Bernadette Jiwa over at The Story of Telling writes.

“Price, like design, location or quality is part of your brand story—one you are asking customers to believe in. You get to choose the story you want to tell and who you want to tell it to. It pays to understand what story the people you choose to serve want to believe.”

Jiwa explains how Ron Johnson, the retail guru behind the first iterations of the hyper successful Apple Store, took the CEO helm at J.C. Penney and sought to save the struggling retailer by creating a better shopping experience. One of his first orders of business was to change the stores longtime discount pricing strategy. Things didn’t turn out that well.

“This change in the story that J.C. Penney’s core customers believed about price (one that the company had trained them to believe) stopped loyal customers coming and ultimately led to a 37% drop in the company’s market value. The financial results also lost Johnson his position as CEO after only 17 months.”

Ouch. Wanting to tell a new brand story is a noble business goal, just make sure you know how your customers will interpret it. Start by having a comprehensive understanding of how they understand your current brand story. Buyer Legends should help.