The St. Patrick’s Day Symbol

This weekend, while you’re pouring yourself a Guinness and toasting to Ireland, you will probably be wearing green, in honor of the Irish. And if you’re headed to a bar, you will find the iconic four-leafed clover everywhere you look. From banners across the bars, to logos on beers and decorations on T-shirts where flirtatious women might want men to look, they’re everywhere!

You'll see a lot of this symbol on Sunday, and that's, in part, why St. Patrick's Day is so popular.

You’ll see a lot of this symbol on Sunday, and that’s, in part, why St. Patrick’s Day is so popular.

And the four-leafed clover grew to become a myth to not just represent St. Patrick’s Day but all of Ireland. ‘The luck of the Irish’ is tightly entwined with the belief that a four-leaf clover will bring you good luck, which is just an uncommon form of the three-leaf variety. The small, delicate little shamrock has become enmeshed with the Irish people, at least in myth and lore.

But where did it come from? When Saint Patrick traveled to Ireland in the fourth century, the story goes, he explained the Catholic religion and its belief in the Holy Trinity, using the three-leaf clover. That’s a neat story. It’s interesting, memorable, easy to share and plausible.

Now, no one can truly say if that really happened. Not many records have been kept that provide much insight into the life of St. Patrick. Yet, the Catholic church celebrated the day, and Irish immigrants throughout the Western world began to share the tradition, turning it into a day of recognition for the Irish culture. Not bad from just a little story of a three-leaf clover.

But that’s the power of a strong story that can turn an object into a symbol. It doesn’t need to be real, and it doesn’t have to be large, but it can grow to mean so much to so many.

On a smaller scale, that’s the type of myth or allure you want to develop as you create your own story or content. Unfortunately, yours needs to be true, since you don’t have the excuse of 17 Centuries passing since your founding, but you can create the same allure and simple, yet, intriguing brand story. And that allure can be implied. Does the iPhone make you more tech savvy and hip? No. Does a Ferrari make you more cool and appealing to women? No. Do Air Jordan’s really make you jump higher. No. These examples, however, make customers feel this way. Because if you’re able to offer that story to those that are interested in using your services or buying your product, then they’re not just purchasing what you’re selling, but becoming a part of that story or myth as well.

That’s how you draw them in. That’s how you create brand advocates. That’s how you grow your base. You allow them to be a part of your story. Your story, that compels, intrigues, and makes your customers feel better about themselves.

Have a great St. Patrick’s Day and Slainte!

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photo by: faith goble
Posted in Content Strategy, Entrepreneur, Marketing, Small Business Tagged with: , , , , ,

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