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From storytelling to disruptive content

Blog: Agency

10/26/2016
— Jennifer Granston Foster 

Gone are the days of traditional storytelling. In the new media environment, mainstream, social, experiential, owned and paid media all have a seat at the table. And consumers of news and information have the power to select which on-ramp to use to access the content they value — on their own terms.

People’s tremendous freedom of choice determines which content gets seen — and what gets skipped — presenting new challenges for brands. Technological transformation is continuing to change the way content is consumed, putting our vast media ecosystem in a constant state of flux.

The challenge for brands is to work across this fast-changing media landscape to drive mutually beneficial outcomes for themselves, their customers and other stakeholders. Simply put, they must master what we call Stories in Motion.

Stories in motion are the result of brands creating real-time, living narratives and then amplifying them across the entire media ecosystem. Often, these narratives are hyper-personal or local. Increasingly they are co-created, with customers and other stakeholders playing a part in a company’s storytelling efforts. And stories in motion are always immersive, engaging and highly relevant.

It’s still your message. It’s just a matter of turbocharging it with consumer value. Check out the video below to learn how leading brands are “disintermediating” distribution channels and content that aren’t adding value to the company-customer relationship:

 

At WE Communications, we believe consumers value content that delivers a combination of meaningful brand and product information, entertainment, and social good:

  •          Brand and product value – Content that engages consumers with, or educates them about, a product
  •          Entertainment value – Content such as music or videos or anything with a story arc that’s immersive, engaging, enjoyable and ideally even downright unmissable
  •          Social value – Content that transcends the product and brand to promote social good

By harnessing this value, leading brands are inspiring their customers, while giving themselves a competitive advantage. For example, Ben & Jerry’s added powerful product and brand value by implementing QR codes to share nutrition and ingredient information with customers. Marriott embraced entertainment value by producing a short set of feature films that put the hotel chain at the center of travelers’ experiences. And Starbucks added social value with its web miniseries, “Upstanders,” which promoted compassion, citizenship and civility during a time of high social tensions in the U.S.

These are powerful examples of how companies can increase loyalty by delivering the content consumers want. The most successful brands consider all three of these types of value with each storytelling opportunity, and deliver on at least two of the three in every piece of content.

Once that content is created, the next step is putting it into motion. And it’s no longer enough to place it just on your own channel, such as your website or blog. To break through the noise, you must use several channels at once — including social media outlets, links to owned channels, and earned and paid media placements.

When content does all this, delivering more than one kind of value while being successfully amplified across multiple channels, the result is a story in motion. Watch the video below to learn how leading brands are making the switch from traditional storytelling to disruptive content:

 

At WE Communications, we help brands master the art of stories in motion. We can help you transform your narrative into engaging and immersive content that disrupts your industry. And we can work with you to develop a multi-channel strategy to amplify your content across the entire media ecosystem. To learn more, please email us at talktowe@we-worldwide.com.

 

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Global COO, WE Communications