One of the takeaways from last week’s Planningness conference–coming out of at least two separate sessions, was that brands have to be stories if they are to be successful in the wired (and wireless), connected world targeted audiences find themselves within today.
For Integer Group’s Ethan Decker, this truth comes from the understanding that we, as rational beings, rationalize our decisions consistently. We simply don’t connect to proof points alone, anymore.
For Dr. Pamela Rutledge, a co-founder of A Think Lab, it has to do with the communicator’s need to overcome our lizard brains and tap in to our ability and need to see patterns before they can truly connect with us.
Dorset Cereals could have put a starburst sticker on the front of their box. They could have put an enlarged photo of their oat flakes. But instead they went with this window. And another series of windows on the front.
Now, I purchased this box because I’m trying to eat a better diet. Brand played no role in my product purchase decision whatsoever. Story played a role in the category purchase decision though: During my year of study abroad in college, breakfasts typically consisted of cucumber and crispy bread or muesli/porridge and yogurt. It was that time away from home–and memories of a younger, and presumably healthier, body–that I thought of when I reached for this box.
And the claim about dust? Thanks to the window, it’s more than a claim. It’s a true proof point. And whereas I have never before thought about cereal “dust” and crumbles as a reason to not make a brand purchase in the category, Dorset just changed that.
Going back to those Planningness takeaways: My breakfast today started with a story. But when I have to replace this box of muesli, I’m going to be merging that story with a rational, product-focused claim of differentiation. Perhaps trying to have one without the other would be like having the muesli without the yogurt.