A great brand story can make a company – but how does a company make a great brand story?
The Brand Story Canvas is a tool we at Creative Supply developed to help build brand narratives. In this previous article we discussed how. In this new series, we will look at specific brands and walk you through how their narratives fit into the seven components of the Brand Story Canvas – Context, Trigger, Hero, Ideal, Plot, Themes, and resources.
In this first article we take a look at Swiss brand Punkt..
Founded in 2008, one year after the release of the first iPhone, Punkt. is a consumer electronics company that aims to help us regain control of technology. Their leading product, the €295 MP 01, is a mobile phone that lets you call and text … and that’s about it. Supplying, instead of mod cons, a digital detox for those who want to take their lives back (for a while at least).
Technology is taking up more and more space in our lives.
As context, this sets the stage perfectly. It’s the external force – ‘invasive technology’ – that most profoundly affects the brand, and actually led to its founding. Note that in this case the ‘external force’ is technological, but can equally be political, economic, social, etc..
‘Invasive technology’ evokes an image to fight against. Notice, though, it doesn’t suggest technology is bad in itself. Punkt. welcomes technology, as do many of its customers. Rather than reject it, this context focuses on our need for space from it and more control over it. The context is crafted to best serve the overall brand story – setting the stage perfectly.
Technology should be a servant not a master..
The trigger is key in a brand story. It is that enigmatic origins story. That spark that began it all. It is the belief, situation or event that set the story rolling.
In the case of Punkt. we can see that the context has already cleared the ground and highlighted a problem: that technology is taking up more and more space in our lives.
The trigger is the reaction to that problem. Anchoring the brand story in the context while propelling the narrative forward.
Simple, intelligent, focussed..
Essentially, the Hero is brand itself, personified – its character traits.
Simple, intelligent, focussed. These traits emanate from every aspect of Punkt. The visuals. The voice. The sleek minimalism of the product-design which hones in thoughtfully on the essential and nothing more. Even the name Punkt., which means in Germain ‘full-stop’ or ‘point’ – ‘to the point’.
That these words pop into your mind so easily when contemplating Punkt. reflects intelligent branding and a killer brand story.
Regain control over technology..
The ideal is the central element that brings all parts of the story together. Regain control over technology is fed by the Context, the Trigger and the Hero – the natural and succinct result of the three. And it will, in turn, feed into the three components to come, always driving the brand’s story and product.
Notice, also, that the ideal is timeless. The desire to feel in control of one’s life in the face of an ever advancing and often unchecked technology not only transcends trends, products and generations, it can never fully be reached.
Reduce technology to the essential..
The plot is the actions a brand takes to reach its ideal. For Punkt., this is designing products that have everything you need and nothing you don’t. And it doesn’t just apply to mobile phones. Their one-function alarm clock has the analogue restraint of a Dieter Rams design – and the elegance too. ‘That it is simple and beautiful goes without saying,’ say The New York Times of the DP01 cordless home phone.
As Punkt. put it on their website: ‘All too often, the only alternative to hyper-technology is old technology that looks and feels cheap.’ Punkt.’s plot is designing the new alternative.
Offline living. Timeless design..
The themes are the dominant ideas of a brand story. The goal is to “own” certain themes in the mind of the public.
Punkt.’s timeless design, masterminded by British Industrial Designer Jasper Morrison, speaks for itself. To emphasise the theme of offline living, however, Punkt. need to go further than the product itself. It is built into the very voice of the brand through avenues such as blogs, savvy copy, and events like their Digital Detox Challenges, which encourage self-proclaimed smartphone addicts to write up about their experience of digital abstinence and share it online.
Consumer electronics (phone, alarm clock). Designed by Jasper Morrison. Swiss based..
Resources are things a hero/brand owns or has available to them that help reach their ideal.
As in the case of Punkt., these can be both tangible and intangible. Consumer electronics, of course, are tangible. The fact that they are designed by Jasper Morrison (who is also Creative Director) is not, but adds weight and prestige to both design and brand. And Punkt., as with all great storytellers, are sure to utilize this resource with pride (the MP01 launched at the 2015 London Design Festival, just as the new model, the MPO2, will this September).
We are always looking for new, fresh brands to write about in our articles. Would you like a certain brand to get featured? Get in touch.