The interaction between brands and audiences isconstantly changing due to emerging technology,media tools and corresponding consumer behavior.When it comes to communication spendings,a predictable Return On Investment is only a dreamof business leaders in this chaotic situation.Professionals are trying to answer the challenge.
The problem with most of those models is that they werebuilt to work in present circumstances. But nowadayspresent becomes past too fast, so they have to bemodified frequently.What is our solution?Instead of coming up with yet another methodology todefine the Brand Positioning, we decided to say goodbyeto it altogether.
The Brand Story is a new way to define a long termcommunication strategy.It is based on the eternal principles of human thinking andthe timeless rules of storytelling.
The Brand Story is stable enough to inspire consistentcommunication, but also flexible enough to survive infuture circumstances we can’t even imagine now.The Brand Story helps marketeers plan and executeeffective and measurable activities in a constantlychanging communication environment.
The Brand Story can be told a thousand different waysover and over again but still transmitting similar memes.
THE FORMULA OFOUR METHODMEMES + ARCHETYPES + STORYTELLING = BRAND STORY
1. MEMESConstructing the memetic map of the brand2. ARCHETYPESDefinition of resonating consumer archetypes3. STORYTELLINGCreating the brand story based on archetypical values
The word „meme” is a meme itself. Many people use it butonly a few know that it actually has two meanings. Theeveryday meaning of the word is „something funnyspreading on the net”. Like Gangnam Style.But there is a much broader meaning which is used bymemetic scientists. Whenever we talk about memes, werefer to the scientific definition of the word as follows:
Memes are those smallest units of thoughts that makesense on their own, that are not genetically defined, andthat can copy themselves reliably enough and prolificallyenough from one human brain to another.(Definition by Prof. László Mérő)
Memes are the „genes of thoughts”. They control whatyou say and what you do. If they are strong enough, theyare transmitted to other people, if they are weak, they willbe forgotten.Just like genes, memes are difficult to map. We usespecial methods to catch memes, and then define thememetic dimensions of the brand by factor analysis.
To get a clear picture of brands, we create the memeticmap: a summary of what actually drives consumers’thinking in a category or about a brand.Then, after we learn what exactly is in the heads, we canhave a much better idea of how we can change it.
What do Harry Potter, Batman and Conan the Barbarianhave in common? OK, they are all heroes. But there issomething else: they all lost their parents whenthey were young.Some characters can be found in both ancient myths andcontemporary stories. Also in real life, people belong tocertain types, so their actions and reactions can beforecasted based on their value preferences.
Archetypes entered the field of marketing theories a fewyears ago. Many books have been published about howbrands can and should be described as archetypes.Memelab has launched a new paradigm, because wethink that one of the most important changes in 21stcentury marketing is: the hero of the Brand Story is notthe brand anymore, but the consumer.
We know that most brands have a solid archetypicalcharacter, but we do not stop there.Instead of only considering the brand as an archetype,we define consumer archetypes based on valuepreferences of the target group.
Lion King is Hamlet played by animals. Michael Corleone isthe Cinderella of the Godfathers family.Ancient religious myths, Greek dramas, fairytales andHollywood movies have lots of similarities, and its not anaccident. Effective storytelling needs some talent thatcant be learned, but also has certain rules that apply toall stories since the dawn of mankind.
MemeLab uses a unique story development tool that wascreated after a thorough analysis of 450 classic movies.This tool helps us build an effective Brand Story thathighlights the authentic archetypical values of thepotential consumer, so identification with the hero isstrong, thus the selected memes can be transmitted in anopen state of mind.
BASIC STRUCTURE OF OUR BRAND STORY MODELULTIMATE GOALMOTIVATION VALUE DRIVE VALUEDILEMMACONSUMERHERO OFA CERTAINARCHETYPEBRANDThe Dilemma Story Modelby Csaba Szekeres
Once upon a time, a tall man with a small beard and avelvety voice understood the calling of times to answerthe challenges of modern marketing.He decided to start a journey and gather communicationprofessionals with different backgrounds to create a thinktank that tackles tasks many have tried to solve but failed.
