A Case Study of Canada’s Story
By Chasson Gracie
Implementing marketing strategies, communicating meaningful messages, and even creating appropriate products and services is next to impossible without a clear brand purpose. But for people to have confidence in that brand purpose, it needs to be told in a believable way. Choosing a story that clearly reflects that brand purpose is what will motivate employees, partners, and ultimately consumers.
Historically, identifying a brand’s purpose and story has been based on gut. It was rarely projectable nor generalizable. However, methodological techniques can help build a brand purpose based on more than just gut. In celebration of Canada’s 150 years of confederation, we used a quantitative, projectable framework for testing numerous narratives in order to determine 1) the current story, and 2) the optimal story for brand Canada. This work was done in collaboration with System 1 Research, formerly Brainjuicer.
Every book, every movie, every play can be boiled down to seven archetypal plots, as described by Christopher Booker in his 2004 book called ‘The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories.’ Stories help us to better understand and process ideas, and people are hardwired to seek out stories and meaning, even where none exist. They include: Comedy, Journey & Return, Rebirth, Rags to Riches, Quest, Overcoming the Monster, and Tragedy.
But these seven plots can do far more than simply describe the story behind your favourite action movie. In the world of marketing, advertising, and branding, they are useful for understanding the narratives that do and don’t align with brands. And once you know which plot aligns with your brand — which plot you want to align with your brand — you can use it to focus your brand story into compelling and impactful communications.
By using believable stories, people, consumers, and audiences can better understand and align themselves with the brand that best suits them. And when a brand finds the right story, it can reach more people, it can make people feel good about the brand, and it can demonstrate its distinctive assets.
We invite you to download our case study to learn about the seven stories, to discover which one best reflects Canada, and to learn about the implications this method has for brands.
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Chasson Gracie is a Director at SW&A and winner of two David Ogilvy Awards for Research Excellence. When not busy helping clients address business, strategic, and research planning challenges, Chasson can be found directingdocumentaries that investigate contemporary North American culture and its impact on society.
Sklar Wilton & Associates helps their clients solve tough marketing challenges to unlock growth and build stronger brands. SW&A has worked for more than 30 years with some of Canada’s most iconic brands and, in 2017, was named theBest Workplace in Canada for Small Companies by the Great Place To Work®Institute and the number one Employee Recommended Workplace among small private employers by the Globe and Mail and Morneau Shepell.
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