I was recently stuck in London traffic and was given the opportunity to dwell upon a ‘96 sheet’ advertising board (the big ones) featuring an advert for McCain’s Chips. It featured a simple image composite of a potato in the earth transforming through various stages into a cooked chip under the slogan of ‘it’s all good’. At the next junction an advert for Stella Artois proudly proclaimed “Only four ingredients”. What does this tell us about their brand story?

Firstly, what do these two campaigns have in common?

Well, they represent part of trend in the marketing world, which is termed intrinsic communication. It might seem odd but marketers of the past rarely (if at all) gave any information to consumers about their product in advertisements. They tried to play on your emotions and your feelings about the brand more than talking about the actual product you were supposed to be buying.

The world has moved on.

The zeitgeist has moved economies into recessive phases and we all now feel the ‘mood’ of the times. This leads us to question a brand’s worth. What does it deliver? What do I get for my money? Is it really any good?  Trust becomes a big issue in your brand story. We search the internet for the truth about our purchases. Reviews and recommendations sway our judgement.

Step forth the intrinsic marketer.

The intrinsic marketer is tasked with telling the story of the brand from its creation to its consumption and has to package it in a way that a consumer can digest without falling over with boredom and/or confusion.

The material you need for intrinsic marketing exists already within your brand story.

You will find it lying in the back of cupboards or in the minds of the production department or other stakeholders. It must be dusted off. Carefully assessed and judged.

Then it must be formed into a balanced, relevant composition. A brand story that celebrates all that is good and different in your brand told in a punchy, compelling way which drives your brand content.

And out of this the core features of the brand can emerge: a set of definitive product attributes that can be held up before the consumer to satisfy their demands, to reassure, and also to compel them to purchase.

The simple and obvious fact that the chips you eat were once potatoes in a field can make all the difference.

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