FAQ

What you seek is seeking you.

Give me three (3) good reasons why I should hire Romantic over one of your competitors?

  1. We are the only story development agency on the planet with the expertise and track record of creating compelling stories that consistently make powerful emotional connections with customers. Stories that move people closer to you instead of making them bolt for the door. Stories that drive real action and get measurable ROI for clients.
  2. We are nimble and quick. Unlike behemoth branding firms that require the client to slog through thick gooey layers of processes, people and meetings before seeing a single word, we can deliver epic story choices in as little as one week.
  3. We don’t overextend ourselves and try to upsell you on identity design, websites, focus group testing, ethnography or anything else that will divert from what we do best—creating conceptual stories and messaging that will endear audiences to you.

What are your fees?

Our fees vary by project. Here’s a list of our packages and pricing.

Why should I pay for story development when I can just get drunk and throw a bunch of awesome facts together?

  1. Facts don’t speak for themselves. People don’t have time to figure out why you matter. You must engage people (customers) in your story early in the process, and by doing so, invite them to be part of a great experience—thus creating shared meaning and value for audiences.
  2. You’re so personally invested in your business that it is literally impossible for you to be objective with your own story or brand. It’s a very common but fatal mistake that has cost companies billions of dollars in lost revenue or inefficiencies. Here’s one CEO’s tragic story on FastCompany.
  3. Great stories capture hearts, minds and actions. Stories can enable you to start something new. Stories are so powerful that they have united cultures, mobilized world wars, started movements, and changed the very fabric of civilization.  Stories have raked in billions and billions of dollars for Hollywood movies. Stories have also garnered companies billions of dollars in products and services.
  4. Stories matter because they drive actions and spark engagement. The Harvard Business Review revealed an average 2,700% rise in company, product and brand value when accompanied by powerful stories.
  5. Consistent with HBR above, our clients have informed us of ROI as high as 2,500% within a one-year timeframe.

Is brand storytelling a new thing?

Brand storytelling isn’t a new concept, but with the exponential growth of social media and content marketing, the opportunities to tell stories as part of direct and indirect brand marketing initiatives have become a strategic priority.

Marketers have been telling brand stories for years through advertising, in-person brand experiences, and more. But the art of writing those brand stories as effective pieces of online content is a challenge that few are trained to do.

Romantic has honed the art and science of brand storytelling. During our work developing your story assets, you can learn how to craft stories that matter too.

What’s your process?

We’d love to share our process with you, but not with our competitors who would burn villages and kill mercilessly to have it. You can see our process steps here on packages and pricing. If you’re serious about doing business with us, please book a meeting.

Our customers are confused about what we offer. Can you help?

Yes we can. Clarity is an integral part of helping you create and tell the right story. We’ll also help you eliminate messaging conflicts that cause confusion—a major source of dangerous brand and marketing inefficiency—costing your company its customers, employees, time, money, resources. If customers are confused about what you offer, they’ll often move on. Once you craft a clear and compelling story, your company will prosper.

How are your services any different from copywriting?

Story development is much more than a splash of capricious copy on any given topic on a blog. A company’s story platform, for example, is the story that drives you, your actions, and the shared value you have with all customers and stakeholders—including, among many other things, the basis of what and how you may choose to write on your blog. Your story is your business strategy and your brand, told in a way that everyone can remember, embrace, and act upon. In addition to these valuable strategic standard language assets, all Romantic service packages also include your go-to-market scripts or stories that you can build on as your company grows and changes. Read more about how our services will boost your business.

Do you use online story generators?

No. Nor do we use crystals, fire gazing, Magic 8-Ball, tea leaves, runes, cough syrup, or morning glory seeds.

Do I own all of the work you create for me?

Unless you make special arrangements with us, you are only entitled to one (1) set of final deliverables (story, key messages, tagline, etc.) for your use. All other ideas and directions revert back to Romantic. Until you trademark a tagline, no one owns it.

Do you give refunds?

We do not give refunds because we perform the work, and have been doing this long enough to know great branded story assets when we create them. It’s up to you to trust us.

To help ensure you like the work we send you—and before we start creative exploration—we ask you to send us specific examples and rationale for messaging and stories you collectively like and dislike.

What if I don’t like any of the stories, messages, or taglines?

Extremely unlikely, but this type of client (bad client) falls into at least one of the following five categories, whereas they :

  1. have too many captains at the helm—we suggest you have only one decision maker instead of a committee;
  2. do not get sign-off from all of the decision makers on the creative brief they provide to us;
  3. provide poor insights, creative direction or strategy to us;
  4. cannot get over their beloved old messaging—which they reluctantly need to change because marketing’s recent $$$ campaigns just managed the steepest declines in the company’s history;
  5. tell us they want amazing story and messaging, but really don’t have the nerve for anything bold and are disappointed when they don’t see predictable directions.

I’ve got my story platform, brand story script and taglines. Now what?

As with all brand building efforts, your goal is to surround your audiences with brand experiences—including stories—so they can self-select how they want to interact with your brand. Give customers multiple options to enjoy your brand story, and you’ll find yourself moving closer to achieving your brand marketing goals.

Where is your office located?

Romantic is a mobile adventure. Based in the San Francisco, we go where our clients and their customers are—immersing ourselves in the workplaces, cafés, shops, dojos and cultures of the world. For our work together, we don’t need a bricks and mortar office. And, our clients seem to prefer meeting in various company offices, boardrooms, conference spaces, or online. Isn’t it nice to know we can meet anywhere you like?

Who is Romantic?

I’m Russell W. Volckmann III, and I founded Romantic after over 20 years working with organizations to develop their winning brand, business and communications strategies. Romantic is dedicated to helping real people and organizations tell and live epic stories that enable them to measurably prosper—to instill a vital sense of authentic adventure, discovery and soul that companies need in order to connect with people in ways that matter.

Why would anyone believe or care about our story?

Because your story will be a real, true, authentic and epic adventure that both you and your audiences will highly value.

Yes, really. Story development is not just an exercise in consistent communications. It is a deep commitment and philosophy of delivering your promise. It is not just an auxiliary consideration for your customers or marketplace. It is something that can impact everything and everyone from the mailroom to the office of the CEO.

That’s right, your company will actually do what it says. Storydoing. Living your story aligns teams internally and resonates powerfully externally.  Co:collective studies show that story-doers achieve 2,000% more social mentions. Why? Massively more people care about what companies say when truly living their stories.

Bottom line: We only create authentic work. Your story platform, brand story script and all other messaging are something you will be able to do, want to do, and yearn to do. Why? Because, among other important considerations, your story formation includes who you are and who you want to become.

How do I get Romantic to start work on my story and messaging?

We’d love to help. Our first step together is for you to book a meeting. We always get excited helping people like you do amazing things.

Romantic Brand Bureau, Branding Strategy and Design, San Francisco , white on gold logo symbol, black and white on gold