The Story Wars

The story wars

  • The ultimate branding weapon for every marketer!
  • May the story be with you!
  • A Storytelling tool for Triple-A brands®
  • People first trust people. Then they trust stories. Then they trust brands.
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The ultimate branding weapon for every marketer

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Marketers! Advertising agencies! My brothers and sisters. I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of marketers fails, when we forsake our brands and they crash, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered companies when our ability to connect to our stakeholders fails! But it's not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth, stand and tell your stories, Marketers of the World!


  • Technology changes the face of the world. It brought us the ability to share experiences and ideas on a global scale. It also brings us back to the very essentials of marketing: word of mouth. Any story, brought in an intelligent way, is more powerful than all of the traditional marketing vehicles combined. Just think about how half the world remembers the line: "I'll have what she's having" by the way Meg Ryan brings the story to Harry. This book brings you all the elements of storytelling to help you win The Story Wars.

    Walter Torfs
    Director Branding & Communications, BNP Paribas Fortis

  • Storytelling is in Erik's nature. Everything he has taught me as my mentor has somehow always been through a story. During our daily work at the Brandhome office, he is constantly fuelling things with examples, structuring plots with beginnings, middles ends, futures and exploring them with a great eye for detail. Every page of the book breathes the passion Erik has for the job. With The Story Wars, he tells the story of stories in such a way that you want to keep reading, line after line… because you don't want the story to end.

    Jef Pelkmans
    Strategy Manager, Brandhome Belgium

  • More than ever storytelling for brands is not only a nice-to-have or a point-of-differentiation… it is a NECESSITY! It is the marketing element that humanizes brands and that truly connects brands to people. Storytelling connects on a human-to-human level. And storytelling creeps into all elements of the commercial agenda, from how you sell your ideas internally, to how you build a case for ROI to a CFO, or to how you capture the consumers' heart! As Saelens rightly points out, we are at the verge of a real story war. If you want to win this war of authenticity, attention, liking and love, then you better read this book! It's time to get your story straight.

    Kurt Frenier
    Global Vice President Marketing, PepsiCo HQ

  • As usual, a sharp analysis by Erik of the world of marketing today, on the way people interact, build their thinking and make their buying decisions. It's a story about the power of storytelling. It's a marketing book that reads like a story. Full of examples, pleasant to read, you don't need to be a marketer to understand and appreciate the book. Better than an explanation, it's a demonstration. Great book!

    Nathalie Chevalier
    Head of Branding, Communication and Culture, AG Insurance

    Karel Coudré
    Marketing Director Non Life, AG Insurance

  • We have entered the age of social and mobile media. The old advertising models are outdated. The time of one-way-communication has passed. Brand strategist Saelens not only defines these issues in his own inspiring and refreshing way, but also gives the tools and techniques to solve them. He explains why storytelling is not just the next marketing hype. It is about building an authentic and passionate dialogue between brands and consumers and employees and stakeholders. People buy stories, not just products. The Story Wars is an inspiring story and way forward for executives everywhere in the age of social and mobile media. Everyone who is involved in branding should want to win The Story Wars.

    Wim Vos
    CEO, VAB Group

  • After reading this book you will never look the same way ever again at brands and the stories they (don't) tell. Not only has Erik written a captivating book, filled to the brim with real life examples and useful insights, it is simply 'unputdownable'. That is why every minute you wait to read this book, is a wasted minute. If a good brand story is authentic, accountable and activating, then The Story Wars is an excellent one. Period.

    Peter De Keyzer
    Chief Economist, BNP Paribas Fortis

  • Creativity and storytelling are like Oreos and milk - separate, they're nice, but together they're magic. As Erik's creative partner, reading this book has enriched my view on storytelling and taught me how to reframe and tell stories in a more creative and engaging way. So if something in your story hasn't quite clicked yet, this book could be the ultimate branding weapon you've been missing.

    Joris Moolenaar
    Executive Creative Director, Brandhome

  • Storytelling is alive. If there is one item, which has motivated people throughout the centuries, it is storytelling. With the correct authentic and activating tone, Erik's story sets people into action. Activating people to move in the right direction is what business is all about. Whether it be your customers or your employees, both are essential to your business. Erik has further enhanced this well proven notion. The added value of his new book is that it provides guidelines on how to enact storytelling to activate your own business. Well timed Erik and congratulations on your excellent feeling about where brand marketing is going. Compliments on how you provide meaningful guidelines to use it in one's own business environment!

    Peter Boerma
    Executive Director, former CEO, DELTA group

  • The key message of this book is focus on the basics! In this fast changing world people seek authenticity. They still want to trust you and your brand. But more than ever, you have to earn it. As Aristotle understood, "If an audience trusts the debater, they accept his point of view." That's still so true. This book understands this too. Erik motivates us to go back to basics, learn again about who we really are and tell those we want to align with. It helps us to be successful again!

    Arendo Schreurs
    Manager Corporate Communications & Issue Management, DELTA NV

  • "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win", wrote Sun Tzu in the book The Art of War. Erik is one of those victorious warriors. His endless fight for the right story, told at the right time, by the right means is one of his big gifts. The Story Wars are highly underestimated marketing challenges, now well told by one of the biggest and most genius marketing solution builders of this era. Read his story to win your war!

    Nicoline Spruijt
    Lifelong friend & Sales Director, Van Gansewinkel Belgium



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Erik Saelens


Founder & Executive Strategic Director
Brandhome - Antwerp, Belgium

Erik Saelens is a consultant and interim manager with over 15 years' experience in brand marketing and communications. Erik specializes in rebranding and renaming operations, and has researched and implemented more than 250 successful brand-change operations worldwide. Erik created the Triple-A brand index and published a book on Triple-A brands. In 2013 he published a book about the Brandhome method®. He also has a large fleet of orange gnomes.