Notes from Critique Monday, April 29th

How could a motion based narrative  promoting the cafe inform those who are looking for information, and inspire them to join the brand rather than just buying from it, while differentiating it within the saturated marketplace

I am getting closer.

How is narrative not as effective as it could be within a brand?

I have to figure out specifically what I want to look at.

I am still asking too broad a question.

What kinds of things am I thinking about to craft a narrative to differentiate this cafe within the marketplace?

The idea of rebirth is tied to what? How is narrative tied to rebirth? Its about the rebirth of the shop. We are not interested in the shop.

Does this (rebirth) tie into some sort of myth? Some sort of national ideal or moral value?

What kind of narrative is it? This is the narrative question. For example : How could I create a narrative that relies on the american myth to differentiate a coffee shop within a marketplace? <— This is being very specific in relation to the narrative question.

As I craft this I shouldnt care about the coffee shop/owner.  They are just a vehicle.  It has very little to do with this coffee shop.

This has to do with peoples perception of this coffee shop, and how it’s trying to differentiate itself on this block.

Maybe it has everything to do with small town America, the small town myth, and small town America ties into certain types of storytelling and myths. Small business, entrepreneurship, the dream of owning your own business, roads paved with gold. These are all American.

Whatever I do I have to reduce it to : what is actually the problem? For our purposes it needs to relate to narrative.

The problem is not differentiating – that is the end goal. What is the narrative problem which if I solve will help me create something that solves the differentiation/more business problem?

Think of this as problems within problems.

They want more business. How do we attract more business, how do we create brand? This leads to the question what story are we going to tell to attract more business? This is a narrative question.

What is the narrative problem which if I solve, helps me create something that brings in more business?  This is a narrative question. Then what elements of narrative do I have to look at to create an effective narrative that can differentiate and attract business.

I have to answer the central question first. Go in order.

More effective narrative creates a more effective brand which creates more business.

Personas work for some people.  Or I could look at cultural studies, look at trends, look at speech, look at systemic ways people are drawn to things, look at systems, look at the fundamental building blocks that create these things.

Systems are a thread that connect your personas.

In this case I want to think about how am I creating an effective narrative to solve my problem?  This is the main concern of this project.

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Question Revision

How can I craft a narrative that relies on the American myth to differentiate the coffee shop within the saturated marketplace?

Cafe de Paris is a small coffee shop on Main Street in old town Louisville. The old main drag has become saturated with coffee shops that have moved in over the last few years, each one taking a bite out of business.
Targeting a persona, what kind of narrative relying on the American myth could promote the cafe could inspire joining the brand rather than just buying from it, while differentiating it within the saturated marketplace?

Form of Narrative : Rebirth ( for a quest ) From my perspective, from what I know about the owner, the history of the cafe, where it is now as a business, as a family, and what it can offer, I think the narrative should be about rebirth and the beginning of a quest. A quest to make a good thing even better. A quest in your life.  A cup of coffee is just the beginning.

Outline for Motion Piece

1 ) A personal story about the owner/cafe’s past ( what is being left behind ) Where’s she going with this?

2 ) Things come to a head.  She was not sure what to do,so she asked herself what she wanted, what mattered to her? The question is left open, a call is sounded.

3 ) She talks about what mattered to her, why she stayed in business, what the shop and the customers and her employees meant to her. It brings her to today. The people who have come into her life because of this cafe. The call is answered.

4 ) The line “it starts with a cup of coffee”.  The start of the rest of your life and all its possibilities.

5 ) A story associating the cafe with what matters: family, friends, your dreams.

6 ) Owner talks about what she’s learned about family, friends ad dreams. We leave it as 2 + 2 = ?  We don’t know where it will go for the cafe or its owner, but we can imagine, we can join her.

The Prudential Ad is a Great Mentor

The Prudential ad is one of the most poetic pieces of narrative I’ve ever seen promoting a company and it is all about rebirth. To understand how the piece works I have written down the entire text for the 4 minute piece.

Prudential (rebirth)

If you want your kids to follow in your footsteps watch where you put your feet.

Associating using Prudential with being wise.

The biggest generation in american history is retiring.
10,000 people every day.

This is M.A-R. on his day one. 7/30/11

People look at you and determine whether or not you can dress them.  When I first started I was just selling.  You know, clerking really is what I should say.  I didn’t really learn how to sell till a few years into it, ya know, okay theres an art to it.  You need to dress the part.

2 + 2 = ?  It’s interesting because its a story.  Where is he going with this?

I sold mens suits for 19 years. I just became firm about it.  I’m done the moment I can access the retirement plan, ya know. Im outta here. There was a little bit of trepidation. Not quite sure what the next phase was going to be.  Ya know, this is what yo been doin.  Ya know, working working  working  working  working. And now you’re talking about, well, you know, I wont be, and thing become really crystallized. it just hits you fast.  You know you start thinking about whats really important here?

A problem is defined.  A call is sounded.

I actually envisioned and looked forward to the time of being a grandfather. It was almost like I had skipped the father part. But I look forward to this time here. Ya know, and my grandson calls me grandpa, and my littlest one, my great grand daughter – she calls me papa.  See I just fall apart at the seams at that kind of stuff. That’s what makes me.

