Power of the Parent

The Science and Impact of Master Brand Storytelling

In an age when brand attachment trumps loyalty, and emotional connection outweighs price, how important is master or parent brand storytelling in the mix?

This paper will explore the value of master brand storytelling. We’ll define the opportunity, prove the value through proprietary and secondary research, share success stories and give you the tools to put it in place in your organization.

Page Summary

  • Opportunity
  • Taking the Pulse
  • Success Stories


From General Mills to General Motors, master brands touch almost every category and part of life. The parent operates as a holding company with branding and investment focused on the product or service brand. But in an age of hyper connected and hyperaware consumers—hello woke generation—the purpose of the company is as important as the performance of its products. Conscious capitalism is here to stay.

Creating a mission is just the beginning. Parent brands must bring the mission to life in a meaningful way. Enter in the explosive rise in storytelling and engaging content that connects consumers to a company. The corporation comes alive, has a heart and stands for something beyond a bottom line. The big opportunity for parent companies? Find meaning beyond the moment and engage beyond the product level — and do so on an ongoing basis.

Taking the Pulse

We polled more than 500 adults ages 18+ on the topic of parent brand storytelling in the first wave of our new ongoing research study, Pace Pulse℠.

The findings make a compelling case for a strong parent brand story:



We also polled more than 500 marketing executives across both B2B and B2C industries, and respondents resoundingly confirmed our consumer study.


90% of respondents believe the brand and values of a company are as important as product performance.

97% of respondents believe that marketers should invest in a parent brand story.


  • “The backstory is as important as the product story today. It is the prequel to the show.”
  • “Strong parent brands can build clearer bridges to line extensions and adjacent markets in ways that singularly strong product brands have more difficulty doing.”
  • If you don’t invest in parent brand storytelling… “another company with a similar product will win.”

Success Stories

Consumers want a story. Marketers need to tell a story. But who’s doing it well, and what can we learn from them? Let’s take a look.

  • GE: For the “125-year-old startup,” it’s all about invention and imagination — both in content and in platform from VR to voice.
  • Coca-Cola Journey: The Journey campaign showcases the people, products and character of the company through the voices and faces of employees across the country.
  • Procter & Gamble: The packaged goods giant walks the walk of their tagline “Touching lives, improving life” with powerful storytelling.
  • Georgia-Pacific: Georgia-Pacific has transformed the conventional marketing model into one powered by “story orchestrators” whose mission is to bring a brand’s human truth to life.


We understand the challenges CMOs face in getting the C-suite to invest in master brand story development. Our mission in exploring this topic was to unearth meaningful data to support them in their quest. And the numbers tell the story of the power of the parent.

A compelling corporate narrative has never been more important — spanning gender, generation and culture. It’s insurance for the long term — the rainy day, the viral tsunami.

As North America’s largest independent brand storytelling agency, Pace helps industry leaders from Walmart to Southwest Airlines tell their stories. We’re ready to help you tell yours.

Download the full whitepaper

Discover the value of master brand storytelling.