We've been having much discussion around the office about the use of storytelling as a method for building brand relationships. Stories can give consumers an insight into what makes a brand tick, what it believes in and who the people are behind it -all of these things are increasingly crucial for brands which seek to build a sense of emotional intimacy with the customers.
I found a great example of this recently -a small store call Topo Ranch on Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice, LA. Topo Ranch sell their own range of t-shirts, khakis, flannel shirts -good, basic American clothing, well constructed and with a witty and distinctive approach to graphics. So far, so dime-a-dozen, right?
But what really make this brand come to life is the backstory:
Located between Monterey and San Benito counties, those 20,000 acres were part of the Mexican San Lorenzo lant grant. Throughout the late 1800’s and early 1900’s the spread was a cattle ranch, fig tree farm, supplier of wool to the U.S. Cavalry, and even used for Western films by the likes of Gary Cooper. Eventually, the bank foreclosed on it, like so many casualties of the Great Depression.
The “Topo” for which the ranch was named is Spanish slang for that stretch of land’s most populous inhabitants. We gave him wings to symbolize the rise of Topo Ranch once again, and to give flight to our dream of buying back the ranch.
We can both look back on five generations of California dreamers, but it was Edward Breen’s pioneering spirit that inspired us to follow our dreams. We hope our quality dry goods inspire you to follow yours.
This deeply authentic sense of history and pioneering spirit permeates the whole brand, from the t-shirt graphics to the store itself... you immediately feel like you know this brand, that you have a relationship with it, and you want them to succeed.