There are a plethora of brands out in the world today. According to Nielsen Media Research, there are over 500,000 brands worldwide in more than 2,000 product categories. All offer their own unique example of brand storytelling, many of which stand the test of time. What makes some brands stand out among their competitors? How do brands possess longevity?
Our team members at AG Creative hand-picked the following brands that stood out to them. Here we will share the stories of those brands in hopes of answering some of the questions about standing out, longevity, and more. Let the brand storytelling begin!
Founded by William Stanley Jr. in 1913, Stanley has been ensuring hot drinks stay hot and cold drinks stay cold for over 100 years. Many of their products, including the Classic Legendary Bottle, are known for their iconic vacuum insulation and strength of steel, these portable bottles have been essential to staying hydrated during workdays, outdoor adventures, and road trips.
With sustainability being at the core of their business, it is probably one of the keys to having the longevity that they have had – that and quality. Cut to Millennials and Gen Zs affectionately known as “Stanley Cup Girlies” who have been seen embracing The Quencher H2.0 FlowStatee™ Tumbler – 40 OZ on TikTok. These tumblers have so much interest and popularity that many of us are asking… “Hey, Stanley, when is the next release?!”
Diptyque is a French luxury brand that began its unconventional journey in the heart of Paris in 1961. Founded by a trio of creative spirits—Christiane Gautrot, Desmond Knox-Leet, and Yves Coueslant—Diptyque embarked on a mission to blend art, fragrance, and design extraordinarily.
Christiane’s interior design prowess lent an exquisite visual touch, giving birth to the iconic oval labels that adorn Diptyque’s products. Desmond, a painter and set designer, channeled his artistic sensibilities into crafting the brand’s very first fragrances, inspired by his worldly adventures. Meanwhile, Yves, with a background in theater and an artist’s soul, steered the brand’s creative direction and overall aesthetics.
The name “Diptyque,” inspired by the Greek word “diptychos” meaning “two-fold,” perfectly encapsulates the brand’s early focus on the artistic and visual elements of their creations.
From its humble origins as a fabric and wallpaper boutique on Boulevard Saint-Germain, Diptyque quickly evolved, introducing scented wonders like candles, fragrances, and potpourri. Their scents, with a touch of magic and nostalgia, captured hearts across generations.
Diptyque’s legacy boasts iconic creations, including “L’eau,” an emblematic unisex fragrance that became the defining scent of the swinging ’60s.
Today, Diptyque is a global symbol of luxury, adored by aficionados who appreciate its dedication to using premium natural ingredients, presented in elegantly minimalist packaging. With boutiques scattered across the globe, Diptyque’s journey of artistry and craftsmanship in the world of fragrance and scent continues to captivate and inspire.
Liquid Death is not your typical “bottled water” brand – it’s a rebellious, edgy, and eco-conscious beverage company that has been murdering thirst since 2019. Mike Cessario, founder of Liquid Death, is a former creative director and advertising executive. The brand emerged as a response to the excessive and wasteful packaging of bottled water. One of many of the things that makes Liquid Death unique is that they package their mountain water in tall, slim aluminum cans that resemble beer or energy drink cans – also offering flavored sparkling water and tea.
On the “About” page of their website, it simply states “We’re just a funny beverage company who hates corporate marketing as much as you do. Our evil mission is to make people laugh and get more of them to drink more healthy beverages more often, all while helping to kill plastic pollution.” What a winning tactic to get people to drink healthier, along with packaging and marketing their product the way they do with their death to plastic mission, right?!
It also doesn’t hurt to have some well-known brand ambassadors to help you champion your product! Liquid Death can be seen partnering with some big names to help them deliver their satire-driven marketing – such names as Martha Stewart, Tony Hawk, Travis Barker, and more. Not familiar with their marketing campaigns? Take a look.
Glossier (pronounced, as if French, “gloss-ee-ay”) was founded by Emily Weiss in April 2014. Emily was already a well-known figure in the beauty world, having created the popular beauty blog “Into the Gloss.” One of Emily’s first thoughts when creating her beauty brand was “How could you make a beauty brand whose sweatshirt people would want to wear?” Meaning the focus would be on simplicity, authenticity, and products that enhance natural beauty.
