I enrolled at a MOOC course called Building Strong Digital Brands on Iversity and I came across this topic. Orientation is key for our customers.
Here is a brief summary of the idea Prof. Dr. Dieter Georg Herbst from Berlin University of the Arts Berlin Career College shares.
Nowadays, devices and systems are hyper-networked. People mail with their phones, go online with their televisions and listen to radio online. Internet is a huge ecosystem and users can lose orientation very easy. A book has a beginning, chapters that follow one another and the end.
Users only see a small piece of the bigger picture on their screens at a time and must continuously decide how deep and/or broad they would care to go, i.e. which path(s) they care to take through an offering.
I find this topic crucial for building digital brands. There are two approaches, or better said concepts, for contributing to our customer’s orientation. One of them is to assist the user in reaching an objective without restricting him. Without compromising their freedom to choose where they go. And this is definitely the desirable one.
How can we do this? One solution presented in this course is cutting stories into frames.
Stories cut into frames provide another kind of orientation in the brand universe: stories are displayed on screens; once the user has followed one; that frame goes gray … Guide users, but allow them also the freedom to decide where they want to go.
Using stories in this way, we will assist the customer in moving forward and closer to the objective. If we do it right, the customer has no reason turning back and we do not compromise his experience.
Further from this concept, we must try contributing more for an orderly path for our customers. A path which will supply the customer with incentives and answers.
Stories are dependent events connected by time and content.
Each frame should reward the customer. This will validate his decisions and will help him reach his objective. We do not promise the existence of a reward on the next step, because this would restrict its path. We offer the reward to confirm the correct way.
The customer should not only identify problems that need to be solved, but the solution also. Action that resolves a conflict is especially motivating.
Update the Story
We will learn about our customer’s needs with each journey completed, if we focus our endeavors towards understanding the buyer persona. We must update the story accordingly.
Storytelling takes place on a stage. Since we are talking about digital brands, we need to keep in mind the aspects of this context. Unique aspects.
We need to take advantage of the spread of this environment and ease of access. The customer should not struggle to continue the story or to understand it. We need to use the beautiful features of the digital environment to answer to our customer’s questions.
Increasing the transparency of your business along the path can be a great reward for your customers. The story must create clarity in the eyes of the reader.
We need to educate the reader about our brand. He should not get more confused, but more aware.
Depending on the level of digital maturity of your business, make the story interact with the customers. We always like being part of a brand’s story.
Journalists report on brands with interesting stories to tell.
Keep in mind that your brand and its story is for your customers. Along generating sales we must strive to deliver value to them and to potential clients.
Which side of the Twix bar do you prefer? Here is a brief case study reflecting successful storytelling.
Twix creates a nice synergy between online channels and TV with a good story. Here is how synergy between channels works Discover Synergies Between Your Digital Channels.
Up to this point, Twix had inconsistent marketing. The story of Twix revolves around Swon Brothers and their rivalry on which one created the best side. The story points towards one main idea. Twix offers simple joy, twice.
The campaign involves video commercials, jingles, posters, websites, competing Facebook pages and many other marketing assets. These together formed a story that turned around the brand’s faith.
The story had some interesting results. This is a conversation on a forum in the UK, “Are left twix's really made in a different factory than right twix's?”. This one is a conversation from Reddit, “Is there really a difference between left and right twix?”.
The campaign is rewarding and creates transparency. It is constantly updated with consistency considering the initial campaign and is globally relevant. It is an individual frame in the customer’s journey. Left Twix and Right Twix are the link between brand awareness and brand recall.
With the execution of this campaign, Twix managed to reach all its business objective from growing sales to increasing consumer base.