Storytelling is the way forward in brand marketing and with good reason. Consumers are demanding it. Gone are the days of 30-second TV ads featuring spotless kitchens with picture-perfect models. Today, authenticity rules, warts and all. Luckily, brands can leverage enhanced product attributes, food labels and certifications to provide a credible basis for a genuine brand story that resonates with consumers.
This “real life” persona pays back:
- Higher product valuation – 20x higher – for brands with a successful story behind them. (1)
- Increase in brand authenticity through shared stories. 92% trust their peers over an advertisement.
It’s a new advertising world where real consumers tell real stories about their experiences with products and solutions. The effect is a shift in both the content of what consumers see and the delivery mechanisms.
Brands that engage with their customers win.
Those doing it best are incorporating real customer reviews, building brand authenticity.
Burt’s Bees®is one brand doing it right.
Burt’s Bees started with two activist-oriented founders who agreed early on that “planet” and “people” were two of the guiding principles of the company. The brand regularly posts stories on their “Bring Back the Bees” campaign which contributes profits back to saving bees. This resonates with consumers as it highlights a real company putting real money behind its talk – taking care of the planet while creating cleaner products that take care of people too. Their customers attest to the mission, on Facebook, Instagram and other social media venues ultimately driving believability and thereby sales.
Huggies Diapers®combines research and storytelling.
Huggies Diapers followed suit by conducting research into the link between hugging and babies’ growth patterns and found that babies with skin-to-skin contact and those who received more hugs during developmental years fared better in health including sleep, weight, growth and other factors. They have since crafted stories and articles around the importance of hugging for their customers. They offer a “Made By You” diaper that uses a customizable design, so moms can choose the right “look” for their baby. Huggies incorporated real moms on their social media campaigns using the product.
Consumer preferences on delivery medium.
As for delivery, video is the preferred medium, and growing at double-digit rates. Consumers decipher images 60,000 times faster than text, and in this age of immediacy, makes all the difference in keeping customers engaged. Short snippets of 15-30 seconds that capture the essence of the story are best, but even these are shortening and the newest research, stemming from Facebook, indicates that 6-7 seconds is the ideal amount of time to obtain the best brand metrics. (2)
Include food label certificates for a stronger story
So how’s a brand to differentiate itself in 6 seconds? First, create that attention-grabber. This is where one-liners or attributes can assist. A single word or line on a shelf tag or social site needs to get a consumer to click through for more information and a longer video. A company could use their Carbon Neutral Certification to support their commitment to clean production processes, which is of importance to today’s Millennial shoppers. Then, a quick-link video can show how this boosts employee morale, improves product costs and helps people and the planet.
But, what if your label can’t show all your certificates?
Products may have more certificates then can fit on their label, so a consumer may fail to purchase if they don’t see the attribute they’re seeking on the label.
Luckily, it’s possible to digitize product information that goes beyond just that which appears on the label. Brands can provide comprehensive, complete product information AND enhance it with the lifestyle guidance customers need. Customers are willing to share their excitement and experiences with your product, but it’s up to you to supply clear information about your product attributes.
For more information on how Science meets Machine Learning with wellnessMaster, view this Fact Sheet.