Once upon a time... It might be the most cliché beginning to a story, but the traditional lead-in has withstood the test of time. Beyond the opening line, how do you create a narrative that engages an audience enough to make them advocates?
Less Logos: The Shift from Brand Logos to Brand Stories
On June 12, 2005, Steve Jobs, the legendary boss of Apple computers, addressed the students of Stanford University: “I am honored to be with you at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.”
Shakespeare's Juliet famously argues that names don't matter: "What's in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." In other words, calling a rose by any other name--whether a "dandelion" or "doughnut"--won't change the way the flower effects our sense of smell. Juliet's line presents a classic take on the arbitrary character of names. Names are nothing more than human inventions that refer to real things. As such, names obviously don't change the reality of things themselves. It's common sense.
Then again, what we call a "dollar bill" is more than a piece of paper. The Mona Lisa is much more than a bunch oil paint smeared on an old canvas. While names are aribitrary, they are not trivial. Things are things, but names and labels shape how we experience the meaning of these things. I don't know about roses, but a car by another name can be in fact feel much sweeter.
So what's in a Brand? A lot.
Brand Archetypes are nothing new. That's the problem. They need a refresh.
Marketers have long used mythical archetypes to fashion brand stories. Mythic archetypes appeal to the values of audiences by explaining how a brand enables participation in a heroic story. For instance, in an article for the Content Marketing Institute, Bryan Rhoads explains that the archetypal “Overcoming the Monster” story line follows a prototypical “David vs. Goliath” structure that places customers as the quintessential “underdogs” in a fight against a “larger evil”: