For some time now, “innovation” has been a buzz word that transcends almost every industry, with start-ups and giants alike vying for the next big breakthrough idea. Yet when it comes to rising above the hype and noise, the majority of brands, products and services fall flat on deaf ears to the indifference of saturated markets.
So what sets a brand apart? What distinguishes a brand from the rest and sears itself into the collective consciousness, making it come to life in personal and meaningful ways?
Over the past three years, Julian Birkinshaw, professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at the London Business School, and his colleagues have been researching how people frame their innovation stories to create differentiation and attract attention. As he aptly states:
“Appealing to people’s emotions helps new ideas cut through the clutter.”
Citing examples that range from Dyson bagless vacuums to 3M and their invention of Post-it Notes, Mr. Birkinshaw notes that one thing many successful brands have in common is their ability to tell a good story, which can help a new startup or well established brand break through overwhelming amounts of media and content clutter.
For Sagon-Phior, this is a philosophy our agency put into practice many years ago, long before McKinsey started talking about it. The fact is, we have spent the last 25 years pioneering the study and exploration of how people emotionally connect to brands. This approach can enable marketers to better understand important, often unseen, patterns of consumer emotion and behavior. Converting customers is about forging an emotional bond with them. Without compelling, emotionally-driven marketing through great stories, a customer may have heard about you, but may not find you, or worse, even care to do so. The ability to frame ideas in an attractive way is important for reaching your intended audiences. A great innovation presented without the context of a great storyline may not be immediately recognized or acknowledged.
Brands must go beyond a traditional left-brained rationale if they want to connect in a meaningful fashion. Our firm has helped many organizations develop, reposition and manage national and global brands, from technology, banking and real estate to healthcare, entertainment and education. We continue to do this by creating compelling storytelling that connects human emotion with a brand.