on the subject of brand narrative

laurence vincent
group director, strategy

11.20.08
brand narrative forms


  foundational




                                            The External View

                ...
a story that permeates from the inside out
brand narrative forms


  foundational    projective




            SIMPLIFY                                        AMPLI...
brand narrative forms


  foundational   projective   infective




                                   living folklore wit...
narrative structure
   situation                          complication                          resolution
   act one     ...
narration channels and devices


                               narrative


   theme          characters               plo...
narration channels and devices


                                narrative


   theme          characters                 ...
brand narrative mapping techniques
narrative mapping attempts to connect past and present story points with current and
fu...
brand narrative forms


  foundational   projective               infective                 reflexive



                 ...
brand use and personal narrative

sequence:                    pre                           during                  post
...
narrative identity stored In
                                                          consumer subconscious




         ...
“Unlike purely cognitively based priming effects, which decrease
 after a short delay, our results show that the effect wa...
harley-davidson

+ product use activates a
  narrative identity
+ behavior is driven by brand
  attributes
+ voice is tune...
brand narrative forms


  foundational   projective   infective        reflexive          communal




                   ...
the silicon valley narrative

+ setting
  the humble garage
+ characters
  two misfit inventors
+ plot
  rags to riches as...
+ beliefs




              + agents




+ narrative
linking brands to cultural conflicts
37 signals

+ poster brand for GTD and
  web 2.0
+ a culture first, a collection of
  products second
+ navigating several...
brand narrative forms


  foundational          projective           infective        reflexive          communal         ...
archetypes

+ a personality type observed multiple times
+ persistent in literature throughout the world for
  centuries
+...
tapping the collective unconscious

+ ritual dimension of consumer behavior
+ tribal branding
+ mono-mythic experience des...
frish

        frosh
frish

        frosh
“...back vowels such as the [u] sound in dull or ugh are very often
 found in words expressing disgust or dislike (e.g., b...
brand architecture and prototype theory




superordinate    animals         furniture   Apple



basic level       bird  ...
summary
+ every brand has the potential to tell a story
+ some brands are more literal than others in the way they choose ...
about siegel+gale
global
strategic
branding
firm
Siegel+Gale applies
the art and science of
simplicity to create
branding programs that
help organizations excel.
150+ people
senior practitioners
smart, nice, and unstoppable
serving clients around the world from strategic locations




           London
          New York
         Los Angeles
  ...
an Omnicom company
global network
full-service offering
seamless integration
Global network through partnership with Fleishman-Hillard
What we do


Research              Visual Identity Design
Brand Strategy        Environmental Branding
Brand Architecture ...
On the Subject of Brand Narrative
On the Subject of Brand Narrative
On the Subject of Brand Narrative
On the Subject of Brand Narrative
On the Subject of Brand Narrative
On the Subject of Brand Narrative
On the Subject of Brand Narrative
On the Subject of Brand Narrative
On the Subject of Brand Narrative
On the Subject of Brand Narrative
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On the Subject of Brand Narrative

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Slides from a presentation I delivered to a large technology client on the subject of branding and brand narrative.

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On the Subject of Brand Narrative

