Creating a Legend in the Consumer’s Mind

Oct 31, 2002

By George Anderson

Businesses that wish to build a brand identity can do it by sharing their history
with consumers, writes John Malmo on

Mr. Malmo writes that stories such as how Gatorade came to be (tested on the Florida Gators’ football team) and how Fred Smith’s paper on the Fedex business model while still a student helps to personalize the brand for consumers.

A company or product’s history or legend helps “foster credibility”. Mr. Malmo believes that, “People who are bored by product facts are fascinated by product stories.”

Too few companies share their stories with consumers writes Mr. Malmo. “It’s a pity that more of those companies haven’t taken advantage of their warm, personal legends to balance the curse of the huge, impersonal corporation.”

Three questions need to be answered, according to Mr. Malmo for any company wishing to make the ‘historic’ connection with consumers.

  1. Who started the company and why?

  2. What were the circumstances of the time and the difficulties faced?

  3. What was the founder’s dream for the company?

Moderator’s Comment: What are your views on sharing
company history as a marketing/brand-building strategy or tactic?

Stories can be powerful but all companies and brands are
judged on what they’ve done for the consumer today. The story of how Kellogg’s
Corn Flakes were created (someone wasn’t paying attention to what was in the
oven) may be interesting trivia but the cereal’s taste and nutritional value
made the brand.
Anderson – Moderator

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

Join the Discussion!

Be the First to Comment!