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?

Content Marketing 2.0: Story + Narrative Connect People & Brands

http://www.pr2020.com/blog/content-marketing-narrative

Tell Your Story

The art of telling brand story has been a central content marketing theme for some time. In Content Marketing Storytelling: Secrets from the Big Screen, Robert Rose (@robert_rose) writes, “The customer is not your hero … Your brand should always be the hero that will be transformed.” Rose gives additional advice in Brand Storytelling: 10 Steps to Start Your Content Marketing Hero’s Journey.

Both articles above include a resolution, or a solution. In his SXSW presentation, Hagel listed two attributes that define stories:

  1. Stories are finite, or they have beginning, middle and end resolution.
  2. Stories center on a central character—you’re meant to hear these stories and identify with the main character.

This line of thought makes sense for marketers writing content meant to show value of a product, brand, thought leader or industry.

Inspire with Narrative

Narratives move beyond storytelling. Hagel listed two differentiating attributes:

  1. Narratives are open-ended and without resolution. They include something that’s in the process of unfolding.
  2. There’s an invitation to all to participate and determine the outcome. It’s up to “you” as to how the narrative will unfold and/or resolve.

To paraphrase Hagel’s point: Narratives are hugely powerful, and often ignored. They represent the pull-mechanism that draws out people and resources, despite the uncertainty that exists in the world. They shape the world around us.

3 Levels of the Narrative

People use narrative to describe everything from their personal story, to that of an organization, industry or changing society.

  1. Personal: Describe your life quest. What are you aiming to discover, what motivates you, and what do you strive to personally learn to make an impact? Your life is a continually unfolding narrative, through which your aspirations and decisions guide you.
  2. Institutional: “Think different.” Apple’s tagline captures the powerful narrative technology enables, and begs the industry—and its followers—to break out of conformity and commit to excellence. Hagel notes that here Apple is a catalyst; the narrative still targets us.
  3. Social: Hagel listed a few examples of social narratives, including the American Dream and Christianity. You can, “go west, do anything and be successful in America,” or you can “follow a faith with belief in a world beyond this one.” The points in both examples are that the outcome is completely up to the audience, and both require buy-in on a deep and intrinsic level.

Humans identify with cause and the “whys” of decision-making. Some say it’s why Apple is such a successful brand: it communicates and inspires from the outside in—leading ads and messaging with belief rather than product. How Great Leaders Inspire Action, a TEDTalk from Simon Sinek, dives deeper into the Apple example, as well as some of the neurological science behind deeper inspired actions. From Sinek: “The goal is to sell to people who believe what you believe.”

Story + Narrative = Brand Content

Now take a look at your brand’s content. Whether a corporate marketer or evaluating your own personal brand, ask:

  • Do you have the ability to think long-term and be clear about communicating a far-reaching vision and opportunity that includes others? This is your narrative.
  • Can you demonstrate the power of that opportunity with shorter-term messaging that inspires action, shows strength, and aligns collaborative efforts? This is your story.

For most marketers, the winning recipe is a combination of both.

Lead with a narrative that captures the community and the heart of your brand. Gather brand love and commit to your cause so you can tap into that internal motivation, enable others to identify with a more internal purpose, and establish a sense of community around your narrative. Take advantage of monitoring technology and social media to find others committed to a similar cause or your own cause, and connect.

Supplement powerful narratives with story. Show smaller wins, identify with challenges, and present mini-solutions that lead toward the greater (narrative) goal.