After a succession of business meetings and accidentalbumps into old friends, he realized that a new companyhas been formed by itself.Using their undisputed expertise in network research,marketing strategy, creative concepts and storytelling,the knights are off for a great quest: they decided to helpbrands develop a long standing communication strategythat doesnt wear out in our era of constant change.
We have a strong background in science: our sistercompany, Darwins Marketing Evolution, established in2002 by Prof. László Mérő and Lazlo B. Karafiath, wasprobably the first memetic brand consultancy in theworld. While Darwins specializes in research that revealsmemes and dimensions, Memelab is focusing on howmemes can be spread and planted in consumers minds.
Memelab offers a modular consulting package:• memetic in-depth interviews,• social media mining,• market and competition memes analysis,• consumer insights and archetype definition,• brand story development and• communication concepts.
Our first two offices are in San Francisco, California, andBudapest, Hungary. We are planning to open soon in SaoPaulo, Brasil and in Mumbai, India.
Adam DobosStarted at Philip Morris, worked at VNU Publishing House asmarketing manager, became Regional Marketing directorand later Managing Director at Imperial Tobacco. Todayhe is leading his own creative agency. Has 17 years ofexperience and a proven success leading strategy,developing new business, managing brands and portfoliosand launching over 100 SKUs in 4 different markets.
Lazlo B. KarafiathAfter co-founding one of Europe’s biggest music and artsfestival, in 1997 he created Carnation, a digital consultingand marketing company now with revenues over $10million. Was a Yale World Fellow and has ten years ofuniversity teaching experience. Designed a course in thefield of Emergence covering evolutionary theory,networkology, memetics, studies of cooperation andinternetology. He is a regular speaker and publisher onthese topics. He lives in San Francisco managing the USbranches of Darwins and Memelab.
Csaba SzekeresMany TV and cinema successes are linked to Csabasname as a screenwriter and a director. Received BestDirector Award at the Hungarian Film Festival, his work hasalso been appreciated in New York, Los Angeles,Germany and the UK. In his films, human relations arerepresented with a delicate sensibility. On top of his writingand directing jobs, he has developed a special storytellingmethod, replacing the traditional character-based modelto a value-based model. In his view, this system will notonly help writers but also everyday people to see theirown stories in a slightly different light.
Attila NyekiBegan as a copywriter, promoted to Creative Directorand later Chief Creative Officer. In the last 20 years he hasworked in top positions of international ad agencies andcreative boutiques, and founded a strategic consultancy.Attila has won all Hungarian creative awards, his work wasalso appreciated at Cannes Lions and Cresta Awards.Among others, he worked on brands in financial services,telecom, FMCG, pharmaceutical and automotive. Sangin a rock band, published a photo album, lived inBudapest, Madrid, Amsterdam and Sao Paulo.
QMRQualitative Memetic Research(powered by Darwins Marketing Evolution)Reveals the meme set of the target group, createsmemetic dimensions and the memetic map of the brand.Helps define possible business development andcommunication directions.SOURCE: in-depth interviews, factor analysis
SMMSocial Meme Mining(powered by Vortio)Monitoring social media channels to identify memescurrently being spread about the given brand, categoryor any measurable subject.SOURCE: Artificial intelligence and semantic computationformulas that enables big data analysis of conversations.
CACConsumer Archetype CompassArchetypical segmentation of current and targetconsumers, revealing business potential of archetypes.SOURCE: Secondary analysis of available data andresearch material, tailored research projects.
MQMeme QuantifierQuantifying the penetration of identified memes in thetarget group.SOURCE: Online research, panel solutions.
MERMeme Environment ReviewTMRevealing the memetic factors of competingmessages, defining the memetic environment inwhich the brand will exist.SOURCE: KantarMedia, AGB Nielsen, existing mediadata, Gemius, ROI studies