Story Branding Overload

I hate grocery stores. And malls. Basically, if it’s not a bookstore, a farmers market, or a jewelry store, I don’t want anything to do with retail spaces.

I’ve always found them to be super overwhelming and exhausting. Which is a little odd considering I can power through Disney World for three days straight and be fine.

It took a trip to a very large wine store for me to finally figure out why. It’s all about the stories the space is trying to tell.

When you’re someplace like Disney World, yes, there are a thousand things to look at any given moment, but there is a team of people dedicated to pulling your attention exactly where they want it to go. First, you’re supposed to look at the castle, then the statue of Walt. If you make it to the advance level of Disney obsession, you’ll start finding hidden Mickeys.

At every level of the experience, Disney has carefully crafted the story they are telling their patrons.

When you go into a retail establishment, every single display is battling for your attention. Every label was designed to draw you in and tell you a different micro story. That means one aisle in a grocery store is telling you a hundred different stories.

I love stories, from portraying them onstage to reading about them in books. I want to know all the stories. Even driving past a billboard without finishing reading it drives me crazy. I need to know what the designer of the ad was trying to tell me.

With so many brands pushing their stories on me in a retail space, it’s no wonder I’m exhausted and overwhelmed from trying to absorb it all. And I bet I’m not the only one who feels this way.

So what about you?

Does your brain skip over all the micro stories presented to you on a daily basis?

Does it try to absorb all the information presented to you?

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Megan O'Russell

Fantastic Worlds. Unlikely Heroes.

Megan O'Russell


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