Telling your story Why are Narratives Important? Narratives
Telling your story Why are Narratives Important? Narratives are a way of communicating authenticity to consumers. Narratives are a branding tool that leverages the art of storytelling. These narratives can be communicated visually, linguistically and even kinesthetically (primarily in the tactile experience of the packaging). Amy's Kitchen is a family business with every member of the family taking part. The company was started in 1987, when Amy was born. Her mom and dad, Rachel and Andy Berliner, carefully nurtured the company as well as the child, paying constant attention to every aspect of its day to day activities and providing the vision that has made Amy's so successful. I seek a little more depth to the story of the product or the overall experience. I think that depth or experience will somehow translate to product and business integrity, which will make me more likely to believe that the product that Im using on my face or in my body had someones consideration behind it. - Outer ML consumer
From Farm to Fork and Beyond | A Consumer Perspective 2014 The Hartman Group, Inc. 2 How Should Narratives be Expressed? There are a wide variety of narrative genres: PEOPLE (Founder narrative) Narratives must include three key elements: Transparency the story must be true/verifiable Raison detre there must be a compelling reason for why the product came to market Emotional hook the story must resonate with consumers at an emotional level, not just a functional level PRODUCT (Varietal narrative) PROCESS (Production narrative) PLACE (Geographic origin narrative) FOOD ARTISAN narrative (e.g. recipe developed by Wolfgang Puck)
CULINARY SANTIFICATION narrative (via chef, magazine, food critics, etc.) DISTINCTIVE RETAIL origin (e.g. restaurant, artisan shop, etc.) From Farm to Fork and Beyond | A Consumer Perspective 2014 The Hartman Group, Inc. 3 PEOPLE: Founder Narrative Charismatic founders/owners use their passion to not only sell their product, but to tell a story that engages consumers and creates a world around the product Consumers need to feel a connection to the founder which can be done by: Talking about the a-ha moment in the companys creation Explaining the where, why and how behind the companys existence Articulating how they want the company to be successful Consumers want the founder to: Be believable Make them feel good about the company, not just the product Hold beliefs that are relevant to their lifestyle Inspire them From Farm to Fork and Beyond | A Consumer Perspective
2014 The Hartman Group, Inc. 4 Founder | Narrative Examples Shepherds Grain is an alliance of 33 NW wheat growers. Both descendants of farming families, Karl Kupers and Fred Fleming wanted their land to remain productive for decades to come and their wheat to be sold at a fair price. These little ideas soon sprouted into a big concept. Daves Killer Bread has a highly unusual narrative the company is headed by a man who spent 15 years in jail. Daves dad started the bread business and Dave has expanded beyond farmers markets to regional distribution. All of the Shepards Grain producers use sustainable farming methods which Karl and Fred have been very vocal proponents of. Karl and Fred actively promote their products and are engaged in connecting the growers with the bakers, retailers and customers. The company also has a strong community
commitment (via product and monetary donations) and an environmental ethos (using biodegradable bags). From Farm to Fork and Beyond | A Consumer Perspective Many of Daves products are organic and several contain Omegas and sprouted grains. 2014 The Hartman Group, Inc. 5 PRODUCT: Varietal Narrative Unique varietals include heirloom products (produce, beans, grains, etc.) and heritage (meat, poultry, etc.) products. Unique varietals: Bring back positive associations of how our grandparents ate Link to sustainability and appeal to consumers who are looking to improve the diversity of the foods they eat as well as the environment Ladder up to positive animal welfare, or sustainable agriculture associations Are perceived by consumers to be important to keep around so they arent lost forever From Farm to Fork and Beyond | A Consumer Perspective 2014 The Hartman Group, Inc.
6 Varietal | Narrative Examples Each year, Muir Glen Organic releases a limited run, reserve tomato varietal. This year, the Meridian Ruby variety was chosen and grown exclusively for Muir Glen by a grower partner in Yolo County. Most heritage meat/poultry producers are perceived by consumers to use more sustainable production techniques (including higher animal welfare standards) which consumers believe results in a higher quality end product. The tomatoes are hand harvested and then sold online only to members of Muir Glens Tomato Connoisseurs Club. The company further highlighted the uniqueness of the varietal by staging a multi-city tour in which chefs crafted tasting menus, with each course featuring the reserve tomato. From Farm to Fork and Beyond | A Consumer Perspective 2014 The Hartman Group, Inc.
