Storytelling has never been more important. So a recent visit to the Hayward Gallery’s exhibition, ‘Invisible: Art About the Unseen’, made me think. The exhibition exhibited nothing.
People like a story. And here, I thought, there was an acute parallel to brand management. Without a story, a brand is simply a name. A story creates mystery, intrigue and a reason to share. Cognitive neuroscience has long recognised narrative as the organising principle of memory, as well as stimulating the release of endorphins: stories are easier to remember and make people happy. Stories also aid learning, establish trust, create standout and kindle an emotional connection.
Many successful businesses put storytelling at the heart of their brands: Johnnie Walker leverages the story of its founder at every opportunity to express the brand’s heritage; Innocent uses the story of how its three youthful founders decided to quitting their jobs and found Innocent based on how many of its empty bottles were in the ‘Yes’ bin at a music festival to communicate its fun, youthful, start-up appeal; Nescafé famously placed its ‘Gold Blend’ couple’s romance at the heart of its advertising in the 1980s to build an emotional connection with customers.
Via Gregg Morris