Developing a great brand story with Rhubarb Fool Part III
Your brand - your story
Be consistent. Clear themes and guidelines should inform your narrative and the basis of your narrative. It's these themes and guidelines that will tie the brand down and reinforce its identity. This process will allow the brand to establish a clear foothold in your customer's consciousness. Look at Audi. Performance is integrated into every aspect of its narrative. When someone buys and Audi they're not just buying a car. They're buying a piece of engineering technology.
Be distinctive. It would be very difficult to promote a brand by re-iterating another brand's story, or by simply re-arranging a cut and paste. Your brand's story will need to put some clear blue sky between your brand and its competitors. No matter how many times you rearrange the pieces on a board of draughts, you will never detract from its essential appearance. So if you want your brand to follow a singular path, be singular. Look at the growth of the Relentless brand of energy drink. It didn't go on about sporting energy, nor did it market itself with breath-taking videos of extreme sports. It simply established a niche that swiftly gained a place in the consciousness of a demographic.
Be imaginative. You want your brand's story to offer a narrative to its customers. This narrative should strive to create an image of a time that is better than the present. There's no harm in seeing your task as being to deliver your customers to a better land. And you won't do this without stimulating some imaginations. So be striking, be bold and never be afraid of ruffling a few feathers. After all the status quo represents little more
than your opponent.
You want to portray your band as a pioneer. A brand that will define its customers' futures. The Body Shop's brand story was of a more organic, integrated and interconnected world; where your entitlement to a great product came with a level of fundamental human responsibility to engage with the brand and it's ethical objectives. This approach defied editorial convention. However, in doing so, it struck a real chord with many consumers, thereby establishing a broad sector of a big market place as it's own.
Be specific. You don't want your brand's story to engage all and sundry. You can't be all things to all people, without diluting the essential value of your brand. Your objective is to be talking directly to your target audience. That's all. So use language that conforms to your audience's views and expectations of the world.
The Virgin brand (across the market places it has entered) has typically presented itself as the plucky underdog, trying to gatecrash the party of vested interest and complacency. It seeks to
offer this impression so that it can create a sense among its customer base of being able to offer a better deal. Virgin knows that its audience responds well to the "challenger" narrative. It appeals to people who see themselves as being divorced from the status quo,by virtue of their ability to think independently. Virgin knows that its customers think that they as individuals are quite capable of identify and securing what's best for themselves. So what Virgin does is identify with this demographic; approaching them as customers, rather than consumers.
Read Part IV here