Brands are not static: as I have often discussed, they are dynamic. A good way to think of brands is in terms of their narratives… of the stories they tell (or the stories we want them to tell). In the training sessions I do, I do an exercise to get delegates thinking about and articulatingtheir brand proposition. It’s fairly straightforward stuff, but what has impressed me is how powerful the propositions are when they are presented as stories.
Looking at it from the other end of the telescope, we, as consumers, (and I include B2B consumers in that) have multiple identities – we are sons, daughters, mothers, friends, siblings, bosses, subordinates, students, workmates, sportspeople… and all the rest. We present different identities, different facets of the self, and each identities has its own story, its own narrative. My story as a father, is different from my story as an employer, different from my story as a consultant, different from my story as, say, a musician.
We look for brands whose narrative best fits and supports our personal narrative, for a particular identity. So, ‘me’ as a consultant and writer is looking for a different narrative when I’m choosing a shirt, laptop or hotel to ‘me’ as musician choosing a new guitar.
I often advocate the use of archetypes in helping target customers, consumers, but underline the fact that people are complex. People have multiple narratives in their lives. We must be keenly aware that our brands also have multiple stories, complex identities whose narratives can pass a wide range of messages.