Magazine article Marketing

Brand Storytelling: Does Your Brand Live Up to Its Underlying Promise?

Magazine article Marketing

Brand Storytelling: Does Your Brand Live Up to Its Underlying Promise?

Article excerpt

Consumers are no longer willing to settle for vague brand promises Now it's up to marketers to be more precise and concrete about the connections between their products and the happiness of the customer.

Every good brand promises to make its customers happy. Perhaps it speaks of being calm or successful, popular or energetic, environmental or luxurious - whatever it may be, in some way it's pointing us to how we might improve our lives and reach a higher level of fulfilment.

Traditionally, brands have left the precise connection between their products and services and their promises of happiness a little vague They don't spell out exactly how or why breakfast cereal might render family life more harmonious or what the relationship between a 4x4 and adventure truly is.

Nowadays, though, consumers have grown more psychologically minded than ever before. They want to purchase, but are also readier to ask big questions about the good life. They want to know how to achieve calm, what the foundations of a good relationship might be or what kind of success is worth striving for.

The business of good ideas

The School of Life is an organisation devoted to fulfilment. Through the use of philosophy and psychology, we look at how human beings tick - and try to find answers to the big questions with the help of insights from the history of culture. We're made up of a top-level faculty of philosophers, psychologists, thinkers and thought-leaders and are in the business of giving people good ideas about improving their quality of life: from coping with anxiety to managing relationships to getting a better handle on their work.

For several years, we've been working with brands to tighten the connections they make between fulfilment and the products and services they offer - helping to turn vague promises into something more concrete and usable, charming and engaging. In this way, we help brands to make interventions that deepen customer engagement. It might be that we produce a book or a brochure, a film or an object, but the goal is always the same: to tease out the genuinely helpful aspect of a given brand and help a consumer live more intensely and wisely alongside it.

In some cases, that means providing tangible evidence of the brand promise. US chain Morgans Hotel Group provides beautiful, stylish rooms that promise calm and the deepest sorts of relaxation. But as we spent time studying its brand promise, we realised that it wasn't directly tackling some of the reasons why people are beset by anxiety and stress when they check in to one of its properties. …

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