From religious parables, to folk songs, to business case studies, stories serve as a primary vehicle for communicating complex ideas in a clear, easily digestible way. For the brands that can create a mythology around themselves, an opportunity arises to connect with customers on a personal level.
Logos as Storytellers
Some logos tell a story. Illustrative marks can depict an object or suggest a scene, either of which can become a powerful brand symbol.
A lonely beach chair can hint at a backstory that lends depth to the brand and creates a personal connection with the viewer. Like the cover of a novel, such marks reveal the essence of the story contained therein. The logo is only the beginning of the story, and just like a good book jacket, good logos communicate the story without giving away the ending.
Programs are all about context, and each place the identity is expressed reveals an opportunity to extend a narrative.
If a graphic identity is the cover of a novel, program elements are the chapters. The first experience with an identity program provides the exposition. As an audience experiences an identity program, consider the sequence, length, and character of each beat in the story.
Consider the where and how of use. Is a sign near the bathroom an opportunity for humor, a reminder of basic hygiene, or both? Is a website intended to surprise or comfort? If there’s a television in a lobby broadcasting the news, which channel is it on?
Modern-day brands are promises, and every promise naturally sets a plot in motion: Will the promise be kept or broken? It goes without saying that a brand should keep its promises. They serve as the moral of the brand story—why the “story” was written and what it means to the reader/customer.
Companies with memorable brands not only craft stories that are worth telling, they also live out the morals of their brand stories every day. In today’s transparent world, companies are beginning to embrace technology to allow customers and employees to help shape their stories.