Selling Aspirations or Realities

We often see that words, phrases and concepts are repeated when describing an event.  But I have to wonder, is it more powerful for marketing to ask “what happened…” or “when you went/used/etc. what were you hoping for…”?  No doubt it is some balance between the two, but at which points in the shopping, consuming and disposal processes do you stress the aspirational over the practical?  At what point do you reverse them?  It all depends on the nature of the narrative as told by both the brand and the people who buy it.  And it depends on breaking away from a binary view of the world.

Narratives are representational forms that provide valuable data about the practices, perspectives, and beliefs people have about a brand.  In other words, these are the stories people tell, but narrative analysis digs deeper, uncovering symbolic triggers and psycho-social stumbling block. What we want isn’t always what we need (or even what we really, truly want).  Understanding the narrative being told and the one we wish to create means thinking about more than a message.  It means thinking about marketing as a story and that is never an either/or proposition.

Published by gavinjohnston67

Take an ex-chef who’s now a full-fledge anthropologist and set him free to conduct qualitative research, ethnography, brand positioning, strategy and sociolinguistics studies and you have Gavin. He is committed to understand design and business problems by looking at them through an anthropological lens. He believes deeply in turning research findings into actionable results that provide solid business strategies and design ideas. It's not an insight until you do something with it. With over 18 years of experience in strategy, research, and communications, he has done research worldwide for a diverse set of clients within retail, legal, banking, automotive, telecommunications, health care and consumer products industries.

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