By Philip Walsh, Creative Director
August 28th 2019
Heritage is all about the past – right?
The brands of the world today are contemporary trailblazers, carving newness in shapes and ways never seen or experienced before. With a survival instinct that avoids looking back, their very success relies on being unencumbered by the past. Heritage is the old nostalgic stuff and is therefore irrelevant to now – right? Well that may have some cut, but it can really miss out on the point, and indeed value, of heritage.
Buried within our emotional psyche, a purchasing or commissioning decision is an experience influenced in part by what we know, or think we know, about a brand’s story and underlying personality. Product stats, new jargon or heavy gloss don’t make a story, but what does is telling how a brand was conceived, how it’s evolved and through it all, what it stands for. This is the emotive connection we’re all drawn to – and therein lies the value in heritage.
We know that deeper, more meaningful connections have a stronger, more lasting effect on people’s interest and loyalty. Consider how easily we may forgive a friend or relative for a frustrating misdemeanour because there’s ‘heritage’ in the relationship that ultimately overrides the issue. Consider then that this is the strength a brand can build through its heritage story.
TCG: Winner of the Silver award at Cannes for Castrol’s heritage story – View more
Heritage can be a potent, inbuilt advocate for a brand and therefore actually very relevant to the present. But telling a heritage story needs to draw on a creative idea that’s bold, attractive and contemporary. This idea is the constant thread that dictates a sense of purpose and personality. It can be as simple as a word or maxim but must express an identity that gets people connected in today’s world – creating feelings of respect, belief and emotion.
Hopefully! For companies with heritage (however short), the way to POWER YOUR STORY is to embrace it and ‘contemporise’ it. With this potent message, your audience can connect more emotionally to your brand – choosing it as a long-term friend.