Posts Tagged ‘brand stories’

There’s a great article published today by Ad Age about the rise of long form ads. These are short films, music videos and the like that feature brands within the context of a larger story. Rupal Parekh argues that it is the future of brand engagement and that 30 and 60 second spots are no longer where brand love is going to be created (were they ever, really?). And companies are certainly starting to see results to prove that point. Ms. Walnum of Oliver Peoples had this to say about their branded short film series:

“The traffic to our site has doubled each of the last three years and we attribute this in part to the demand for our short films. More importantly to us, the time a potential consumer is spending on the site continues to go up, which we believe leads to a better and deeper brand experience, and of course an increase to our e-commerce sales.”

As we shift to more and more longer form ads or perhaps more appropriately titled ‘branded entertainment,’ one thing will be clear: quality storytelling will become the in-demand method by which to engage customers with your brand.

Read Rupal’s AdAge article here:

http://adage.com/madisonandvine/article?article_id=143603

See an example of one of the Oliver Peoples short films starring Zooey Deschanel here:

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There’s a new name association game in town that can tell us a whole lot with a little (one word actually). It’s called Brand Tags and you can play the game yourself at http://www.brandtags.net.

The concept here is that the site flashes up a well-known global brand and participants type in the one word that comes to mind when faced with that logo/brand name. There have been 1.7 million brand tags and counting. Once you’ve personally tagged five brands, the real fun begins as you are able to scroll through those 1.7 tags by brand name. Enlightening fodder indeed.

So what do all of these brand tags mean for brand story? They mean that we can and should find brand story themes by listening to our customers.

Let’s take 3M as a case study. If you scroll through 3M’s tags, you’ll notice many words that describe customer perception of 3M – paper, post-it, technology are among the most tagged. But what’s the singularly most tagged word of all for the 3M brand? INNOVATION. Now that sounds like a compelling theme to inform a brand story. And even more importantly than the fact that it’s a compelling theme from which to begin weaving a story is that it came directly from customers of 3M. Which brings us to another major guiding principle of brand storytelling:

The best way to create a truly authentic brand story is by inviting your customers to narrate your story with you.

Your customers’ perceptions and experiences already contribute to the living and evolving story of your brand. And actually, your customers will keep telling stories about your brand whether you invite them to or not. So why not continue to encourage their voices and let those honest and authentic customer experiences guide the themes of your brand stories?

And once you’ve begun (or continue to) identify and refine those core customer experience themes or “brand tags,” the real fun begins: you’ll have some storytelling to do.