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Today World Book Day, promoted by the UNESCO, the most appropriate thing to do would have been gifting you a book with a dedication and a nice thought on the front page in my own handwriting; given that our relationship is virtual, that’s impossible. So instead of ignoring the celebration because of that, I’ve decided to recommend you to read a book I really like, in that way you and I together can celebrate this date.
“Brands today have become in cultural tales, to which brands have added a narrative context, total or partially, and through which they spread their legitimacy”. It’s what Bruno Remaury exposes in his book “Marques et récits: La marque face à l’imaginaire culturel contemporain” (translated to English as “Brands and Narratives. Brands and the cultural collective unconscious”).
What Bruno proposes in this excellent and entertaining book is a questioning of the stories some successful brands with global transcendence tell to build their own identity. We read throw-out the book several names of different industries to exemplify how a tale about a culture becomes the tale of the brand itself, to the point we cannot discern if it was created by the culture, or was the brand that imposed it. The tales explained here refer to time, places, mood, personages, what you can do if you use the product, or the production material as main attribute to fascinate the user.
Three French brands are mainly analyzed in more than half of the book showing the insight of their history that dictates their present, personality, usage, but most important, their legitimacy, and Bruno aims to justify his idea about the resources utilized along the years to seed in the user aspiration. It’s very interesting his theory of how Chanel, Dior and Yves Saint Laurent have build their identity, each of them according to Bruno, differentiated by the user they target to, subject that is also analyzed in this work. He explains why these houses:
“Me selection is dictated by the proof, repeated a hundred times, that the French brands most cited or mentioned by the public opinion as the most beautiful are, most of the times Chanel, Dior and Yves Saint Laurent. By hearing so many times these profane trinity as absolute reference in terms of their ability to make people dream about fashion and luxury, I’ve asked myself if it is because of a more structured mechanism that allows making reality this relation between the brand and the cultural imaginary I try to establish in this essay”.
I have read this book a couple of times, and each time I did revealed me something new, I consider this book very appropriate for those who want to better understand through examples how to build brand identity using the cultural resources that favor to capture the origin and the raison d’être of a brand, out of question it enables recognition and fidelity between the brand and the user.
Happy World Book Day!
Marques et récits: la marque face à l’imaginaire culturel contemporain. Bruno Remaury
Collection des Éditions de l’Institut français de la mode, ISSN 1629-4548. Éd. de l’Institut français de la mode, 2004. ISBN 2914863063, 9782914863063