The Story Gap T-Shirts Tell Us

The Story Gap T-Shirts Tell Us

The Gap makes pretty good t-shirts. I like them. They’re double-seam, shrink to fit and seem to wear well. The Gap charges a premium for their shirts because they believe their product is a quality product that warrants a premium price. And they share with us the story they’ve created about their value. They share this story through advertising and marketing. They use these two powerful tools to share the story and shape our opinion of their brand and their quality. And they’ve been successful.

Every brand has an ideal client. The one person they are aiming their marketing at. They treat their ideal clients like gold. They shower them with attention, accolades and positive reinforcement for their world view. They write a story for that ideal client. A story that demonstrates and supports their perspective, that they have a value and that their products are there to meet their needs. Their ideal clients clamor to pay a premium price for their products.

You are the ideal clients for the brand you’re building. The way we tell the story of who we are, what we do and how we see ourselves is our personal version of “advertising and marketing.” We’re not just telling the outside world this story, but we are reinforcing it at home, by the stories we’re telling ourselves.

  • You can get in great shape, the best you’ve ever been in. But if you don’t address and shift the negative story about being fat and unhealthy, the fitness will neither last nor feel empowering.
  • You can become successful and make lots of money, but if you don’t come to terms with the story of “being a failure” and “never measuring up” your success will forever feel empty.
  • You can date or marry the most amazing partner, but if you do not feel worthy of love and belonging the relationship will forever fall short, and end prematurely.

What Gap doesn’t do is build a product, charge more than competing brands and hope that their customers are going to just figure it out. They are super-diligent about consistently reinforcing the story they’ve created to make sure their customers understand and is reminded of their value.

In this story, we are both Gap and their customer. How we see ourselves all depends on the story we tell ourselves. To see ourselves as valuable, worthy of love and acceptance, we will need to tell ourselves a story that’s in line with that belief.

But it is not a one-time thing. We can create a great story about how we are worthy, loved, valuable and accepted, but if we don’t consistently reinforce it, it will not take hold. It would be like Gap making a great new product, but never bothering to rewrite their marketing plan to promote it and never buying any advertising space to support the story they’ve created.

You are your ideal client. Are you treating yourself like it?

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