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Nestle India’s new ad tells a heartwarming story.

A little girl is adopted by a family. The biological child (a boy) feels insecure and doesn’t accept her. But slowly, the resentment gives way to curiosity and eventually, the first tendrils of a friendship spring up over a jar of cookies. As the camera moves away from the two happy children huddled in the pantry, you are smiling. The brand has established an emotional connect with you, even before identifying itself.

Clever story-telling to enhance brand recall? It’s more than that.

It’s what Simon Sinek, an author, describes as the ‘golden circle’. In a popular TED video, he explains how inspiring brands communicate the sense of purpose that pervades all aspects of their work.

This sense of purpose, ‘the why’, is at the core of their identity and central to a set of three concentric circles. It influences the next circle which holds the ‘how’ – processes, methods, etc, the brand uses to achieve its goals. It’s eventually reflected in the outermost circle, the ‘what’ – products or services.

Consider the punchline Nestle uses: when goodness is shared over food, life smiles. This feel-good line seems generic enough to embrace the brand’s vast product portfolio, but it also shifts the focus from the products to the purpose.

From the ‘what’ – chocolates, coffee, ice cream, instant food – the conversation changes gears, moving to the ‘why’ – making life smile through good food. Nestle then, isn’t just a company that brings you baby food or a health drink. It’s a brand with a deeper belief. The products are secondary to the purpose.

Even if Nestle were to enter into another category of food products, the same story would still resonate with their audience.

That is the power of the ‘why’ story.

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