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https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/vertical_1?q=vertical+

"What ties our vast history of interest in space exploration with the current trends in education? The idea of finding a story that includes failure and extensive testing. For safety reasons, space travel requires continual testing for mechanical components to withstand amazing amounts of pressure, temperature ranges and more. For our current educational system and technology, similar to space launches, students must go through an educational system that may not fully prepare them for the rigors of a quickly-changing world. What role does failure then play in a brand or vertical story? Let’s review three ways in which failure can be positively built into the brand narrative."

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/goldiechan/2019/07/11/successful-failure-3-reasons-why-brands-include-failure-in-storytelling/#111fa62f1732

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The interpretation could be as follows:

"What role does failure then play in a (brand or vertical) story?"

where "vertical" means "A vertical market"
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/vertical#Noun
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/vertical_market

The author might be throwing around marketing buzzwords (like "vertical") to appear more esoteric.

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