What is your favourite brand story?

The Bacardi redesign has been inspired by the company’s history, which takes in natural disasters, revolution and fruit bats. What is your favourite brand story? 

Simon Ward

‘I’ve always liked the story behind the Ocado name. It was based on ‘avocado’ ­ because it’s the fruit that bruises most easily in transit. While a brand is much more than a name of course, this story says so many good and relevant things about the overall brand. It also shows you can have a strong story even when you launch a new brand that has no history to draw upon.’

Simon Ward, chief executive, Europe, Holmes & Marchant

Chris Lumsden

‘For me, it’s got to be Angostura Bitters, with its famous oversized label. The story goes that while rushing to finish a packaging design for a competition, two brothers working for Angostura devised the label and the bottle separately ­ but forgot to check their measurements. They didn’t win the competition, but one of the judges advised them to keep the label as it was because it would help them stand out.
 Whether the story’s true or not, the label really did the job ­ it’s defined the packaging ever since. The company has been making the bitters for almost 200 years and it¹s arguably the most dominant bitters brand in the world. Simple but very effective.’

Chris Lumsden, partner and managing director, Good

‘We are all familiar with Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz, who first encountered a pre-existing energy tonic whilst in Thailand and turned it into the world¹s best-selling energy drink ­ Red Bull. In the process of doing so, the brand name has, over time, been turned into a verb in the same way as ‘Sellotape’ or ‘Googling.’ (I mean, who asks for a vodka and energy drink?). This in itself is a great story of a brand.

David Newton

‘Furthermore, Red Bull is a great example of a brand effectively telling its story. Its tale is one of space jumps, world record skateboarding tricks and death-defying flights down mountaintops. Red Bull creates ‘moments’ that in turn generate shareable and compelling content ­ over 36 million people and counting have watched Felix Baumgartner’s supersonic freefall on Red Bull¹s YouTube channel. Red Bull uses this content and the emotions it creates to forge a connection between the audience and the brand, a true example of a successful media empire that just happens to sell the world¹s most famous energy drink.’

David Newton, creative director, Ahoy

James Dunn

’The Savoy. Not intrinsic to the design of the identity (as referenced with Bacardi), so much as what the brand now evokes, I really love The Savoy, and its story. The identity as we know it comes from the Art Deco façade of the hotel, but the name alludes to so much more: decadence, Art Deco glamour, the birthplace of cocktails (in the UK), and of course, celebrity. Its history is packed with stories of innovation (the first electric lifts), the birth of famous brands (such as Gucci and The Ritz Hotel), Fred Astaire, Gershwin, Churchill and even Miss Piggy from the Muppets. Even today, the mere mention of the name, or a glimpse of the identity, still has a powerful draw and mystique.’

James Dunn, creative director, Columns

Gareth Howat

’The one that sticks in my mind is the one for Lego. I am biased because I think its such a great toy, but the story behind it interesting. The name ‘LEGO’ is an abbreviation of the two Danish words “leg godt”, meaning ”play well” founded by Ole Kirk Kristiansen. It’s such a simple idea but ultimately it’s about imagination which is what makes it such a great product.’

Gareth Howat, creative director, Hat-Trick Design

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