Business development 3 May 2018

Has the rise of the brand story hit its peak?

the brand story
Jack Daniels has a long history of telling its brand story on the London Underground
Writing for Business Advice, Mark Scully, founder of marketing consultancy?Learn Inbound, discusses the rise of the brand story and considers whether it’s still important for consumers to buy into heritage.

Brand stories were, and some may argue are, something most businesses across the globe took very seriously. Letting customers know the evolution of their story; where they came from, how they got to where they are and what it is they did is often broadcasted to potential customers as a priority.

The idea is that if customers know the ins and outs of a brand’s story then maybe they may feel more personally invested in the product or service and therefore, more willing to part with money to purchase it.

With many brands often now competing over the same customers, the question must be asked; is brand story still important or has it hit its peak?

Limited attention span

With most of the globe now connected via the internet (3.58bn users as of 2017) and brands advertising to all of them one way or another through adverts on websites, their social media channels or at the start of videos, it’s no surprise that consumers have a limited attention span when it comes to businesses and their stories.

Potential customers do not want to read a three-page spread on how a business was started or how they became so successful. Brand stories, if they are used, need to be short and snappy for them to be worth investing time and resources into.

Consumers have limited time and this should always be taken into account.

Good service above all

A brand story is all well and good, but what consumers want, above everything else, is great service and an amazing product.

A company’s story might be the best thing to be bestowed onto this world; it could be Oscar-worthy, but if the service is terrible and their product leaves a lot to be desired, then no one is going to be interested.

Brands need to keep this in mind when they begin to sort what element of their business they want to prioritise. Service should always come before brand story.



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Consumers have become increasingly more cynical with the growth of the internet. Everyone and anyone can become a detective and pick apart a brand’s story, should they have attempted to stretch the truth or use something incredibly underwhelming and tried to dress it up, which is exactly what Jack Daniels did recently.

They placed a series of posters around London underground which painted a story wherein the creator of the whisky sent a barrel to Queen Victoria, a notorious lover of scotch according to this advert. The poster goes on to divulge that, as the Queen never responded, they are unsure if the barrel was ever received or even tasted; but they still decided to headline this story, in big bold letters, Whiskey Fit For A Queen? hence trying to make royalty part of their brand story, even though it was just that they felt it was good enough for her majesty.