Repositioning a Brand: Stories are a powerful way of organizing and sharing brand experiences. They put information in a memorable and compelling context.
Numerous psychology and neurology studies have shown that stories imprint more lastingly in human minds than facts, rationales, logic and bullet points. Stories unite ideas with emotions. Stories build and preserve community. They align people, build connections and support a feeling of shared purpose. Stories can forge strong allegiances between brands and customers.
One of the most meaningful ways to ensure people engage with your brand is to understand the places, activities and dreams that matter to them, and then to discover where all these stories and your own brand story intersect. This can provide a sense of connection and continuity.
The North Face, a premier outdoor equipment company, was trying to grow its market beyond a narrow niche of hard-core outdoor enthusiasts and reach to a broader active lifestyle user, without alienating either.
By repositioning a brand, for example, from “Fine Alpine Equipment and Apparel” to “Never Stop Exploring,” their story changed from “we’re a company that makes stuff” to “like you, we’re a company believe in pursuing new challenges, no matter how big or small.” This aspirational repositioning helped them connect to a broader audience without losing the authentic brand elements that defined them.
Psychological, organizational, social or brand transformation is usually preceded or accompanied by a change in the story governing that system. Trying to change forms and behaviors without changing the story that holds them in place almost never succeeds. Once the story is changed, however, patterns and behaviors tend to realign rapidly.