For a while now brands have sought to create stories of who they are to establish an emotional attachment with their customers. Brands began creating a narrative and conveying it across multiple channels to persuade consumers that they were built on specific personalities that could add meaning to their lives. However, with some users, specifically generation Z, storytelling is not such an effective way of bolstering your brand’s appeal. Generation Z value a brand’s social good over its heritage and status. For them what a brand does rather than what it says, it’s essential. That’s where story living comes in.
What is story living?
Story living, unlike storytelling, is all about action. It’s about brands performing specific activities and demonstrating how they express their views out in the world. This approach is so much more effective than simple storytelling, which can often be perceived as empty rhetoric. Through story living, brands encourage positive behaviour, demonstrate how to effect change and display affirmative action.
Be the change you want to see
According to recent research, 87% of US consumers will purchase a product because a company advocates an issue they care about. By demonstrating your commitment to particular causes, you align yourself more strongly with your target consumer set. It is no use talking; you must do the things you say you believe in. An excellent example is Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. They have for years maintained that they are a force for good in the world and that they never forgot their humble, hippie beginnings. In recent years they have shown that they are to not forgetting their roots by immersing themselves in environmental causes, such as funding energy efficient manufacturing facilities.
Involve consumers don’t just talk at them
Another key reason that story living is so much more effective than storytelling is that it involves consumers; it doesn’t just bombard them with messaging. Consumers are message-fatigued. They are burnt out by the amount of marketing and advertising messaging they receive. Rather than keep communication one-sided, story living is about opening up a dialogue.
Create valuable experiences
The final component of story living is experiential marketing, where you allow your consumers to immerse themselves in your brand fully. The lessons you create are all about leaving the consumer with a positive feeling rather than promoting a specific message. As a brand, it is not just about having a clear and compelling story to tell. To convince your consumers that you are who you say you are, you must live your narrative and invite consumers to join in along the way.
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