People Buy Products to Fill Narrative Gaps in Their Lives

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by: Lynette Webb

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Image from Flickr CC thanks to molcatron.
Another nice quote from the insightful Hugh McLeod… Do I agree with it? Not fully. If I think about the everyday products I like enough to buy regularly, I find it hard to see how they’re filling a “narrative gap”! But, despite that, I like the quote because it provokes thought. If there is a way that your brand is fulfilling such a purpose, it’s a good angle to think about when designing a strategy for marketing, and quotes like this help to prompt the question. Plus, for certain sectors eg: fashion, it has more resonance. After all, why do people buy designer clothes with the names plastered all over them? In many cases, at least subconsciously, It’s because they like the brand and feel that they benefit from the association. It makes them look hip/rich/intelligent/whatever ; it says something about you that you want to emphasise, it creates an impression. Finally, I like the quote because it’s another angle to the ‘telling stories’ meme from this earlier chart:…

UPDATE: here's an article with an anecdote in a similar vein to this, about a couple who travelled to the town where the "Field of Dreams" baseball field was for their wedding. "in this couple's case, they have taken aspects of the Field of Dreams film and appropriated them for their own purposes, attaching new meaning to them in their own lives and their own story. In a nutshell, that appropriation is what fans do on an every day basis…it's just not always this colorful."…

And another related article, about the "nod" when passionate users encountered each other. Reminds me of my student days when I drove a 1954 morris minor – I so loved that car – and whenever I saw anyone else in one at an intersection we'd wave madly to each other and smile, and it just gave you a good feeling inside. So I can definitely relate to the Nod. Still not sure that even my Morris filled a "narrative gap" though….….