Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR
Alexei Orlov of MTM says that Telling a story expresses what drives a brand’s mission. They are an essential tool for a brand that enables businesses to differentiate themselves. One-way flow of conversation from a business to the customer is no longer adequate. Conversation is necessary, hence compelling stories are necessary. Story is the spice that adds taste to a brand.
1) Identify your audience – To determine the audience for storytelling, customer surveys can be sent. Think in terms of benefits your business or service would provide potential customers with. Then take variables into account. Variables can be demographics (education, gender, location), behavioral variables ( product usage, data on website visits), and psychographics (habits, hobbies, attitudes, interests).
2) Using videos – The philosophy and persona of a brand can be shared effectively through video content. Back in February 2012, Chipotle used a video showing a farmer trying to find his place with his traditional farming methods amidst the rise of industrialism. This type of video can have voice-overs , music, visuals and other details to explain how a product or business is beneficial for customers.
3) Using effective mediums – Print, social channels , digital PR, multimedia or blogs, any of these could be effective mediums for telling a story. Storytelling is not uninteresting data that can be dumped on consumers. Brands can create stories and stories can create brands.It would be an achievement to decide which medium would be used to tell which story. To celebrate the club’s 125th birthday, Manchester City developed a virtual reality experience for fans to immerse themselves in the excitement of matchday from the comfort of their home.
4) Content sharing – A good story will lead to conversation. Well crafted stories or content will induce conversation and engagement. A resonating story will be shared across social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and retold. The shared experience of a story is bound to spark interest.
Importantly, sounding businesslike here might alienate potential customers. Content which would be shared should feature real people and emotions. Warby Parker eyewear successfully projected the image of a socially conscious brand with vision. They donate a part of their profit to their nonprofit partners to ensure that basic eye care and affordable eyewear is made available to people in developing countries.
5) The customer is the hero of the story – If stories of customers are shared , it would increase customer loyalty. According to a research by Deloitte, customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that are not. This paradigm shift leads to a meaningful connection with the consumer. For example, the advertisement for Vanderbilt’s MBA program had a powerful quote from one of its students,” They didn’t brag about how far they could take me. They asked where I wanted to go.” Here the customer becomes the protagonist.Most customers care about how a business can help them. They are the ones who possess the magic wand.