I have to admit that I know absolutely nothing about rugby league but that didn't stop me from from becoming an arm-chair expert last night and watching the Rabbitohs win their first premiership in 43 years.
Growing up with Australian Rules I would struggle to name more than three or four NRL teams but for some reason the Rabbitohs grand final appearance caught my imagination and sparked interest. Why is that? Pretty simple really: I loved their story...and I wanted to be part of it. That's the simple but powerful insight into why some companies succeed in driving a powerful brand connection…and why others fail. In my view it is directly related to any organisation's capacity to create and sustain an emotionally engaging narrative. Or, simply, to tell a compelling story.
And what's the critical element to any story? The people, of course. Humans relate to other humans. We know what it means to have hope, to have dreams and we love the idea that occasionally, dreams come true. Of course with the Rabbitohs, there's also the Russell factor: What IS it with that white-jacket? (Looks like he just stepped off the set of a re-make of Ice Station Zebra). But I think the Hollywood factor that works most powerfully here is the narrative of the battling people's club, pushed to the edge of survival, fighting back against the odds…and in the very last chapter coming back to claim victory. A ripper yarn.
Brand strategy like rugby league isn't that complicated. Great stories, well told. Try!!!!!!!!