Communicating Brand Personality In A Virtual Space

Communicating Brand Personality In A Virtual Space
Communicating Brand Personality In A Virtual Space

Brand storytelling has always remained central to an enterprise’s marketing success. Gone are the days when business decision makers and consumers were susceptible to banner advertising and sales promises – a typically conventional marketing trait. People exhibit greater interest in a brands narrative, from its genesis to the point it manifests itself into the final product.

Studies have suggested that corporations that invest in brand storytelling exhibit a more than 20x increase in the value of their product or service. Brand storytelling is a powerful marketing tool, and every venture seeking to establish a robust brand presence should master this approach.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a paradigm shift in how businesses modelled their brand storytelling approaches, passing through three distinct phases. These included the education phase, acquainting consumers with basic hygiene practices; the solidarity phase, encouraging individuals to combat the pandemic collectively; and the new normal phase, which involves real-time marketing, addressing new social issues and restating brand purpose.

In a gradually unfurling post-pandemic world, the importance of brand storytelling is expected to be further heightened to make a clear connections with consumers. Consequently, enterprises are relying extensively on market research for this.

Data-driven storytelling can enhance brand image

Typically, data-driven insights involve presenting voluminous numbers and figures, to the point of making the entire research exercise highly monotonous. However, contemporary market research has discovered ways to debunk this trend – incorporating approaches to facilitate a connection with target customers and forge long-term relationships.

Simply speaking, data represents the “what” while the story following it is the “why.” When combining these two, enterprises will be able to generate a story prompting customers to adopt the desired course of action. Compelling stories would engage prospective clients, eliciting emotions and permitting construction of meaningful relationships.

Consumer voice matters – customer-led storytelling enhances marketing capabilities

An effective consumer research study is one which resonates well with its consumers. While conducting any study, it is imperative to understand what the end-user is likely to take away in terms of insights and relevance. Hence, empowering the consumer by giving credence to their voices is becoming an important trend in brand storytelling.

Such user-generated storytelling enables increase in engagement, strengthening trust and immensely expanding the scope of branding and marketing. Moreover, customer-centric storytelling helps establish long-term brand loyalty. The Airbnb Community is a classic example of brands looking to empower consumer voices through a sense of inclusiveness.

Instead of narrating their own version of the tale, the platform provides its consumers with the chance to narrate their experiences with regards to their stay in a particular facility. Titled Stories from the Airbnb Community, it brings together property owners and lodgers on the same plane, offering a highly engaging mix of enriching stories on a regular basis. This approach has aided the company in expanding its outreach across multiple continents.

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Mini adverts scoring over traditional advertisement-based storytelling

As traditional advertising takes a back seat, businesses are relying extensively on virtual streaming platforms, introducing video-based story laden advertisements. Given its high outreach, video-based storytelling has yielded major success rates, with enterprises experiencing more than 40% more web traffic.

However, contemporary consumers are increasingly content weary, leading to reduced attention spans. Hence, enterprises are turning towards a highly effective approach – mini-advertising. Formats such as YouTube’s six-second story challenge, have become viral in recent times.

Mini ads can tap into a content overwhelmed audience, retaining their attention and increasing customer engagement.

Brand storytelling plays a pivotal role in B2B marketing

Given the profound impact brand storytelling has on its multiple stakeholders, it has become a powerful tool in B2B marketing. Storytelling campaigns give marketers a competitive edge.

Constant flow of data and information can become monotonous, to the point where the client becomes highly uninterested in the analysis provided. This challenge is especially high with the B2B circle. Studies have concluded that 50% of consumers are more likely to prefer a product or service if they have an emotional connect with the brand.

Firms such as LinkedIn, Cisco, Intel and Kickstarter are adept at using B2B storytelling models to engage their audiences. LinkedIn used the power of storytelling in its “Picture Yourself” campaign to generate inspiring stories about some of their members. The idea was to create a repository of stories for audiences to draw inspiration from. This translated into the formation of a portal of quality business insights, which increased the trust and relevance of the brand

Will brand storytelling be the future of marketing?

The global marketplace has reached a crossroad. Overlapping with rapid digitization and virtualization, brands are scrambling to acquire a personality in this virtual space. This is fulfilled through the art of storytelling, tracing the genesis of different industries, their journeys through various epochs and eras, and current manifestation.

Given the highly competitive nature of the marketplace, enterprises need to position themselves as a unique entity. To do this, brands must focus on being memorable, and brand story invokes and emotional response, while simultaneously delivering vital information.

Brands must invest in the right form of market research that enables them to gain the right insight and knowledge about their consumers or markets in general, thus helping them formulate the right storytelling technique for their brands.

Brands must concentrate on building a community, not just a consumer base. Given the highly emotive nature of brand storytelling, business leaders cease to be just marketers vying to acquire more customers. They transform into an inclusive community where people can share ideas and fuel future expansion prospects for the enterprise.