Brand and Product storytelling for high impact engagement
Product storytelling is primarily communication. As ironic as it may seem, It’s listening first and speaking later. Historically, brand and product advertising has been about interrupting the audience to turn their attention to what you have to say but times are changing fast. The new reality is that audiences now have a lot more control over how they consume content and many will no longer have that form of business advertising or marketing that interrupts their entertainment.
What this reality means is that your brand or product marketing has to be the entertainment if gaining, and maintaining your audiences’ attention is important to you. That is what the whole fuss about storytelling is about. It presents you as a marketer, business developer or content creator with the power to not have to force your message down on your audiences while moving to an idyllic scenario where the message is strategically crafted to invite your audience into your product or brand story. Brand and product storytelling is a pivotal shift from marketing that interrupts what your audiences are interested in to becoming what they are interested in.
To achieve this, it’s important to understand that storytelling is not just about telling. It’s a conversation - one where the exchange happens in real time or where the listening is adequately done before the telling. It is primarily words, but it’s not just words. It is content, brand acts, positioning and so much more that has to contribute to the preparation and presentation of brand and product stories that will be robust and extendable. It is moving away from saying “Hey! Look what I got” to seeking a more sensitive and empathetic connection. It’s asking your audience “how do I connect with you?” with a genuine desire to know what their passions are and how you can help them bring those to life.
Given the heavily fragmented nature of audience distribution arising from the proliferation of digital platforms and content forms, great and engaging storytelling is pretty much indispensable for products and brands targeting resonance across board.
Because people are now doing things within certain time frames that would not have been historically possible, attention is now more expensive and hard to hold. You can choose to keep running interruptive communication of your brand or product messaging but all you will mostly achieve is an outcome where your message is seen and heard but simply does not resonate.
But it cannot just be about storytelling. Businesses, Brands and products have to be relevant to the audiences that they speak to. They have to offer real value beyond all the words for these stories to stick. Distinctively successful product stories identify the relevance of the brand or product to the audience and makes that relevance into a compelling narrative angle.
Like David Beebe says, you want to get your audience to the point where they say “yes, I know this was an ad but now you got my attention. What else you got?”