It started with a rivet. Born in Germany this man migrated to USA, settled in San Francisco and became a trader. Jacob Davis a tailor, started buying cloth from him to stitch pants. One of his customers kept ripping his pockets on his pants & Jacob had a tough time repairing it time & again, till he came upon the idea of putting copper rivets at the stress points on the pocket corner. His “riveted work pants” very quickly became a craze. Worried that someone would steal his idea, he called on his friend, the trader. Together they patented his invention. For twenty years Jacob and his friend Levi were the only company allowed to make riveted work pants. This is how the story of Levis “jeans” started – with a rivet.

In today’s world too, its “riveting” stories that bring success. Every time you look at a Levis jeans you remember the rivet story. Good stories stick on and make the brand name stick on too.

Stories don’t just save lives
There was woman named Scheherazade who was one of the many slaves of the Sultan. The Sultan was known for beheading anyone who displeased him. The intelligent woman found a unique way to save her life… every night she told him a story, but would stop at the most exciting part and make the Sultan wait until the next evening to hear the end. For 1001 nights she did this. It impressed the king so much that he not only granted her life, but also married her.

A great story is what is responsible for the survival of great brands too. We all love stories. We love to listen to them, narrate them & we all love great story tellers. Great stories never die – look at the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. Similarly great brands built on great stories live on.

“Intel Inside” is one of the shortest, yet one of the most successful stories ever told. Not many know or understand the benefit of an Intel processor in their computer, yet it’s these two words that make them feel confident that they have made the right choice.

According to some thinkers what really turns a product into a “brand” is intelligent “PR” (Public Relations). You need to let out an interesting story to the media, for people to notice you. Later on, advertising can be used to sustain the brand & survive. One company that used it the best to its advantage was the UK-based “Innocent” brand of smoothies. There was a “story” woven into every ‘P’ of marketing, right from the name – well chosen, to represent that everything in the bottle was “fresh and unadulterated” to the packaging. Short on budget, they launched the drink from a stall put up in a little music festival in London. On top of their stall they put up a sign which read thus: “Do you think we should give up our jobs to make these smoothies?” and put two bins labeled “Yes” & “No”. If you liked the smoothies you had to put the empty bottles in the “Yes” bin. At the end of the weekend the “Yes” bin was full. The two friends resigned from their jobs, and “Innocent” was born. Not just the brand name, even the logo & the packaging was designed in such a manner as to tell the story of their company’s philosophy. Their aim was to design the packaging such that it told a three word story i.e. the contents are “home-made, natural, and posh.” This helped them differentiate from the hundreds of “fresh juice” brands crowding the marketplace. The space behind the logo on the bottle was used to put down a “banana phone” number where you could call and let the company know what you thought about smoothies. You could even mail them. The unique way of telling your story via the packaging caught the fancy of consumers & shook up the beverage market. The company showed it was a good story & not big budgets that was required to win over customers & market share.      Read More....

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