  1. 1. on the subject of brand narrative laurence vincent group director, strategy 11.20.08
  2. 2. brand narrative forms foundational The External View Promise Values Voice The Internal View
  3. 3. a story that permeates from the inside out
  4. 4. brand narrative forms foundational projective SIMPLIFY AMPLIFY Experience Web Communications Identity system Culture Interactive Transactions Print Environment Identity Advertising Products elements Logo(s) Product Strategies Imagery Vehicles Naming Color Retail BRAND Brand Typography Signage PLATFORM architecture Graphic motif Uniforms Messaging Format Environments Simplification Sound Identity Technology management + Amplifire™ + Namequest™
  5. 5. brand narrative forms foundational projective infective living folklore with… + strong basic story-appeal + foundation in actual belief + meaningful message or moral
  6. 6. narrative structure situation complication resolution act one act two act three Subject at rest until forces act Series of beats which raise Subject comes to rest in a upon it, setting it in motion. The the tension and complicate new, changed state (often the dramatic question is posed, the dramatic question. The polar opposite state of act tension is introduced. “meat” of the story unfolds one). All dramatic questions with several twists and turns. are answered and tension is relieved. dramatic tension/ conflict climax = beats
  7. 7. narration channels and devices narrative theme characters plot aesthetics
  8. 8. narration channels and devices narrative theme characters plot aesthetics cause stakeholders products touchpoints + visual system + voice promise
  9. 9. brand narrative mapping techniques narrative mapping attempts to connect past and present story points with current and future touchpoints, so that the desired story is more concrete. past era current era future era act one act two act three + shareholders + shareholders + shareholders stakeholders + b2c customers + b2c customers + b2b/b2c customers characters + media + developers + media + media + developers business challenger brand vs. the dominant brand vs. needs activity rest of the world innovator vs. wall street of the little guys plot conflicts identity elements limited to master brand + extended to a master aesthetics core product brand brand portfolio of products and platforms complete ecosystem
  10. 10. brand narrative forms foundational projective infective reflexive a brief history of identity formation in the u.s.a. early americans modern era identity linked to old- identity linked to consumption world customs and and feedback from generational norms environment and “others” tradition inner other transcendentalists identity linked to lessons learned in childhood and readings from the “inner compass”
  11. 11. brand use and personal narrative sequence: pre during post brand activity: selection use experience narrative driver: theme character plot aesthetics consumer engagement: role preparation performance evaluation / feedback influence: definition and presentation of others’ response to construction of identity identity to the others identity performance
  12. 12. narrative identity stored In consumer subconscious beats story beat exposed to consumers consumer matches beat to the narrative stored in identity centers of the subconscious brain narrative priming + the source narrative already exists in the consumer’s head + brand touchpoints prime the brain to recall the story + through repeated experiences, the brand is linked to the narrative in long term memory and validates identity constructs
  13. 13. “Unlike purely cognitively based priming effects, which decrease after a short delay, our results show that the effect was actually magnified: while participants primed with IBM (a goal-irrelevant brand) were uninfluenced by delay, Apple-primed participants’ creativity increased in strength over time, a hallmark of goal- directed behavior.” + Journal of Consumer Research June, 2008
  14. 14. harley-davidson + product use activates a narrative identity + behavior is driven by brand attributes + voice is tuned to resonate with personal identity drivers
  15. 15. brand narrative forms foundational projective infective reflexive communal + beliefs + culture brand mythology cycle + agents + narrative
  16. 16. the silicon valley narrative + setting the humble garage + characters two misfit inventors + plot rags to riches as a result of brilliant technological innovation + theme fortune rewards good ideas and hard work
  17. 17. + beliefs + agents + narrative
  18. 18. linking brands to cultural conflicts
  19. 19. 37 signals + poster brand for GTD and web 2.0 + a culture first, a collection of products second + navigating several cultural dramas with a solid foundation, but much uncertainty
  20. 20. brand narrative forms foundational projective infective reflexive communal universal Call to Adventure The Journey Home Meeting the Mentor The Ordinary World Crossing the Threshold The extraordinary World/ The World of Transformation Seizing Your Treasure Helpers & Challengers The Supreme Ordeal Into the Innermost Cave
  21. 21. archetypes + a personality type observed multiple times + persistent in literature throughout the world for centuries + used in Jungian psychology to suggest a heritable memory ingrained in the collective unconscious + driver of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth theory about the one great narrative that transcends time and geography
  22. 22. tapping the collective unconscious + ritual dimension of consumer behavior + tribal branding + mono-mythic experience design + phonetic symbolism + ‘basic level’ brand architecture
  23. 23. frish frosh
  24. 24. frish frosh
  25. 25. “...back vowels such as the [u] sound in dull or ugh are very often found in words expressing disgust or dislike (e.g., blunder, bung, bungle, clumsy, muck), and words beginning with sl also tend to have a negative connotation (slouch, slut, slime, sloven). Words beginning with fl often express movement (flutter, flap, flicker). Across languages and cultures, similarities have also been noted. Words connoting “little” in non-English languages are kleine (German), petite (French), piccola (Italian), and mikros (Greek), all of which have front vowel sounds for the initial syllable. The same is true for suffixes.” + Phonetic Symbolism and Brand Name Preference Journal of Consumer Research, 2007
  26. 26. brand architecture and prototype theory superordinate animals furniture Apple basic level bird chair iPhone subordinate sparrow Stickley 3G
  27. 27. summary + every brand has the potential to tell a story + some brands are more literal than others in the way they choose to narrate + other brands enable stories already at play in the mind of the consumer or in the community in which they participate + understanding the drivers of narration is key to managing brands over time
  28. 28. about siegel+gale
  29. 29. global strategic branding firm
  30. 30. Siegel+Gale applies the art and science of simplicity to create branding programs that help organizations excel.
  31. 31. 150+ people senior practitioners smart, nice, and unstoppable
  32. 32. serving clients around the world from strategic locations London New York Los Angeles Dubai
  33. 33. an Omnicom company global network full-service offering seamless integration
  34. 34. Global network through partnership with Fleishman-Hillard
  35. 35. What we do Research Visual Identity Design Brand Strategy Environmental Branding Brand Architecture Digital Strategy + Design Naming Experience Simplification Content Development Brand Alignment 39
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