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on the subject of brand narrative

laurence vincent
group director, strategy

11.20.08
brand narrative forms


  foundational




                                            The External View

                 Promise   Values   Voice    The Internal View
a story that permeates from the inside out
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™
brand narrative forms


  foundational   projective   infective




                                   living folklore with…
                                   + strong basic story-appeal
                                   + foundation in actual belief
                                   + meaningful message or moral
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
narration channels and devices


                               narrative


   theme          characters               plot   aesthetics
narration channels and devices


                                narrative


   theme          characters                  plot      aesthetics




   cause         stakeholders               products   touchpoints

                                                       + visual system
                                                       + voice

   promise
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
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”
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
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
“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
harley-davidson

+ product use activates a
  narrative identity
+ behavior is driven by brand
  attributes
+ voice is tuned to resonate with
  personal identity drivers
brand narrative forms


  foundational   projective   infective        reflexive          communal




                                                     + beliefs




                                   + culture   brand mythology cycle    + agents




                                                    + narrative
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
+ 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 cultural
  dramas with a solid foundation,
  but much uncertainty
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
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
tapping the collective unconscious

+ ritual dimension of consumer behavior
+ tribal branding
+ mono-mythic experience design
+ phonetic symbolism
+ ‘basic level’ brand architecture
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., 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
brand architecture and prototype theory




superordinate    animals         furniture   Apple



basic level       bird            chair      iPhone




subordinate      sparrow         Stickley     3G
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
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
            Dubai
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    Digital Strategy + Design
Naming                Experience Simplification
Content Development   Brand Alignment




                                          39
On the Subject of Brand Narrative
On the Subject of Brand Narrative

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On the Subject of Brand Narrative

  • 1. on the subject of brand narrative laurence vincent group director, strategy 11.20.08
  • 2.
  • 3. brand narrative forms foundational The External View Promise Values Voice The Internal View
  • 4. a story that permeates from the inside out
  • 5. 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™
  • 6.
  • 7. brand narrative forms foundational projective infective living folklore with… + strong basic story-appeal + foundation in actual belief + meaningful message or moral
  • 8.
  • 9.
  • 10.
  • 11.
  • 12. 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
  • 13. narration channels and devices narrative theme characters plot aesthetics
  • 14. narration channels and devices narrative theme characters plot aesthetics cause stakeholders products touchpoints + visual system + voice promise
  • 15. 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
  • 16. 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”
  • 17.
  • 18. 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
  • 19. 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
  • 20. “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
  • 21. harley-davidson + product use activates a narrative identity + behavior is driven by brand attributes + voice is tuned to resonate with personal identity drivers
  • 22. brand narrative forms foundational projective infective reflexive communal + beliefs + culture brand mythology cycle + agents + narrative
  • 23. 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
  • 24. + beliefs + agents + narrative
  • 25. linking brands to cultural conflicts
  • 26. 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
  • 27. 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
  • 28. 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
  • 29. tapping the collective unconscious + ritual dimension of consumer behavior + tribal branding + mono-mythic experience design + phonetic symbolism + ‘basic level’ brand architecture
  • 30. frish frosh
  • 31. frish frosh
  • 32. “...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
  • 33.
  • 34. brand architecture and prototype theory superordinate animals furniture Apple basic level bird chair iPhone subordinate sparrow Stickley 3G
  • 35. 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
  • 38. Siegel+Gale applies the art and science of simplicity to create branding programs that help organizations excel.
  • 40. serving clients around the world from strategic locations London New York Los Angeles Dubai
  • 41. an Omnicom company global network full-service offering seamless integration
  • 42. Global network through partnership with Fleishman-Hillard
  • 43. What we do Research Visual Identity Design Brand Strategy Environmental Branding Brand Architecture Digital Strategy + Design Naming Experience Simplification Content Development Brand Alignment 39