To connect with today’s consumers, brands need more than banner advertising or sales promises. They need a story or a brand narrative. With the advent of Gen Z, access to information on the Internet and the growing competition in every industry, consumers have more choices, numerous opinions and less attention span. Their preferences are changing continuously, and they are more aware of the marketplace than before. In this context, today, brands require not only a clear vision, but also an innovative and intuitive approach that must connect with their consumers through the right messages and stories. (38 per cent of CEOs believe that their brand needs repositioning to meet the needs of millennials.)
There are many platforms and ways in which a brand can communicate its story to consumers. With technology and innovative tools at their disposal, it is the right time for brands to connect with their consumers by streamlining their approach (61 per cent of organisations that are effective at using digital technologies see higher revenue growth than their competition.) The following pillars for B2C storytelling will help brands connect with their audience in a way that garners loyalty.
Create your brand identity through a unique narrative
In the cluttered B2C space and with the overload of information through multiple channels, the first step to any branding exercise is building a unique value proposition. This value is not only about the product or service, but also about what the brand stands for. Communicating brand ethics is essential for B2C storytelling by adopting the right tools of engagement and creating synergies amongst them through integrated communication.
Once the unique value proposition is identified, the channels of communication and tools for engagement, such as traditional public relations, digital media and video formats, can be identified.
Enhance Customer Experience
At one time, prices and quality of products were enough to enjoy brand loyalty from consumers, but today B2C branding needs more than that. An emotional connection with the target audience is essential, which is possible only by humanising the marketing campaigns. (According to a KPMG report 2017, almost 89 per cent of CEOs are expected to be competing based on customer experience over the next five years. Yet only 7 per cent delivered it effectively.) For this, brands must not only identify their target audience but also modify their messages to resonate with them. When done right, customers will show brand loyalty in the long run and become advocates, especially during crises. Further, we are lucky to be in the digital era, where technology can help find new ways to build an emotional connection. Videos, social media campaigns, even virtual reality experiences— all these tools are helping strengthen B2C storytelling for brands across industries. Brand personification help in building a connect with the target audience while communicating the unique value proposition, resulting into getting to the pulse of the audience. This leads to higher recall value.
Be consistent with messaging
Brands need to build trust with their consumers (according to a KPMG report 2017, 88 per cent of CEOs were concerned about customer loyalty and recognised that mastering the customer agenda can provide a competitive advantage.) Especially with the advent of the Internet, social media and the information explosion, brands face challenges of short attention time of the consumers as well as stiff competition. However, by being authentic, transparent and consistent in their messaging, brands can enjoy trust from the customers in the long run. Publishing information regularly with consistent messaging is simple yet very effective in B2C branding. Studies have also established that the right brand narrative has the power to increase the value of the product by 20 times.
Brands must connect with their audience through an emotionally stimulating and consistent brand narrative. In the digital world, brands that build an identity for themselves enjoy a differentiator over their competitors. Brands are now operating in a crowded marketplace, but with effective storytelling based on the three mentioned pillars, they have the opportunity to once again bring the audience at the core of their business strategy and enjoy growth in the long run. (Customers not only buy what brands do; they buy why they do it. Customer-centric organisations are 38 per cent more likely to report higher profitability than their competitors.)
To conclude, once B2C brands hone their storytelling skills, they have the potential to stand out and blaze the trail for others to follow.