Storytelling in the Information Age

Telling a strong story is crucial to brand building. It assists in shaping how consumers perceive your brand and it also weaves a connect between your brand and consumers.  

Building a connect that creates impact can resonate with brands. A gripping brand story can immediately reach out and help in building bridges with consumers, specially in the fragmented communication scenario that we face today. Brand storytelling is all about using a narrative to connect your brand to customers, putting a spotlight on building a link between what you stand for as a brand, to the values you share with your customers. “Storytelling in the Information Age” was the topic discussed by Megan Harris, Executive Director of Distribution and Mark Figliulo, Founder, FIG

Zeroing in on how they measure a story’s true impact and learn from it, Megan elaborated that the focus will be on a new approach that will change the way we measure and tell stories in our ever-changing world.

Brand stories are powerful and create value

In the background of today’s pandemic, brands are going all out to make their stories more engaging. So, to survive, businesses need to make the right emotional connect with audiences, which tugs at their hearts, and engages them at a deeper level than ever before. This is where clever brand storytelling steps in.

Brand storytelling can be not only a differentiator but a memorable opportunity to draw and engage a target audience. “We believe stories create value for brands,” said Megan. Hearing a strong brand story can have an impact in the Information Age. Today customers go out of their way as they crave for and seek out great stories. More brands are comprehending the power of stories to transform their presence and identity. “Brand stories are powerful and can break the clutter today”, pointed out Mark Figliulo, Founder & Creative Chairperson, FIG.

How can brands be successful? A brand is successful, if it is unique and the differentiator is loud and clear. “It’s no surprise we need a truly diverse story. I aim to get to the truth of what’s going to stand out today”, disclosed Megan. In the business where stories are being rolled out, she felt that the PR firms and ad firms tend to compete. While, on the topic, Mark revealed that “it’s not just to get on the same page but it’s about working together, side by side – changing the way we think! It’s changing behavior.” Getting to the basics, communication is the exchange of information and the exchange is truly two-sided. He truly believed that stories are the best way of communication. It sounds easy, but it’s complex! 

Brand stories revolve around customers, as they constantly search for pegs to get them into their circle. In fact, Megan insisted that brands have been obsessed with consumers. It’s the whole idea of seeing consumers with the right message at the right time. “Everything is hyper-relevant and hyper-marginalised,” was the insight she passed on.

Say something different!

Looking at a brand story per se, can we figure out what kind of a brand serves a consumer’s need? This is where focus comes in. Striking home this fact, Mark observed that if you are that focused, you see the world in a different way. As signals are send to consumers, the same way the brand picks up signals from the consumers.  This is a huge opportunity for brands. The first lesson to learn from the situation is that – we all say the same thing, instead of saying something different! 

Capturing brand signals

Understanding the signals allows businesses to get closer to the consumer, especially at a time when we face unprecedented volatility. Megan wondered – “Is anyone capturing the brand signals? And closing the loop to create more impactful stories?” Old methods looked at consumer signals, Mark noted, but what if you looked at the brand’s signals? To break this down, it’s pretty fascinating to think of all the behavior brands do over time. 

It’s a two-way conversation

Megan explained that while closing the loop, and saying the right thing, we pump out information and urge people to stop thinking of brands speaking to consumers. But it’s a two-way conversation. “It’s a dynamic field”, was Mark’s comment.

The best way to demonstrate this was when they did a pitch to Bowflex, (who owned the home-fitness market for years in their heyday). Firstly, they had to figure out where the brand fits in the energy market. That was our challenge, pointed out Megan. Their target audience was middle-aged male, identified across different sections of people. Most importantly, they paid attention to brand signals here. Realising that brands had chosen a specific way of saying stories, what mattered was a deconstruction of brands and the category signals – to find opportunities for better storytelling. This led to a creative deconstruction of all brand videos in the category. “We felt we could write a very different story, and we did,” exclaimed Megan with pride. And, it manifested into a new brand story for Bowflex, with the tagline – “Stronger everyday”. 

What is top-of-mind is – storytelling. And, “storytelling needs to be two-sided,” said Megan, signing off. 

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Shree Lahiri on EmailShree Lahiri on LinkedinShree Lahiri on Twitter
Shree Lahiri
Shree is the Senior Editor at Reputation Today and hopes to move from one focus area to another in the editions that will be released this year. Having worked in Corporate Communications teams, she has experience of advertising, public relations, investor and employee communications, after which she moved to the other side – journalism. She enjoys writing and believes the power of the pen is indeed mighty. Covering the entertainment beat and the media business, she has been involved in a wide range of activities that have thrown open storytelling opportunities.

She can be reached at: @shree_la on twitter

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