I am delighted to welcome you to another new weekly column on titled ‘Brand Story’! This column will feature every Thursday and would be anchored by me. Let me start by sharing a few insights with us on what a ‘Brand Story’ is about:

Contrary to what many think about what a brand is, it is much more than a logo, slogan, name, or choice of colours. It is what the company or product aims to stand for, a promise made, and the image conveyed. While logos, colours and slogans should be included, those are only creative elements that convey the brand.

A brand comprises of the perceptions all stakeholders have about it, commitment to the brand vision and mission, ability to reflect the brand values in day-to-day interaction with consumers, the perceptions and impressions conveyed on the brand’s website and all mediums associated with the brand.

In other words, a brand is about the entire experience which employees, consumers, and all stakeholders have with it. All of that is what constitutes a brand story!

In 2006, Peter Fisk shared ten brief brand stories which included these three:

1. Googlegoogle_logo

“Googol” is the mathematical term for a 1 followed by 100 zeros. In 1995 Larry Page and Sergey Brin created in their Stanford University bedroom, what within 5 years would be dealing with 100 million internet searches every day, and make them multi-billionaires in less than a decade. Indeed last year’s Nasdaq floatation was not without controversy, when Google claimed they should not be treated like a “normal” company. With over 80 million users, searching through 8 billion webpages, Google is now the world’s leading search engine. They are known entirely through word of mouth, and their revenues are driven by enabling advertisers to target online users in highly sophisticated and efficient ways. They stay true to their “10 things” philosophy, ranging from “focus on the user and all else will follow” and “fast is better than slow”, to “you can be serious without a suit” and “great just isn’t good enough”.

Brand Genetics: Technology and Vision, Simplicity and Leadership

2. Sony

sony_logo“Sony” is derived from ‘sonus’ meaning sound and ‘sonny boy’ by which the Japanese mean a young person with a free spirit. Sony is therefore “a group of young people who have the energy and passion toward unlimited creation”. This could define Sony, and its target customers. Indeed there are few companies that have achieved such success through steady, organic growth with a devotion to technological innovation, and a Zen-like ability to shrug off defeats. Whilst there have been many successes, from the Walkman to the PlayStation, there has been failure too, losing the battle for video and DVD format supremacy. However the focus on sleek, attractive design that wins over customers, often at a 20 to 30% price premium, has served Sony well. As technologies converge, the focus is also about creating solutions rather than products – the Sony experience – and in staying one step ahead of the consumer.

Brand Genetics: Innovation and Design, Leadership and Passion

3. Zara

zara_logo_2In 1963, Amancio Ortega started out as a small lingerie business, producing low-priced imitations of upmarket fashion. However Ortega thought consumers could regard clothes as a perishable commodity, like food and drinks, rather than something to be stored over years. Ortega pursued his vision of “ready-baked” clothes, to create a global fashion phenomenon, translating the latest ideas from the catwalk, and trends on the street into new ranges faster than anyone else. Zara’s “sense and respond” approach, enables them to occupy the leading edge of the fashion cycle, when demand and prices are highest, and coupled with their highly efficient supply chain, margins are greatest. With over 600 stores in 50 countries, Zara positions its brand differently by market – in Spain it is at the cheaper end of the market, whilst in US and Mexico it competes with luxury stores.

Brand Genetics: Insight and Design, Speed and Efficiency


Two other brand stories to take a quick peek at are:

4. The Virgin Brand Story:

virgin-logoWe hate being ripped off by big expensive airlines. More people must feel like us, there must be a better way. Let’s be the better way.

A huge amount of other soft drinks were being consumed by passengers of Virgin, and that gave birth to Virgin Coke! They wanted to create an all round satisfaction for their customers.

Brand Genetics: Vision and Leadership, Service and Satisfaction


5. Apple’s Brand Story:

Apple_LogoTechnology can be beautiful as well as functional. Every single interaction with our product must make people fall in love with it.

Brand Genetics: Innovation and Technology, Passion and Functionality




Successful Brand Stories are not merely written, they are created through the impressions and perceptions conveyed to the minds of clients, consumers, and prospects. To create a successful brand out of your business, you need to answer three crucial questions:

  1. What is the story behind your business?
  2. Asides making profits, what drives you?
  3. What will you consider as the genetics of your business?

Keep a date with me on this column next week Thursday for another edition of ‘Brand Story’!


Maple Dappa {@mapledappa}

Brands Consultant

Mapemond Resources


We are building a platform of knowledge, information, & networking for forward thinking & enterprising young people as well as Brands across the #South-South & beyond!

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