Our lives are steeped in stories. We imbibe their hope and empowerment, and eagerly await the lessons they offer. As a bridge between generations, individuals and societies, without stories, we would be alone. Plato once said, “Storytellers change the world,” and, fortunately, we each have the opportunity to tell our own.
Of course, stories aren’t created in a matter of moments. From tome to family tall tale, these can take months, years, even lifetimes to unfold. (Just ask George R. R. Martin when The Winds of Winter will be released.)
Because, ultimately, the best things take time, and intricate, emotionally resonant stories must live in liminal space. No longer and not yet. The scary, “messy middle” where coffeeshop creatives and Fortune 500 execs alike find themselves as they try to find footing amidst the endless possibilities.
The place where REGROUP was for most of 2019.
As you likely (read: hopefully) have already noticed, we rebranded. However, I’m not here to talk about our swanky new logo, but rather the importance of those months spent between two brands. The countless hours our strategists, our designers and writers (*cough* me), our account team, and Jan spent huddled in conference rooms with concepts and directions and executions sprawled every which way. In coffeeshops and pubs ferociously writing new ideas, and at home, our thoughts on rebranding running off like greasy pigs—unable to be stopped in their tracks.
Stressful and tedious? Yep. Time-consuming in reaching a consensus? 100%. Beautiful and wondrous? I can’t even begin to tell you.
I’m certainly not the only one who finds the beauty in literary liminality. In fact, I owe much of my appreciation to a conference I attended called STORY and its theme: liminal space. Yeah, the timing really was impeccable here. (On a side note, this conference is cathartic and lifechanging. I mean it. Check it out and you, too, will drink the Kool-Aid.)
Us writers, marketers, humans have a tendency to get so caught up in our result-driven world and its onslaught of now, now, now that we often fail to appreciate that infinitely imaginable middle ground. And, as Harris, the director and curator of STORY says, “There’s magic to be discovered in the spaces between.”
Between our two brands—our two stories—we discovered more about ourselves than we thought possible. In retrospect, my yearlong REGROUP editing mode allowed me to Wonka-ify my headspace. To be a busy bee with my head in the clouds.
As a young writer at an independent, just rebranded shop at the start of a new decade, I have much to be excited for, especially as we continue to unfold REGROUP’s retelling. But my goal for 2020 isn’t to rest on the laurels of our rebrand.
Michael Margolis, a speaker at STORY and the man behind many well-known companies’ transformative messaging, believes that, in order to get to the best story, you must “make friends with no story.” So, my goal this year is simple: to find opportunities to make friends with no story. To embrace liminal space at any given chance.
Because when treading the unknown, anything is possible.