Basics of Brand Narrative


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nderstanding the Basics of Brand Narratives: This presentation will define the brand narrative within the scope of social media. I will distinguish this concept from brand storytelling and discuss several reasons why this is a useful tool for strengthening brand identity and positioning. I compile a list of characteristics of brand narratives, as well as common narrative types. I will very briefly contrast between successful and unsuccessful online narratives using Dos Equis and Tiger Woods.

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Basics of Brand Narrative

  1. 1. Basics of BrandNarrative Christina N.T. Sackeyfio MKTG 6226 January 31, 2011
  2. 2. Why Use Narrative?“We use stories to understand our world, orient ourselves, motivate our employees, communicate our brand values and even tout our stock valuation” -Douglas Rushkoff, Media Theorist1 “Meanings become embodied and negotiated by consumers when they act in particular social situations, roles and relationships. Consumer culture is therefore linked to a particular historical and social configuration, a certain institutional set and setting.” -Robert Kozinets in “Brand Fans”2 It is the narrative of the brand that people connect with, that makes the purchase more “personal” and says something about them. This narrative is what helpspeople define a brand for themselves, and whether or not it belongs as part of their “personal brand.” -Mickey Lonchar, Quisenblog.com3
  3. 3. How do our values connect with yours?
  4. 4. How does our brand/product reinforce your identity?
  5. 5. How do we help make you a better you?
  6. 6. What is a brand narrative? BRAND NARRATIVE = BRAND STORYTELLINGBRAND NARRATIVE: BRAND NARRATIVE: VS. Historical Present Transmedia Storytelling/Storyline Literary Devices
  7. 7. Brand Narrative Characteristics • Relatable emotions • Stock characters • Entertaining storyline • Literary devices • Embrace new technologies • Make good use of time • Strengthens your social connections
  8. 8. A Notable Narrative The Most Interesting Man in the World! Relatable emotions! Stock characters! Storyline! Literary Devices! Technology! Time! Social connections
  9. 9. Types of Narratives• Comedy• Romance• Irony• Tragedy
  10. 10. “Epic” Fail? Tiger and Earl WoodsSource:’s-tiger-woods-commercial/
  11. 11. Questions?
  12. 12. Endnotes1. Mathews, Ryan and Watts Wacker (2008). What’s Your Story?: Storytelling to Move Markets, Audiences, People and Brands. Upper Saddle River, NJ:Pearson Education Inc.2. Kozinets, Robert V (2010). “Brand Fans: When Entertainment and Marketing Intersect on the Net.” in Tracey Tuten ed. Enterprise 2.0: HowTechnology, E-Commerce, and Web 2.0 Are Transforming Business Virtually. Boston MA: Houghton-Mifflin.3. Lonchar, Mickey (2009). “Stick To Your Story.” Quisenblog. URL: Accessed January 26th,2011.Additional NotesAlexander, Renee. (2010). “Dos Equis: Most Interesting?” URL: January 26, 2011.Aradillas, Elaine. (2009). “Meet the Real Most Interesting Man In the World.” URL:,,20287509,00.html. Accessed January 26th, 2011.Brandmaster. “Brand Narratives: Time to tell Stories?” Brandmaster’s Blog. URL: . Accessed January 26th, 2011.Hegmann, Karen (2010). “Engage Your Audience - Elevate Your Brand!” Narrative Assets. URL: Accessed January 26th, 2011Hunt, Tara (2010). “Be Notable: Eleven Ways to Create Amazing Customer Experience. The Power of Social Networking.Margolis, Michael (2010). “Four Storytelling Genres of Brand Storytelling.” URL: Accessed January 27th, 2011Marsland, Louise (2007). “What’s Your Brand’s Narrative.” URL: Accessed January 26th, 2011.Mullman, Jeremy (2009). “Dos Equis’ ‘Most Interesting Man’ Is a Great Beer Salesman.‘ Advertising Age. URL: Accessed January 26, 2011.O’Neill, Megan (2010). “Social Media and Parodies Drive Success of Nike’s Tiger Woods Commercial.” Social Times. URL:’s-tiger-woods-commercial/. Accessed January 27th, 2011.O’Reilly, Kaitlin (2010). “Woods’s Latest Nike Ad Causes Controversy - Tiger Wood’s Commercial With Late Father’s Voice Called “Insightful” and“Distrubing.” Shuspectrum. URL:’s-latest-nike-ad-causes-controversy-tiger-woods’s-commercial-with-late-father’s-voice-called-‘insightful’-and-‘disturbing’. Accessed January 26th, 2011.Ringer, Randall (2011). “Welcome to the Decade of Narrative Marketing.” Narrative Branding. URL: