer you can’t hide behind words alone; you are exposed to colleagues, team, sales, public opinion once your brand key/onion/story has been translated into communication, activation, content manifestation. Both elements, the written brand foundation and visual brand manifestation need to be right. The first because of the consistency it delivers, the latter because of the way it needs to touch the audience.

No wonder we love the way Dutch e-tailer CoolBlue has been nailing its brand manifestation for years: straightforward, consistent, single-minded, always with their particular twist  “Everything for a Smile” (“Alles voor een glimlach”).

To finish with another quote inspired by Robert McKee:

“Social media in the era of brands that are LIVE is the X-Ray machine of all things false. It magnifies a brand many times over, then strips naked every weak or phony brand element, until in confusion and frustration we’re tempted to quit. Yet given determination, and study, the puzzle yields.”

So go out, get your brands out there and keep on building them until you’ve nailed it!

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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