The inspiration for what I call the ‘brand experience script’ takes the structure of a screenplay. In this I have been inspired by Syd Field, author of The Screenwriter’s Workbook and an authority in Hollywood and beyond. The structure he outlines in his book is present in almost every movie produced all over the world.
The dramatic development of the brand is what enables it to enter our minds, or our hearts. As Swedish director Ingmar Bergman used to say, ‘the language of the cinema speaks directly to the heart’.
It is in building and executing the story of a brand that we create its positions in our minds and enable a strong, successful relation brand to become a preferred, loved and trusted friend. The relation brand needs a different methodology from the transaction brand, which is purely focusing on the functional dimension of the direct product benefits. Transaction brand communication was built on pushing product arguments and slightly modified key product features. They constantly repeated the same kind of messages until they were stored in our brains.
Creating relationships with a relation brand implies that the customers have to open up an emotional space for the brand, to let it become a friend, and that the brand has to win customer sympathy step by step. This works in exactly the same way that good lead characters in a movie or TV series win our sympathy through their personality, will and ambition. This drive in the script, as filmmakers call it, provides a goal, purpose or meaning we can sympathize with.
When you write a screenplay you need to know your main characters well (product, style, values). You also need to know the plot, including how the story begins (positioning) and how it ends (vision). All this script material is supplied by your brand code, making it easier to script your brand experience script. Below, you can see how the brand code delivers all these ideas and information. The brand code is to the brand story what the central story idea of a movie is to the film script. Where does the story start, where and how does it end and what is its purpose and meaning?
●The product is the introduction of the main character (the brand).
●The positioning is where the main character stands now. In what way is the lead character different from others (including ambition)?
●The vision is the goal and the end of the story. Where will the main character be, and what will the character be like, in 10 to 15 years?
●The style is the personal traits and personality of the main character.
●The values are the main character’s beliefs and most important guiding rules in life.
●The mission/meaning is the main character’s purpose in life. What does the main character want to achieve?
Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by: Thomas Gad, excerpted from his book Customer Experience Branding, with permission from Kogan Page publishing.
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