Rapha and its embedded storytelling

Glover, Catherine (2018) Rapha and its embedded storytelling. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, 22 (1). pp. 17-34. ISSN 1361-2026

PURE Open Access_Rapha and its Embedded Storytelling.pdf - Accepted Version

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/JFMM-12-2016-0110


Purpose - This paper explores how British cycling brand Rapha innovatively embeds stories throughout its touchpoints and in its garments.

Design/methodology/approach - Using narrative inquiry methodology and subjective personal introspection, it analyses published brand texts, cycling apparel, primary interviews and lived experience to establish a key story theme and the role, form, value and continuity of stories in the brand's canon.

Findings - It claims that Rapha's texts reveal evidence of a specific story plot, the ‘Quest’ (Booker, 2015), which acts as a structural editorial device and provides a rich lexicon that taps into a transformative personal experience. The study proposes that the brand’s employees identify themselves with quester values that define the brand’s essence, providing a coherent message and magnifying the agency in Rapha’s stories.

Research limitations/implications - This inquiry offers insight into a single consumer brand, yet it is the material manner in which stories are embedded within the brand offerings plus how lived experiences are recounted through structured storytelling that are of significance to wider practice and understanding.

Originality/value - It brings together industry, academic and personal insight to Rapha’s storytelling praxis to illustrate how storied content can be used to transmit values, purpose and passion to its audience.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Rapha, fashion, story, marketing, brand, narrative inquiry
Subjects: W200 Design studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Design
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2018 10:29
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2022 16:29
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/33483

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