Rapha and its embedded storytelling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-34
JournalJournal of Fashion Marketing and Management
Volume22
Issue number1
Early online date29 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2018

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