7 PROCESS: Production Narrative Unique production techniques tell a story of how a product came to be Many production narratives involve processes that consumers see as providing a quality attribute to the end product More care went into producing the product There was a human touch while making the product Knowing the story of how the product was created/raised/grown adds interest and believability to the product Production narratives Encourage further interest in the company Show respect for the human involvement in the process Stir up feelings of nostalgia for the way thing used to be made From Farm to Fork and Beyond | A Consumer Perspective 2014 The Hartman Group, Inc. 8 Production | Narrative Examples Bobs Red Mill claims to be the nations leader in stone milling and offers tours of its mill in person to show how unprocessed the product is. Rather
than using more modern production methods, Bobs uses quartz mill stones which were originally used in early Roman times. Every phase of production take place in the mill and the freshly milled products are shipped daily to retailers. From Farm to Fork and Beyond | A Consumer Perspective GTs is one of the few commercially available, premade, single serve Kombucha drinks. Kombucha is derived from a culture that must fermented and arduously tended to in order to avoid mold, fruit fly infestation, etc. GTs is cultured for 30 days and every bottle is derived from the original culture created 15 years ago. 2014 The Hartman Group, Inc. 9 PLACE: Geographic Origin Narrative Geographic origin narratives provide points of distinction and quality for products. Consumers believe that certain categories of products (e.g., potatoes, apples) should come from only specific growing regions The concept of purchasing local products (whether determined by the consumer as a city, county, state or country-specific boundary) is frequently part of this narrative
The concept of terroir (used primarily in the wine category) is increasingly being applied to food products as well Certain soil, climate or water conditions give products particular taste attributions From Farm to Fork and Beyond | A Consumer Perspective 2014 The Hartman Group, Inc. 10 Geographic Origin | Narrative Examples The Walla Walla sweet onion is named for the county in Washington where it is grown. Its development began around 1900 when Peter Pieri, a French soldier who settled in the area, brought a sweet onion seed from the island of Corsica with him to the Walla Walla Valley. Impressed by the onions winter hardiness, Pieri, and Italian immigrant farmers who comprised much of Walla Wallas gardening industry, harvested the seed. Walla Walla Sweet Onions get their sweetness from a unique blending of natural ingredients. Combining the onions unique low sulphur and high water count with Walla Wallas mild climate and rich soil grows an onion thats acclaimed for its sweetness. Cypress Grove Chevre uses the 14th century idea of Terroir
to create its distinctive goat cheese. Terroir in the US is defined as a sense of place, referring to subtle local influences in the flavor of foods. Cypress Grove has created a unique terroir by choosing goats that thrive in the Humboldt Country climate and feed them on pasture that includes local vegetation. The company believe that its geographic location (in northernmost California, where the redwoods meet the Pacific Ocean) influences and infuses the flavor of their cheeses as well. Cypress Grove is best known for its Humboldt Fog cheese, named for the fog that rolls in most days near the companys headquarters. Text sourced from: http://www.sweetonions.org/ From Farm to Fork and Beyond | A Consumer Perspective 2014 The Hartman Group, Inc. 11 Communicating Your Story Choose the story (people, process, product, place, etc.) that is most relevant for your product and company. The narrative must be authentic, compelling and differentiated from other products already in the marketplace. Once you know the story you want to tell, you have to get out and tell it! If you arent comfortable doing it, find someone on your team that is. You dont have to be a marketing pro to effectively tell your story, but you have
to be passionate, honest and concise. You need to tell your story to a vast diversity of audiences. Practice on your friends and family, and then move onto your neighbors, community leaders, chefs, buyers, reporters, etc. From Farm to Fork and Beyond | A Consumer Perspective 2014 The Hartman Group, Inc. 12 THE HARTMAN GROUP, INC 3150 RICHARDS ROAD, SUITE 200 BELLEVUE, WA 98005 TEL (425) 452 0818 FAX (425) 452 9092 HARTMAN-GROUP.COM Purchase criteria in the World of Sustainability CORE INNER/Outer ML PERIPHERY Transparency Having access to company values, policies, and practices The presence of up-front, open communications between companies and consumers and clear
positioning on important issues in the media Transparency is deeply tied to trust for Core consumers I want to know whats behind the brand. Knowledge The need for knowledge/information prior to purchase including information about sourcing, production, manufacturing, and companies themselves Ill look it up online before Ill buy it. Price Concern about the cost of an item. Periphery consumers are most likely to consider price early in the decision process Ill buy it if its the same price, but I wont pay $4 more. Authenticity Represents a continuum ranging from fake to real Evidence that sustainable actions flow from a companys moral orientation, rather than serving as a means to an end It should be as close to how it was when it came out of the ground and no one has messed with it. Experience
This dimension refers to experience the consumer has at purchase and usage, at all levels emotional, intellectual, social, and cultural (symbolic) The purchase experience at retail (e.g., staff interaction, display and packaging), the usage experience at home (e.g., colors, textures, flavor, taste and scent), and product efficacy/appeal synergistically combine to create an overall consumption experience Its got to be tasty I love the smell as its cooking. Convenience The ease with which products can be obtained from a retailer of choice, the availability (perceived or real) of products within the store, and whether they are easy to use I usually go to the store down the street its just easier. Greater Good The sense that the world at large (rather than just "my" world) will be improved Captures notions as responsibility and doing the right thing to create a better world A holistic way of thinking about how one lives and interacts with others and the world around them Focuses on improving peoples lives, the environment, and "the system
Were all part of it; everything we do affects other people. Expert Opinion Endorsement by an authoritative voice; e.g., o Media (e.g., Oprah) o Certification (USDA, Fair Trade, etc.) o Social networks (friends and family) Dr. Oz said I should be avoiding certain foods. Comparability Refers to consumer ability to assess new or different product analogue with those that they habitually purchase and use I just dont know whether it will be as good as the cleaner I use now.
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