So what makes a company a brand?

With archetypes and primal stories to brand self-image.

The likeable man in the picture is Mr. Wiegand, owner of “The Phoenix Wine House” and successful sommelier and delicatessen dealer. Until 2010, his store was called “Wein Wiegand” and Mr. Wiegand sold in it – wine. Then came the wine crisis year and many of Mr. Wiegand’s customers bought cheaper grape juice in the supermarket or online from then on – the store became emptier and emptier.

Rather by chance, Mr. Wiegand came across an article at the time that talked about “archetypes and primal stories.” “I was faced at the time with the decision to quit and get hired somewhere, or to scrape together my last reserves and figure out how to boost my business again,” he recalls today. “And that’s when I stumbled across this article about how brands can define themselves through archetypes. I found that totally interesting, and I thought about which of the twelve types I would be.” Mr. Wiegand concluded that he was a good mix of the Wizard, the Lover and the Fool. And from the mixture of these three archetypes, he could easily develop a vision for his future business: It was to be a place of joy and a place full of surprises. A place where customers are pampered, where their uniqueness is appreciated. So Mr. Wiegand had a picture in mind for the future of his store. To expand it so that he could live this image there was not very difficult.

What still worried him was how he was going to tell his future customers what a great business was being built. Good thing he remembered the primal stories. The best fit for his situation was “comeback,” and that’s how he went about it. He told the story of his store’s rebirth, and because it made him feel like Phoenix rising from the ashes, he gave it a new name: The Phoenix Wine House.

Since then, Mr. Wiegand is no longer a simple wine merchant. He has turned his vision into a mission, found his “Why”, i.e. the real reason why he does what he does. Out of the “Why” came the “How” – namely how he does what he does. And the “What?” That’s what his many customers, old and new, could experience every day in his store if Mr. Wiegand and the Phoenix Wine House existed. After all, this story is a made-up example of a certain kind of storytelling – but it’s based on many true stories surrounding the brand workshop and the brands that have come out of it. And that’s the plain truth.

„We booked the brand workshop to renew our brand identity and to develop a storytelling concept for our product range. Both worked wonderfully - we are happy to recommend the workshop to others!" Stefan Bachmeier, Team Leader Communication medwork