Design of Narrative Creation in Innovation: “Signature Story” and Two Types of Pivots

Design of Narrative Creation in Innovation: “Signature Story” and Two Types of Pivots

Akimitsu Hirota
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4864-6.ch012
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Among brand stories that affect brand equity, the importance of signature stories has been pointed out in particular. Casio Computer Co.'s G-SHOCK enjoys strong brand equity. The first model has created a new market. The development of G-SHOCK went through two years of trial and error. The trial and error that can exist only in the development of a market-creating product exert a great impact on brand equity. Stories about the trial and error of the developer and marketer during the development of a market-creating product are called “innovation narratives” in this chapter. This study examines the process of creating an innovation narrative from the viewpoint of a dialog and identifies the existence of a chain of two types of pivots: open pivots and closed pivots.
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Documentaries about product development amaze and inspire many people. People are amazed and inspired by the activities of the developer and marketer that cannot be known from the product itself. Many of the activities that elicit these feelings are stories of trial and error. People wonder how and why a certain product has been developed, thinking that they could not have developed it themselves. Those involved in the development of a product have gone through an experience that others cannot imagine by merely looking at, or using, the product. Many people are intrigued by the stories of trial and error of the developer and marketer behind a successful product. For this reason, companies have recently been providing information regarding the experiences of developers and marketers using their own media platforms or mass media. Such activities influence the product’s brand equity (Aaker, 1991; Keller, 2013) and brand story (Aaker, 1995, 2018). In particular, many people have learned about the development process of Sony’s Walkman and Apple’s iPhone, which brought a fresh experience to their daily lives, through online news, TV dramas, and books. The development process of such products becomes a topic of conversation in society and influences people’s purchase decisions. Thus, the experiences of revolutionary products’ developers greatly contribute to the products’ brand equity and brand story. In the field of brand management, a story that influences brand equity and connects it with a brand vision, customer relations, organizational values, and business strategies is called a “signature story,” which is distinguished from a strategy story aimed at short-term communications (Aaker, 2018). Signature stories are not a depiction of facts. Rather, they create an interpretation of facts in relation to the receiver (Aaker, 2018). Signature stories raise customers’ interest, attract customers, have authenticity, and provide the product with recognition and vitality for a long period of time (Aaker, 2018). As for the creation of signature stories, the predominant view is that they should be based on facts (Aaker, 2018). Thus, this study examines the process of creating compelling facts for signature stories from the viewpoint of products and services, major elements of signature stories (Aaker, 2018). For this reason, the study focuses on the development process of G-SHOCK, which Casio developed, and for which the company created a market. Stories about the trial and error method of the developer and marketer during the development process of a market-creating product are called “innovation narratives” in this article. This study describes the creation process of an innovation narrative and discusses the creation of a “pivot” in the development process within the framework of a dialog with “projections”. ”Projection” is the act of projecting the sensation obtained in one scene to another (Suzki, 2016).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Pivot: Actions to correct based on phenomena caused by experimental actions.

Dialogue: Interaction of the creation of projection and the representation. Other than the talks with a person and the person, the talks in a process making prototype, the talks in the process using the prototype, the talks with the experience that wants to come true exist.

Pairing: A combination of a certain needs information that there is in a needs landscape and a certain solution information existing in a solution landscape.

Need-Solution Pairs: Von Hippel and Von Krogh (2016) pointed out that in innovations, there are times when the needs and solutions are paired before the problem is defined. Needs and aggregate of the knowledge of the solution exist in the space. Innovation is realized by a combination of each information.

Problem Finding: Discover a problem and solution in an action of the trial and error simultaneously.

Procedural Knowledge: To investigate a combination of good combination through a trial by a combination of a certain needs, information, and a certain solution information.

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