Their debut product was the “Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint,” a lightweight foundation designed to enhance the skin’s natural appearance. They followed up with other skincare essentials like the “Milky Jelly Cleanser” and “Balm Dotcom.”
Glossier leveraged social media and customer engagement from the very beginning. They have cultivated a strong online community through blogs, social media, and a referral program. Growing to 2.8 million followers on Instagram, Glossier customers are encouraged to share their beauty routines on social media and makeup-free selfies, creating a sense of community and authenticity.
You can definitely say that the brand’s success is attributed not only to its high-quality products but also to its innovative approach to marketing, customer engagement, and packaging design. Glossier’s ability to connect with a younger, digitally-savvy audience has made them a trailblazer in the beauty industry, redefining standards of beauty and skincare for a new generation.
Native was founded in 2015 by Moiz Ali. When Moiz checked out the ingredient label on his antiperspirant, he couldn’t have known that it would be a pivotal moment in his life. That was when his curiosity about aluminum turned into a mission to make a clean deodorant that could compete with the current antiperspirants out in the market.
Not only does Native commit to creating safe, clean products they are also concerned about the environment. Prioritizing eco-friendly packaging, using materials that are less harmful to the environment. They also introduced a recycling program to encourage customers to send back used containers for recycling.
Their journey from a small brand to an acquisition in 2017 by a global consumer goods company like Procter & Gamble underscores the growing demand for clean and natural personal care products. Native’s success is a testament to their commitment to quality, transparency, and sustainability in an industry that’s increasingly prioritizing these values.
Airbnb is another great example of a strong brand story. You probably are fully aware by now that Airbnb is a global online marketplace and hospitality service that allows people to rent or lease short-term lodging and accommodations. Have you heard of their fascinating start and journey?
It all started in August 2008 in San Francisco, California by co-founders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk. The idea for Airbnb was born when the founders couldn’t afford their rent and decided to rent out air mattresses in their apartment to attendees of a design conference in the city. This event gave rise to the name “Airbnb” (Air Bed & Breakfast).
In the early days, Airbnb faced numerous challenges and rejections from investors. Many people were skeptical about the concept of strangers staying in each other’s homes. The turning point came when Airbnb participated in Y Combinator, a startup accelerator program. They received mentorship and funding, helping them refine their business model.
Airbnb gradually expanded beyond air mattresses to offer a wide range of accommodations, including private rooms, entire homes, apartments, and even unique stays like treehouses and castles. The platform attracted both hosts looking to monetize their extra space and travelers seeking unique and affordable accommodations. Quickly expanding internationally, tapping into markets around the world. They customized their approach to cater to local preferences and regulations, which allowed them to gain a foothold in various countries.
Broadening their offerings beyond lodging by launching “Experiences” in 2016. This feature allows hosts to offer unique activities and tours to travelers, enhancing the overall travel experience. Airbnb has truly transformed the way people travel and opened up new opportunities for hosts and guests worldwide. Despite challenges, Airbnb continues to shape the future of travel and accommodations. Have you had the Airbnb experience or are curious about what it takes to become a host? Get inspired by some of these host stories.
NYX Cosmetics was founded by Toni Ko in 1999. Toni, an entrepreneur with a passion for makeup, saw a gap in the market for high-quality makeup products at prices accessible to a wider range of consumers. Nyx launched as a small cosmetics brand with a focus on eye and lip products.
A key strategy that set NYX apart from competitors was its commitment to offering “affordable luxury.” They aimed to provide makeup enthusiasts with affordable alternatives to high-end cosmetics, allowing them to experiment with different looks without breaking the bank.
NYX gained popularity through word-of-mouth recommendations and positive reviews from makeup artists, beauty influencers, and customers. Their range of products gradually expanded to include a wide variety of makeup items, including foundations, lipsticks, eyeshadows, and more.
In 2014, NYX was acquired by L’Oréal, one of the world’s largest cosmetics companies. This acquisition helped NYX expand its global reach and access to resources while maintaining its identity as an affordable, trend-focused brand. Through innovation, strategic marketing, and a commitment to affordability and inclusivity, NYX has become a well-loved and widely recognized cosmetics brand in the beauty industry.
