Successful brand storytelling is what makes brands stand out from others. Check out the useful tips shared by Selene Chin on how to master this essential marketing technique.
Q1: What are the trends you are observing with regards to brand storytelling? Why is there an increasing need to incorporate brand stories at events? Why is personalisation the key to successful brand storytelling?
Selene: In today’s connected world, our consumers have encounters with a brand at many touch points – some that are known to the brand, and some are not – for example external websites and social media pages. With this in mind, it is important for brands to maintain their narrative consistently across all these touch points – this is not restricted to just images and advertising – it’s the little things, like the tone of voice used at the customer service level, the offers and promotions your brand provides, even how your representatives present themselves at distributors or events you participate in.
So a rapidly-rising trend is that a consistent brand storytelling approach is now required to move beyond glossy ads and a nice website – this story has to fit into a variety of different encounters. Another trend is the personalisation of brand storytelling. By this I don’t mean that each narrative is personalised – that’s just ‘a machine doing its job’. I mean that brands have to take an extra step to relate with their audiences so that individual audience members can ‘see themselves’ in the message, or they feel whatever message they are receiving from the brand sits well with their personalities and their own values.
Both these trends extend to events. Without a strong story that is told well, a brand’s presence at an event becomes just a show of technology or bright lights. The human touch, i.e. the relevance and connection to your audience, is lost.
Q2: How is personalisation being brought to life within events? And how can event agencies/planners create personalised experiences for event attendees?
Selene: Technology can definitely help us here. If we have a history with a particular customer, then the relevant data can be leveraged for the event – this allows the customer to personally interact with the content you are presenting at the events. If the customer is new, be sure that you present them with options so they can browse, plan, and plot the optimal content journey for themselves. Most importantly, where relevant, your messages should reflect your understanding of your audience. Generally, your interactions across touch points should be a continuation of a dialogue, not a ‘one-way download’ of whatever your brand wants to tell them.
Q3: What tips and tricks are there when it comes to telling a story on social media?
Selene: Having a spokesperson is one of the quickest ways to tell a story on social media. This doesn’t always need to be someone famous, but it must be a personality your audience can relate to, and can see themselves in. Weaving your brand into the lives of everyday people is another way to tell stories. If yours is a sports brand, then see if you can publish some simple exercises that people can do in the office; or if you have a food brand, show how your audience can use your product at their parties.
Q4: How can event planners manage the darks side of social (such as negative feedback, conversations that you are not privy to) and how to reengage audiences?
Selene: First, don’t see negative feedback conversations as ‘dark’ – they are valuable opportunities to hear from your audience. Always keep an open dialogue between your community managers, your brand and your marketing teams to ensure that everyone is in sync with how the organisation wants to treat a certain feedback.
An edited version of this insight appeared in Campaign Asia website on 8 December 2017.