Brand Storytelling and Strategic Development |  Kraft Snacks

This was one of the most interesting brand storytelling projects we ever did. The assignment was so open-ended, at first it seemed a little scary. We were asked by Publicis to interview moms in the Midwest, and come back with “something meaningful” concerning their thoughts and feelings about Kraft snack products. The direction was no more specific than that. So we figured we’d just go out exploring, and see what happened. Our ethnographic market research study—conducted as a series of in-home focus groups—started out along a well-trodden path: moms discussing a variety of problems and difficulties in their lives. But about halfway through the second of three in-home focus groups, something interesting happened.

Brand Storytelling and the Power of Conflict

Conflict is one of the classic ways to tell a story. In market research, uncovering conflicting feelings or beliefs is also a way to get things moving. That was certainly the case here. The moms started to talk about their young kids, and about the loving, yet ambivalent, feelings they had about them. Sure, they adored their children. But many had given up promising careers for their kids, and sometimes the kids just made life crazy. In short, these moms were conflicted. When one of the respondents said that giving her kids a snack offered her a rare “moment of sanity,” we knew we we onto something meaningful. So we spent the rest of the day developing this idea of “sanity snacks,” moving the study from open-ended market research to focused brand storytelling driven by a unifying idea. Our respondents were extremely inventive with the sanity snack concept, coming up with a range of concepts that flowed from the stories in their own lives. All of which helped to show, once again, that the best creative and strategic department a brand can have is often its very own consumers.