Mastercard Designed By Pentagram
You may be fully aware of how recognizable the world-famous red and yellow intersecting circles of Mastercard are when you stop to think about it. But did you know that the Mastercard logo has undergone a bold transformation? Designed by Pentagram, the iconic brand has evolved its visual identity to reflect the digital age while preserving its rich heritage.
The new mark places a heightened focus on the interlocking circles, symbolizing connectivity and seamlessness, core to Mastercard’s payment systems. In a world increasingly dominated by digital technology, this evolution is strategically geared towards establishing Mastercard as a forward-thinking, people-centric technology company.
To maintain simplicity and modernity while respecting its legacy, the design team collaborated closely with Mastercard’s leadership, including Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Raja Rajamannar. The result is an adaptable logo optimized for digital contexts, a crucial aspect of Mastercard’s evolving business landscape.
Mastercard’s redesigned logo unifies the company’s image across all digital platforms, retail channels, and connected devices, eliminating the need for separate corporate and consumer-facing marks. The emphasis remains on the fundamental concept of connection represented by the interlocking circles, now rendered with a sleeker, more versatile design for digital applications.
The impact of this change is vast, as over 2.3 billion cards worldwide bear the Mastercard brand mark, and countless merchants display the Mastercard acceptance symbol. Remarkably, 81 percent of consumers recognized the new symbol without the inclusion of the Mastercard brand name in global market research.
This is quite incredible considering you probably haven’t paused and thought to yourself “Hey, there is something different about the Mastercard logo.” But yet the majority of consumers can easily identify it. One could say that the design of a brand and its logo could be so good it just becomes part of your subconscious. Those of us in the marketing industry continuously strive to achieve that level of recognition for our brands.
Whether you are fully aware or not, this brand evolution extends beyond the logo itself. A new visual system encompasses a distinctive color palette, a contemporary typographic system, and graphic shapes for creating diverse yet cohesive visual patterns. Custom icons, illustrations, and photographic styles provide consistency in conveying various messages.
One subtle change includes the lowercase “c” in the wordmark, signaling that Mastercard is more than just a physical card but a versatile digital payment provider. The typography, inspired by a 1979 version of the logo, harmonizes with the circular forms of the mark.
The meticulous selection of colors, tested across different backgrounds and contexts, yields a dynamic effect that feels transparent and exudes optimism. By shifting from a subtractive color mix to an additive one, the new symbol radiates a vibrant energy.
Ultimately, Mastercard’s new brand identity bridges the gap between tradition and innovation, embodying a company that is both deeply rooted in its heritage and primed for the digital age. It is a visual testament to Mastercard’s commitment to providing “priceless possibilities” for the connected consumers of today and tomorrow.
Spotify, founded in Sweden in 2006 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, has become one of the world’s leading music streaming platforms, transforming the way people listen to music. The brand’s story is a testament to innovation, accessibility, and personalization in the music industry.
At its core, Spotify aims to provide a legal and convenient alternative to music piracy. It offered a vast library of songs that users could stream for free (with ads) or with a premium subscription for an ad-free experience. This accessibility quickly attracted millions of users and disrupted the traditional music distribution model.
Spotify’s brand identity revolves around its commitment to making music accessible to everyone, while also fostering connections between artists and their fans. It introduced features like playlists, which allowed users to create and share their music collections, and its recommendation algorithms provided personalized playlists, enhancing the overall music discovery experience.
One standout feature that epitomizes Spotify’s brand story is “Spotify Wrapped.” This annual feature, typically released in December, compiles a personalized year-in-review summary for each user. It highlights their most-streamed songs, artists, genres, and the total time spent listening to music throughout the year. Wrapped encourages users to reflect on their music preferences, reminisce about their favorite tunes, and share their music stats on social media, making it a powerful tool for user engagement.
Spotify Wrapped is an annual feature that allows Spotify users to take a deep dive into their music listening habits over the past year. Here’s how it works:
Spotify uses its extensive data and algorithms to curate a customized year-in-review summary for each user. This summary includes their most-streamed songs, artists, albums, and genres.
Total Listening Time
Wrapped reveals the total number of minutes users spent listening to music on Spotify throughout the year. It often surprises users with just how much time they’ve dedicated to their favorite tunes.
