How to build your brand like Pixar make movies
I recently came across some inspiring suggestions from Peter Fisk on what we can learn from movie studio Pixar in his article here on Linked In. Pixar is famous for creating some of the most successful animated movies ever, including Toy Story, Finding Nemo and my personal fave, The Incredibles. It actually started life back in 1979 as a digitally-enabled special effects business. It was only seven years later when it moved from special effects into movie making, led by some bloke called Steve Jobs.
1. Deep immersion – think like the character, and like the audience by recruiting people who who can put themselves inside the heads of others, see and feel, think and act like they would or want
=> I posted here on the idea of going beyond consumer understanding to "consumer empathy". Don't try to understand the consumer. BE the consumer.
2. Tell brand stories – have a core narrative that brings together characters and experiences, in a way that adds context as well as the plot, immerses and captures the imagination of the audience, and makes it memorable and talked about.
=> In this post I looked at the book "Story", written by screenwriting guru Robert McKee, and how apply the principles of storytelling to brands
3. Moving you – a Pixar movie is fun and entertaining, gripping and memorable, but more than anything it moves you – it inspires you, it makes you think, it challenges your prejudices, or makes you cry with happiness
=> this is a good test for your marketing activity. Is it memorable and distinctive enough to create "memory structure"?
4. Personality – at each level, the brands are more about a sense of character, attitude and behaviours, rather than names and logos. Indeed as long as the essence of the brand is strong, the visualisations can flex and change.
=> Every great brand has a distinctive personality that helps give it some emotional "sizzle". In this post I looked at a great example of using video to bring to life the brand personality of Harley Davidson
Peter concludes with another really interesting question: "Maybe brands need to own more of their own creativity, rather than being subservient to their agencies". See here for a post on my visit to the Fruit Towers HQ of innocent, an example of a company doing exactly this.