The Art of Brand Storytelling 26th February, 2013

In a recent article, Rebecca Walton, the newly appointed head of brand for UNICEF expressed the need for the charity to develop a central brand narrative.  The reasoning behind such a claim is in sight of two main aims – firstly, to better integrate its marketing and secondly, to boost its appeal to supporters within the UK.

Reading the article triggered an initial thought in my mind, which traced back to a piece I read at the end of last year in Direct Marketing News – which stated 2012 to be ‘the year of the story.’  Indeed, 2012 exemplified the notion that brands and charities alike have to utilise upon their brand narrative, and storytelling in order to deliver their message and increase their level of engagement with the consumer.  In an age where anything is available at the touch of a button – the importance of delivering the right message or story is critical.

Of course, the relationship between the brand and the art of storytelling has been around for years – you only have to look at some of worlds most loved brands and you will know and understand their brand story, take for example, Ben & Jerry’s.  Yet what distinguishes these brands from most others is that their narrative truly engages with the consumer.  Not only do Ben & Jerry’s promote their own story, it seeks to integrate the consumer’s story within it, see for example, their ‘Capture Euphoria’ campaign which encouraged Ben & Jerry’s fans to upload photos of themselves in situations where they felt Euphoric onto Instagram.

Unlike Ben & Jerry’s, UNICEF believes that it has not created enough of a brand narrative through which to engage with the public.  However, Watson expresses, ‘UNICEF is very trusted, it’s very rational and intelligent’ yet she feels that as a charity, it is sometimes overlooked.  UNICEF’s decision to develop its brand narrative highlights so significantly that yes, content is key, but what has developed to become equally as important is how the brand story and its content is delivered.  Walton explains that the internal shift within UNICEF is designed to make its communications and brand marketing ‘more strategic, more integrated and more effective.’  As witnessed throughout the industry, brand narrative can be used as a powerful marketing tool, but if they are not communicated in the right way, the connection between charity/brand and consumer can be tainted and sometimes even disengaged.

What is most fascinating about brand storytelling and engagement is the avenues that can be explored through the development of technology.  Technological innovations in relation to communication channels have seen the development of Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram to become part of the overall brand narrative.  Such communication tools allow the consumer to engage with the brand whenever and wherever they so wish.  Encouraging the consumer to immerse and engage themselves with the brand’s story – in the hope that the targeted audience will have a life-long affinity to the brand which in UNICEF’s case, should lead to support and donations.

As another element to UNICEF’s new brand strategy, the charity has decided to focus on partnerships and public engagement.  The charity wishes to build on its existing partnerships with the International Cricket Council and will seek to explore additional avenues into sports.  What is becoming ever more apparent is the use of partnerships as a means to target the audiences charities/brands wish to engage with.  Partnerships allow charities/brands to engage in activities which in many cases lead to progress and an expansion of the overall brand narrative.

If we relate back to UNICEF’s two main aims to develop their brand narrative: to integrate its marketing and boost its appeal to UK supporters.  What we are able to learn from this decision is the importance of not only the brand story itself, but the means through which it is communicated.  Technological advancement and the inter-connectivity that has escalated from it, alongside strategic partnerships can help develop and expand a brand’s story into avenues towards audiences that previously may never have been reached.

Warranty Direct is Associate Sponsor of the What Car? Green Awards 2012 13th September, 2012

The What Car? Green Awards 2012 will take place on September 19 at the Imagination Gallery, London, and Warranty Direct will be associate sponsor as well as sponsor of the executive car category.

The What Car? Green Awards include the best green cars in each category, as well as an overall winner. The What Car? judging team evaluates more than just CO2, because cars emit a whole concoction of polluting gases, including nitrous oxides and particulates. The judges also evaluate whole-life costs, driveability and reliability.

Awards will be given for the best supermini, small family car, family car, executive car, MPV, alternative-fuel car, SUV, fun car and an overall winner.

Warranty Direct managing director Duncan McClure Fisher said: “Society is becoming more and more concerned with its environmental impact. Motorists are constantly seeking ways to lessen their personal carbon footprint, and that’s why it is important to highlight greener, low-emission car options to the consumer. Green technology may throw up new reliability challenges, but at Warranty Direct we will protect customers whatever their choice of car. We are, therefore, delighted to be associate sponsor of the What Car? Green Awards.”

What Car? publishing director Andrew Golby said: “The What Car? Green Awards advise an increasing number of motorists looking for greener motoring. The industry is delivering ever-greener and cleaner cars, and our awards will help narrow down the choice for consumers in what can be a complex arena.”

What Car? named the Vauxhall Ampera its overall winner in 2011, as well as the best alternative-fuel car.

Warranty Direct Announced as the Headline Sponsor of What Car? Awards 2013 28th June, 2012

What Car? has announced that Warranty Direct will be headline sponsor of the What Car? Car of the Year Awards 2013, which will be held on January 9.  Warranty Direct will also sponsor the City Car category.

Andrew Golby, What Car? publishing director said: “We are delighted to be working with Warranty Direct, which is the industry’s leading provider of direct consumer warranties.”

The What Car? Car of the Year Awards are the most coveted accolades in the automotive industry. The Awards are presented to cars that set the highest standards in their sector after being put through the toughest, most rigorous tests by the most experienced team in the business.

The benefits of the sponsorship deal includes the alignment with the most authoritative and trusted brand in motoring, brand positioning and awareness, extensive PR opportunities, networking  and brand association to the awards via a multi-channel promotional campaign.

Duncan McClure Fisher, managing director of Warranty Direct Ltd, said: “We are looking forward to working with What Car? to help deliver the best ever What Car? Awards. A What Car? Award is essentially a huge stamp of approval that car buyers can trust. Hopefully they will be so pleased with their new car they will want to keep it and care for it with a Warranty Direct warranty when the original warranty expires.”

Andrew Golby continued: “Winning a What Car? Award is good for a car maker’s business. The authority of the What Car? brand sells cars, plain and simple. It adds power to advertising and marketing campaigns and is a huge draw for customers.”

The What Car? Car of the Year Awards event is attended by more than 1000 leading industry figureheads alongside the most influential motoring correspondents from the wider media.

The event is to be held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on January 9, 2013 with top-class entertainment yet to be announced. Previous headline acts have included Jonathan Ross, Jimmy Carr, Al Murray and Jo Brand.


2012                       Volkswagen Up                                                  1994                       Peugeot 306

2011                       Audi A1                                                                 1993                       Ford Mondeo

2010                       Peugeot 3008                                                     1992                       Volkswagen Golf

2009                       Ford Fiesta 1.25i 82 Zetec 5dr                        1991                       Rover Metro

2008                       Jaguar XF 2.7D V6 Luxury                                1990                       Rover 214 Si

2007                       Vauxhall Corsa                                                   1989                       Ford Fiesta

2006                       BMW 320d                                                           1988                       BMW 735i

2005                       Land Rover Discovery                                       1987                       Renault 21 Savannah

2004                       Volkswagen Golf                                                1986                       Saab 9000 Turbo 16

2003                       Seat Ibiza                                                             1985                       Volkswagen Golf

2002                       Toyota Corolla                                                    1984                       Peugeot 205

2001                       Ford Mondeo                                                      1983                       MG Metro

2000                       Skoda Fabia                                                       1982                       Mercedes 200T

1999                       Rover 75                                                              1981                       Volkswagen Golf

1998                       Land Rover Freelander                                    1980                       Vauxhall Astra

1997                       Renault Mégane Scénic                                   1979                       Peugeot 305

1996                       Peugeot 406                                                       1978                       Renault 20

1995                       VW Polo