Every entity has a story.
There are many methods used by companies to create the perfect story to grab investor, customer and stakeholder interest – but they have to start from somewhere. In the case of many communications strategies, to begin, we must start at the end. Working backwards allows you to determine who should be told about your company, before considering how you want the brand to be perceived.
Better understanding of a brand’s existence is incredibly important
Understanding the target audience and how they view your brand is at the core of any narrative building. In essence, every successful product is created as a solution to a fundamental problem in today’s world – as storytellers we must make sure we have an easy and quick explanation of how this product solves the problem.
Focus on the building blocks of the brand, such as tone of voice, register, and key messages. From this you can start assembling a story that resonates within the company and its target audience. The story should not only be centered around the product itself, but rather on the human aspect – the people involved in inventing the product, those it will help and other interested parties. People buy from people – investors invest in people.
Once you have these fundamental components, it becomes much easier to concentrate the strategy, while allowing you flexibility. Narratives constantly change, therefore storytellers must be ready to adapt to the situations that present themselves.
The explosion of digital media has created an entirely new strategic environment. Awareness or behavior change campaigns, which could previously be meticulously planned over years, can now have an immediate impact. Brand perception can flip overnight due to a viral reel or social media post. Influencers can make a simple video without any expertise and their followers’ minds can change in an instant. Constant switching happens more frequently and quickly, which means flexibility is more important than ever before.
Bridging the Gap
Stories bridge the gap between what a company wants to say as a brand and what their audience needs to hear. Storytelling can both promote interest in the brand and project an emotional connection with stakeholders. If people care about the issue being solved by the product, they will want to be aware of the solution’s existence, how it came to exist and why.
And so to craft the story, we should be asking and answering these questions. Who decided to make it? How did they come up with the idea? How will it help me and what is its value? Why should they care about the product if it provides no value. If not enough people care about the brand, product or service, it is doomed to fail.
Authenticity can have a massive impact on brand perception
Whether a global conglomerate or local small business, corporation or individual, authenticity is a vital element of storytelling. Both investors and customers base their judgements and make decisions based on interaction and exposure. We are each exposed to hundreds or people, products and places every day, so decisions must be made – with whom will we engage?
Being authentic, as a brand, makes you one of those who we can relate to, and therefore are more likely trusted. If we, the potential target audience, believe that the person, brand and story are genuine, we are more likely to put our trust in them, part with our hard earned money and give them our much needed loyalty.
Being caught or perceived as manipulative or deceptive can result in damaging effects to a brand’s reputation. The impact can in turn affect multiple elements from stock prices, customer base, sales revenue and employment turnover to name a few. Being genuine is a critical aspect of building a reliable authentic brand, people more often than not see through lies.
Digital real estate should be carefully considered
So once the story has been decided upon, how is the information disseminated? It’s important to understand that this applies both on- and offline. Those core building blocks of tone of voice, register and key messaging should remain consistent across the company – from a discussion with members of the board and customer service inquiries, to social media or press interviews. Everyone from the CEO to the junior sales exec should be on the same page.
When it comes to digital strategy, first establishing and then maintaining a narrative online is fundamental – and it’s all about digital real estate. Brands need to exist on platforms where they can engage with their target audience, and display the value they provide. It’s vital to take charge of all that important digital real estate on the first few pages of Google and ensure as much as possible is taken up with controlled assets – e.g. social media profiles, company websites, blogs. From there, a creative strategy is built to ensure the non-controlled links are positive and relay the narrative you have worked so hard to build.
Percepto is a team of storytellers
Percepto helps create stories and narratives for our clients for them to have the best possible chance of succeeding. Our team of experts have experience in multiple communications and marketing disciplines, which are brought together to create bespoke strategies. The story of your company can make or break your brand – take time, prepare, get it right. Let the brand say what it really wants to say.
Often, companies leave their marketing strategy until the last minute, which should be avoided at all costs. Give yourself time, let yourself build strategy and make sure to keep it consistent, genuine and relatable.