What makes a brand ‘a great brand?’ What do Coca-Cola, Oreo, Lego, LUSH Cosmetics and Chumbak have in common? In this post, Kajol Runwal explores how the longevity of brand-narratives is a catalyst to creativity and stronger brand identity.
Brands can launch exciting advertising campaigns that attract eyeballs and capture the zeitgeist at any time. But our environment of incessant liking, commenting, sharing and mindless scrolling has fostered an ecosystem of information overload. These loud ‘Super Bowl’ ads may create a buzz but fizzle out.
The antidote to this noise is a sustained brand narrative. Brands need to invest in building a story that can stand the test of time – an overarching theme that becomes a synonym for the brand itself. It is this consistent narrative that not only becomes a catalyst for thinking creatively but evokes a strong emotion that is closely linked with the brand.
‘Grab ‘em. Pop ‘em. Love ‘em’ is not just a catchy tagline: it implies an innocent playfulness that’s become Oreo’s hallmark. The purple wrapper and glass-and-a-half of milk pouring out of Cadbury’s whimsical logo has become an authentic representation of the celebrated chocolatier. ‘Structuring thought and imagination brick by brick’ is the spinal narrative of Lego. Apple’s agenda of ‘thinking differently’ has provided the basis for several entertaining advertising campaigns.
Recognise your brand’s DNA
These timeless and long-term brand narratives often spring from companies’ genesis stories. They reflect the values, ethos and idiosyncrasies that form the DNA of your brand. It is this nucleus narrative that the brand will revolve – and evolve – around. This journey, that consumers experience, live and breathe, creates a sense of trust and loyalty towards your brand in the market.
It is this unfaltering, eternal narrative that makes a brand ‘classic’. A continual narrative is the key to a brand’s legacy. Tiffany weaves tales of engagement, weddings and love; Coca-Cola stands out for its bubbly personality; Snickers uses ‘you are not you when you’re hungry’ to unleash funny stories. Our brains love storytelling and when it’s sustained, it creates nostalgia: consumers love to revisit a feeling they had once enjoyed.
Young brands building timeless narratives
Relatively young brands like LUSH Cosmetics and Indian souvenir brand Chumbak are maximising the creative opportunity afforded by building a long-term brand narrative.
LUSH Cosmetics concocts batches of bath bombs and solid shampoo bars by constant experimentation. Natural, fresh ingredients make LUSH colourful and it’s building a narrative of organic handmade production, coupled with a no-spend advertising policy – relying solely on organic growth of the brand. That isn’t just clever wordplay!
With its transparency around ethical sources of ingredients and pledges to protect animal rights, LUSH is also appealing to Generation Z. These principles are an opportunity for creativity. The vow to use ‘no frivolous packaging’ has become a snazzy look for gifts now signature to the brand.
LUSH is a reminder that brands have to be futuristic. They have to build narratives that are not cul-de-sacs. Brands need an overarching story that encourages creativity and growth.
However, Chumbak embodies the quirkiness of modern-day India. Its souvenirs are not only for tourists, but a reflection of society that Indian natives can buy into. The narrative of being trendy but traditional is at the core of the brand. This story, given the colourful culture of India, holds immense potential for both creative marketing campaigns and business growth.
In both cases, investing in sustained brand narratives is the key to this unfettered creativity. Narratives with longevity take consumers on an unforgettable journey: these are the twists and turns that cultivate great brand loyalty.
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