Top Songs and Artists
Users can see their top songs and artists of the year, giving them a chance to reminisce about their favorite musical moments.
Spotify Wrapped creates a personalized playlist called “Your Top Songs” that features the user’s most-streamed tracks from the year. It’s a great way to relive their musical journey.
Spotify encourages users to share their Wrapped summaries on social media, allowing them to celebrate their music tastes with friends and followers.
In addition to personal summaries, Spotify releases global Wrapped insights, showcasing the most-streamed songs, artists, and trends across the platform. This adds a communal aspect to the feature, as users can see how their music preferences align with the broader Spotify community.
Spotify Wrapped has become a highly anticipated annual event for Spotify users, fostering engagement and loyalty. It not only provides a fun and nostalgic experience but also showcases Spotify’s data-driven approach to music discovery and personalization, reinforcing the brand’s commitment to making music a more personal and enjoyable experience for its users.
Last, but definitely not least… Taylor Swift is not just a world-renowned musician; she’s also a brand in herself, known for her distinct blend of country and pop, her empowering lyrics, and her unwavering commitment to artistic expression. Here we will share a glimpse of what makes up the brand that is Taylor Swift.
Taylor Swift’s brand is marked by her remarkable musical evolution. She began her career as a country singer-songwriter, capturing hearts with her relatable lyrics and catchy melodies. Over the years, she transitioned to pop music, showcasing her versatility and creativity. This evolution reflects her authenticity and willingness to explore new horizons.
A hallmark of Taylor Swift’s brand is her ability to tell compelling stories through her lyrics. Her songs often draw from personal experiences, relationships, and emotions, making them highly relatable to her audience. This vulnerability and authenticity have endeared her to fans, who appreciate her willingness to share her life through her music.
Empowerment and Advocacy
She is not only a musician; she’s also an advocate for important social issues. Her brand includes a commitment to gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and other social justice causes. She uses her platform to raise awareness and make a positive impact, reflecting her values and beliefs.
Taylor Swift has displayed a keen business sense throughout her career. She has been vocal about artists’ rights and fair compensation in the music industry. Her decision to re-record her earlier albums after a rights dispute is an example of her determination to control her own narrative and financial future.
Strong Fan Engagement
Her relationship with her fans is a key component of her brand. She interacts with them on social media, hosts secret listening sessions, and surprises them with gifts and personal gestures. This level of fan engagement fosters a strong sense of community and loyalty among her followers.
Taylor Swift’s brand extends to her visual aesthetics. She has created visually stunning music videos and album artwork that are highly memorable and distinctive. Her fashion choices and evolving style also contribute to her brand’s image.
Reputation and Resilience
Swift’s brand has weathered its fair share of controversies and public scrutiny. Her ability to navigate these challenges with grace and resilience has only strengthened her brand, showcasing her as a role model for perseverance.
Above all, Taylor Swift’s brand is built on artistic expression. She consistently pushes the boundaries of her creativity, whether through concept albums like “folklore” or by reimagining her past work. Her dedication to her craft and her fearlessness in trying new things resonate with her audience.
Now she is even getting attention in the NFL world. People are having all kinds of fun with it on social media. From NFL Taylor’s Version on TikTok to women pranking their partners on social media. Swifties all over the world are loving this attention Taylor is getting. Sports Illustrated shares women pranking their football-loving and/or Kansas City-loving partners on how amazing they think it is that Taylor Swift is putting Travis Kelce on the map. Seriously, Taylor Swift has so much influence in our world today and we are here for it!
In summary, Taylor Swift’s brand is a fusion of musical talent, empowering messages, advocacy for important causes, business acumen, strong fan engagement, and a commitment to artistic expression. It’s a brand that has evolved over the years, mirroring her growth as an artist and individual, while also inspiring and resonating with millions of fans worldwide.
We hope you have enjoyed our fun brand storytelling examples. We have made a very intentional effort to share brands from different categories to showcase a variation of brand stories with you. These are all great examples of how brand influences various parts of our lives but even further these stories exemplify that these brands have a good understanding of their audience and how their brand is more about the audience or consumers. That should always be the key takeaway when developing a brand. It is all about the audience and/or consumers and building that relationship.