Brands are Shaped by Stories

The other night I did something I’ve never done before – I cozied up in my Snuggie and read a book from cover to cover. The book, Girls in White Dresses, is centered around three young women who recently graduated college and are trying to navigate their way through early adulthood in bustling New York City. These former college roommates support each other as they try to cope with their relentless single status while their close friends fall in love, get married, and start families. As a very single, recent graduate in the “real world”, I was captivated by the story that projected every thought and fear of my future. As I eagerly turned each page, I could relate with the main characters and was comforted knowing that we share similar emotions throughout life’s struggles.

Why am I telling you about the pathetic Saturday night I spent alone? Well, because storytelling is the premise of good design and branding. As we read novels we relate to fictional characters on a personal level, just like good brands tell their story to relate to their customers on a personal level; they become human. Think about it, it’s easier to remember a story that you can personally connect with than simply recall company features and benefits. Companies cannot simply rely on stating what they do and why they’re better than their competition; they need to reach their customers on a personal level and tell them why their product/service matters. Brands are a promise, how companies differentiate from each other, and how people perceive them. Brands are built on experiences and feelings, something that we can all relate to as humans.

Here at Nalani, we are currently developing our brand story to create a memorable first impression that reflects our mission; “Discover what inspires you, your team, and your customers so you can effectively achieve your next level of success through the implementation of bold marketing, sales, and operational services.” By understanding how a companies marketing, sales, and operations work together in conjunction, we are able to produce increased brand recognition, client attainment, and profitable growth for our clients.

As we work to re-brand Nalani, we continue to tell our story of Hawaiian heritage through the use of colors and logo revolution while focusing on the power of three interconnected services. We use gears and arrows to illustrate motion and how everything works together as one entity.

Our challenge and opportunity is to create a personal connection by telling our brand story directly to you through positive experiences and symbolic cues. As Marty Neumeier, author of The Brand Gap said, “In this information-rich and time-poor society, people value the feeling more than the information.” What’s your story?

Written by Michelle Haga with contributions from Ellen Panther


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