15 Days of Secrets Signs & Symbols of Success. 6 The stories are just fairy tales (“True Lies”)

The fact that the stories may be a fiction you choose to believe in is underscored by the reality that in fact all successful brand archetypes are based on fairy tales! We call these ‘true lies’ after the 1994 Schwarzenegger film of the same title. Like Schwarzenegger’s real character in the movie, the fairy tale is disguised under a more pedestrian cover.

From clear choices like Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast, film has long brought fairy tales to life on the big screen. But have you thought of other movies, from Pretty Woman to the Devil Wears Prada as also based on fairy tales? They are: it is just our fairy tale frequently wears a contemporary exterior shell and costumes.

Why is this? Fairy tales are repeated throughout the gestalt of our culture because the ideals they represent are on-going organizations of thought-wisdom that is transported this way. This is how every fairy tale is a ‘true lie’, that is, the details may lie, but what is underneath is not fantasy but rather, a basic truth.

There is a neatness to fairy tales that appeals on a deep psychological level. Beyond the obvious derring-do in many fairy tales of knights on horseback rescuing damsels in distress, there are subtler plot points that speak to heroism, to reason, to belief in oneself, in the power of love, and of loyalty.

There is a reason we talk of ‘the moral of the story’ for fairy tales are immensely entertaining lessons in being and becoming a better human being.

What stories and moods are evoked by the illustrations? How would you describe them to a blind person?


The dynamic architecture that is architectonics first helped detect all seven of the fundamental brand types, described in The Matriarchy of Brands. Meanwhile, there is a seven-point outline of applying the architecture, that we call the Seven Secrets to Branding Anything:

7 Secrets to Branding Anything

4.     Stick to the story.
“That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.”

5.     Believe in the story.

6.     The stories are just fairy tales (true lies).

7.     There are only seven key stories,
your job is to identify one and fine-tune it.

Subscribe to this blog to get all seven secrets in the fifteen days of secrets, here at 7secretstobranding.

The second edition of my Branding Manual, Signs & Symbols of Success, is now available! The ideal classroom compendium and lecture starting point reveals the startling matrix behind brands that work. This book levels the playing field by spelling out for the first time the previously unwritten, unbiased code of conduct for all successful global brands. Order YOUR Copy of this Indispensable Reference, including The Matriarchy of Brands, today!

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