Our good friends at Aesop the brand storytelling agency, have just released the results of their ‘Brand Stories’ 2014 survey showing the importance of simple clear brand stories to consumers who increasingly are intuitive in their reaction to brands and the communications they produce.

As so often happens the ‘halo’ of a big brand everyone loves to say they love brings Apple to the top of the rankings once again. But the results also show how emotional storytelling with a real person narrative as used so effectively by Macmillan Cancer Support can be so effective. Our take on this is that relatively few brands are able to weave together a commitment to a story over time – Apple’s story remains intertwined with that of Steve Jobs and the era he led the brand through. It is a powerful legacy and one that few other brands have been disciplined enough to find and develop.

Take some other research into brand communication by BrainJuicer who test the Superbowl ad breaks. They also stress the importance of making an emotional connection with the audience and Budweiser have topped their polls for the last two years with a Disney-esque storyline involving dogs and horses. The difference between these two pieces of research is that Aesop highlight the longevity and cohesion which can be developed with the right brand strategic focus. It is all about understanding your brands character traits and interpreting the way they would behave in any given situation. The work BrainJuicer have done is equally compelling and who knows the acquisitive and aggressively protective Anheuser-Busch may now be all about animal relationships and misty eyed sentiment – but personally I doubt it!

So once again the difference in these two pieces of research comes down to the perception you have of the brand to begin with, in turn something which is based on your experience or the stories you have heard about the brand itself. Once more testimony to the power of story telling!
Great work Aesop – our moral is that story strategy is the bedrock of future sentiment and this message is slowly filtering through to marketing decision makers who need to embrace storytelling, but keep it real!