Walpole Insight | The Art of Storytelling for luxury brands: Techniques of the Author

In association with Woven.

Walpole CEO Helen Brocklebank recently co-hosted a digital masterclass with Woven Agency’s ECD Mark Bower and best-selling author and academic, Sarah Churchwell. Sarah talked guests through the four classic novels that taught her the art of storytelling and shared her thoughts on how the archetypes they contain have built characters that stay with you long after the final page has been turned.

What makes an unforgettable story? What do Romeo & Juliet, Emma, David Copperfield, The Odyssey, Frankenstein – even Harry Potter – have in common? The secret of their enduring power depends on the archetypes they feature – characters built on a set of specific, identifiable traits – heroes or villains, explorers and innocents, lovers and creators. These kinds of character types are recognisable and relatable – they speak to us as individuals – they hold a mirror up to universal truths about human behaviour and build an emotional connection that can last a lifetime.

On June 2nd Walpole CEO Helen Brocklebank co-hosted a Zoom masterclass with Woven Agency’s ECD Mark Bower and best-selling author and academic, Sarah Churchwell. Sarah talked us through the four classic novels that taught her the art of storytelling and shares with us her thoughts on how the archetypes they contain have built characters that stay with you long after the final page has been turned.


Chapter 2: Techniques of the Author

To be human is to tell stories. We use them to teach, transfer information and to convey meaning on multiple levels. Storytelling is built into the DNA of luxury products and knowing why a company exists and what its values are is an essential part of a modern consumer’s relationship with a brand.

In chapter 1 of this webinar series, we looked at the role of archetypes in stories, an idea rooted in Carl Jung’s concept of the collective unconscious. For him, a legacy of 50,000 years of storytelling has hard wired familiar associations, narrative structures and character types into the human consciousness that can be found in unrelated stories all around the world.

In Chapter 2 we delve further into the potential for these ancient archetypes to articulate modern brand stories in exciting ways; considering why storytellers should tap into their power and how they can work with them to cut through in the marketplace. Archetypes make characters immediately relatable and familiar and help to build a compelling story that feels completely natural.

Of the 12 archetypes, many already occur across luxury brands. From ‘courageous’ hero brands to ‘trusted’ innocent ones and ‘risk-taking’ outlaws to ‘high-status’ rulers, they provide a framework of core attributes that clearly communicate brand characters on many levels, amplifying how they are understood. Importantly, too, archetypes are not linear or static and can be blended; like the archetypal Robin Hood character, for example, a brand can be both outlaw and hero, depending on the narrative context. Almost without fail, the largest brands on the planet are aligned with archetypes, having developed this expression organically.

The question for luxury brands now is what could happen if we map what we stand for onto these archetypes and weave it deliberately into marketing language and strategy? By aligning business language and powerful unconscious communication in this way we can create instant significance and meaning for audiences — transforming our focus and creating a business story that is both captivating and profitable.

woven.agency

Walpole member – Watch On Demand

Click here to watch now or email RSVP@thewalpole.co.uk for access.

Chapter 1 on Archetypes 1.01 can also be viewed on the replays page; Chapter 3: Narratives become new business will take place on 23rd June 2021 and Chapter 4: Learning from the best will take place on 28th July 2021.

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