Fast Co talks story-telling

storytelling2

Yesterday our Wikipedia identity work was featured on Fast Company. The article discussed the self-generative mark we developed for the organisation as part of a Viewpoint magazine feature.

Another article on fast co. caught our attention, ‘The 4 Classic Ways To Recession-Proof Your Brand’. After last weeks panel discussion held here at Moving Brands, we recognized like-minded thoughts regarding how to manage a brand in terms of resonating and connecting with the consumer.

The article looks at how to constantly and consistently reinvent and innovate products and services to push the brand forward, whilst maintaining an authentic brand story that consumers can trust and engage with on an emotional level. The fashion industry was one focused sector, and the article echoed the sentiments of Patrick Grant who featured on our panel, that telling the story behind the brand is essential. Fast co journalist Jamey Boiter describes a friend’s experience at a recent men’s apparel show, “He came back lamenting over how little any of the brands differentiated themselves from the others on the floor. There were no stories to engage the consumer, just the same hawking of product, which was indistinguishable from that in the next booth, and the next”.

It is noticeable, particularly in the fashion industry, how much heritage, origin and in many cases the individual personality is relied upon in order for consumers to believe and trust in the brand. On our panel, examples of fashion brands were brought into the conversation regarding the difficulties of maintaining the essence of the brand when either the person behind the brand is gone or the age of the brand means the story has been lost or diluted over time, citing Alexander McQueen as a recent example. Fastco makes a similar point and references Nordstrom, “It wasn’t until the Nordstrom family took over senior management and went back to the core principles of the Nordstrom brand, that they got their mojo back.”

But story-telling becomes arguably even more difficult for service-driven corporations, which was a point that Global Director of Innovation at Barclaycard, Stewart Roberts, raised in our panel discussion. Roberts suggested that, when your offer is tied to a practical service like enabling financial transactions, it is critical to give your consumers something tangible and exciting to connect with. The danger is that, in trying to create a memorable and inspiring connection, it moves away from the brand promise, and lacks authenticity.

Fast Co journalist Boiter suggests that forging an emotional connection with the consumer will save the economy, and although we may not go that far, we completely agree that learning to tell authentic stories could save your brand.

Comments

  • I Retweeted the Fast Co article yesterday. It’s a particularly interesting subject for me as I did my Masters thesis on figural brand storytelling in the fashion industry using Anthropologie as a case study. The company is an excellent example of how a brand can connect yet constantly evolve with its target market through storytelling. How can I find out more about your panel discussion re: storytelling and service organisations?

    • georgeadmin

      Your thesis sounds brilliant – Anthropologie tell beautifully evocative product stories. We’re editing a ‘best of the panel discussion’ film currently. Keep an eye on the blog and we’ll post it soon 🙂