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"WeListen" Blog

What is a Brand Story?

Do you know what "story" your brand and packaging are telling to consumers? Let's walk you through what a brand story is and what it can do for you...

KashiWe see the elements of a brand story as the essence of a consumer’s brand experience. Every image, interaction, associations... it's what is conjured in a consumer's imagination as the essence of a brand. When we work on any branding or packaging project, we use the idea of a brand story to uncover the consumer's perception and provide us a baseline to design from. Once we understand a brand's story we can work to shape that into something new.

We're going to break down a well-known brand to show you how the elements of design can lay a groundwork for any brand story. Let’s take Kashi—a brand we don’t work for, but admire for their clear brand story.

STEP ONE - The Brandmark

Kashi Logo Breakdown
1. Let's start with the shape... The green brand block evokes nature and freshness. Concave elastic borders and an uneven textured rule add a sense of motion and evolution. Before any copy or elements are added, it already feels "healthy."

Kashi Logo Breakdown

2. Seven seed at the end of a fluid wheat stalk ground us in an idea of whole ingredients. The stalk feels hand-drawn with a grainy texture, adding a hint of humanness, while the tail end incorporates a key brand talking point: “7 grains on a mission.”

Kashi Brand Breakdown

3. Adding the tagline into the brandmark provides a clarity of mission.

Kashi Logo Breakdown

4. And when we finally see the brand spelled out, there’s no surprise—and certainly no disconnect. A strong, timeless serif typeface completes a harmonious brand mark. If I was to stop here at the brandmark, you already have a perception of this brand as healthy, whole grain, and nutritious, creating a brand story of purity.

STEP TWO - A Package

If we look past the brandmark and into how it's applied on packaging, the brand story continues with a clear mission.
Kashi Brand Story Revealed

  1. First, the box is primarily white showcasing a sense of product purity.
  2. Copy is written "by hand" representing that special attention was taken with this product... from the ingredients, the process and even the consumer.
  3. Let's talk about the imagery, skipping over the big beautiful food shot that every CPG food is going to have, you'll notice they use real ingredients peeking out from the corners. These aren't just fresh strawberries, they're berries on the vine, with leaves and blooms. The imagery transports your imagination straight to the field where the ingredients must be sourced from.

The brand story is complete in a few easy steps. We chose this brand because they've provided a sense of clarity on every product they make that reinforces their "Seven whole grains on a mission." Because they have such a clear sense of self, and tell a clear story with their brand and packaging, it's easier to carry that into all other consumer touchpoints like the 30 second spot below:

In 30 seconds they didn't tell you a story of one single product, but reinforced that ALL of their products fit within their mission and reinforce their brand story of purity through real ingredients and whole grains.

You too can do this, and it doesn't need to be hard. If you can boil your brand down to a core message and have a clear understanding of your consumer, you too can create a brand story to help make an emotional connection.



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