Ya know I think I can do it a little differently. Like for lack of a better word I didn’t wana suck. As a father or as a grandfather. I just didn’t wana do that.

Call answered.

It is truly the first sunrise of the next phase of your life, you know.

There’s the line!  What this story is all about.

So far so good.

I been working since I was 16 in one job or the other, and now I get a chance to spend more time with my wife and my kids.

Associating using Prudential with what matters.

When you get married you take the woman and you get in the boat and the waters smooth as glass. Sometimes it might get a little choppy. Sometimes it might get very choppy. The point is though, if there’s enough love, stay in the boat. And thats the key with family is.. Stay in there. It gives me a reason to be here. You know.. Its my world. Thats my world.

Mujahid Abdul-Rashin
DAY ONE

Associating using Prudential with getting through the hard times, with family, love, and good things in general.  2 + 2 = ?  We don’t know where this will go.  We can imagine.

CREDITS

4.28.13 Final Question

I have considered the options I wrote about in the previous post.  It seems it would be wise to keep on the narrative for branding track as I have done a lot of research on that already. So my final question ( I hope…) can be found below.

Cafe de Paris is a small coffee shop on Main Street in old town Louisville. The old main drag has become saturated with coffee shops that have moved in over the last few years, each one taking a bite out of business.
How could a motion based narrative  promoting the cafe inform those who are looking for information, and inspire them to join the brand rather than just buying from it, while differentiating it within the saturated marketplace?

Form of Narrative : Rebirth ( for a quest ) From my perspective, from what I know about the owner, the history of the cafe, where it is now as a business, as a family, and what it can offer, I think the narrative should be about rebirth and the beginning of a quest. A quest to make a good thing even better. A quest in your life.  A cup of coffee is just the beginning.

 

Post Critique

After a good critique Thursday I am trying to solve the problems with my question. I may have been looking at this the wrong way.  This project is not about solving a problem within narrative, but trying to solve a problem using narrative. If that is not the case, perhaps it is at least better for me at this point to think of it in those terms.  The following questions I have some interest in:

QUESTION 1 : How can students contributing to a narrative help promote learning and creativity?

This question brings me back to middle school when in math class we followed the Iditarad Sled Race across the Great North. Over the course of several weeks we followed the teams, learning about them and making calculations.  We followed closely, we revised our calculations, and tried to figure out who would be where and when and ultimately who would win the race?

The quote “involve me and I will understand” holds some water for me.  Especially when that involvement is attached to an inspiring narrative such as this dog race.  It was a great experience, and as I remember it, it was one of the few times I actually saw value in learning about mathematics.  I think it could be hugely helpful to children if we were to tie education to an inspiring narrative whenever possible.

My idea for this involves creating an partnership between students and adventure riders.  Adventure riders ride motorcycles across continents and countries, through many different cultures, landscapes, cities and towns both small and large.  The adventures are stories in themselves.  This partnership I think could provide some great opportunities for interactivity, involvement, and narrative which could promote learning and inspiration among students.

QUESTION 2 : How can narrative be used to create additional value for an object or service and differentiate it from similar competition within the marketplace?

I have always had a great interest in branding, how people work and why they think what they think.  I would like to become skilled in this area so that I may make a positive difference in the world some day.  But to do that I have to start small and get my arms around one thing at a  time.

Option 2.1 (refined) : How could an illustrator create value for their service or product,  and differentiate themselves using narrative in a motion video?

Option 2.2 (refined): How could narrative be used in a motion piece to create additional value for a coffee shop, its products and service, and differentiate it from competition with in the marketplace?

QUESTION 3 : How could a visual narrative help educate children and family on safety in the wilderness?

Summer is coming.  Families and scouts and those who just love the outdoors will head to the mountains to escape the heat and get some fresh air.  But my experience with my own friends, family and those I meet on the trail lead me to believe few know how to enjoy the mountains and their furry inhabitants safely and responsibly.  How could a comic or poster designed to be placed at trail heads help educate children and family on safety in the wilderness?

Notes from critique and some thoughts…

Brand is narrative.  Narrative is story.  Story is brand.

I need to identify a narrative problem within a brand.

What is the narrative problem I am looking at? I don’t know what a narrative problem is.

What kind of narrative is necessary to create authenticity within a lifestyle brand? This is not a finished question.

What kind of narrative is necessary to create differentiation within a lifestyle brand? This is not a finished question.

What kind of narrative is necessary to create differentiation within a lifestyle brand inside a saturated market? Is this a finished question?

What are ways  we could more effectively disseminate a brands narrative through x-media?

Identify a narrative problem within a brand.

Define a problem. Explain it. How can narrative campaign aimed at “x” differentiate itself?

QUESTION : Salida is a mountain town and destination for water sports enthusiasts and those who just want to take a few days to get away.  The small town itself currently has four kayak and rafting outfitters, making the water sports outfitter market somewhat saturated.  My question is how can a narrative campaign create differentiation within a lifestyle brand and promote that differentiation in Salidas saturated water sports outfitter market?

QUESTION : How can students contributing to a narrative help promote learning?

INSIGHT : This seems not to be about solving a problem within narrative, but using narrative to solve a problem!

QUESTION : How can narrative be used to emphasize and explain the value of an object or service?

Or in other words…

QUESTION : What are ways we could more effectively disseminate the value of an object or service using narrative?