Through the years we have conveyed the uniqueness of what you do through metaphors, similes and analogies.
    We’ve suggested that bridal retail is akin to navigating through stormy seas. . . often on moonless nights. And we’ve offered the encouragement that “calm seas do not a sailor make.”
    We’ve pushed that simile by describing a bride as caught in a stormy deluge of information and solicitations. And suggested that you are a safe port in her storm.
    But as I reflected on this issue’s branding cover story, I began to think of you less as experienced sea captains, and more as alchemists, striving to convert the everyday into something extraordinary through the strength and power of your brand story.
    Storytelling brings our personal and business brands to life, especially when we concentrate on the heart of what makes us unique… the who we are, where we’ve come from, and why we do what we do. . . instead of focusing on the “what” we do.
     As marketing whiz Seth Godin describes it, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell. People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.”
    Of those three elements, it is the stories we have in abundance, individually and as an industry, that when told create the magic, develop the relationships, and convert the ordinary into the extraordinary for staff and customer alike.
    One important note: in this context, storytelling is not brash exaggeration, bragging or lying. As jaded consumers, brides will quickly see through any subterfuge and discount everything you may say or do that follows.
    Words matter. Your story matters. I encourage you to think about how to better tell your story, and if an “old story” consider telling it in new ways.
     And define yourselves as I do. . . as true alchemists that in the words of American author William H. Gass “do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words.”