The more that brands focus on self promotion and sales pitches, the less “human” it becomes to consumers. Consumers today seek meaning in everything that they do, and that includes deciding who to do business with. The human voice behind the brand, that uses storytelling and tone to illustrate what the organization stands for, is essential for bridging the meaning gap between brands and consumers. The move toward more personal interaction with brands means that there’s a widening gap between consumers that seek this interaction and the brands that lack this human touch.
Below is an excerpt from Sparxoo’s “2016 Digital Marketing Trends: Your Guide to Be Badass” that explains why brands tend to miss the connection between utility and sincere content:
Today, all useful content is not created equal. Where brands truly win is by bridging what we call, the meaning gap. We believe content with context provides useful content with meaning. The meaning gap is the area that most brands miss because they lead with utility. Usefulness is still important, but it is the emotional connection where you tell your readers why it matters to them is where the true value is.
2016 is the year for connecting with audiences on a deeper level and focusing less on mindless consumerism. Developing this connection can be done through the art of brand storytelling, which conveys brand messages in a way that truly resonates with the audience. Here’s how to use storytelling to perfect brand messaging and bridge the meaning gap:
Master the Art of Effective Storytelling
Storytelling has been the cornerstone of human connection since its innovation. The sharing of personal anecdotes is what draws people closer together and helps us to better understand each other, as well as ourselves. Incorporating this iconic exchange into your company’s marketing model expresses an authenticity through transparency that allows people to not only remember your company, but identify with its values. In a world with boundless options, having a unique and profound brand story is what will help brands stand out among the clutter.
Do Less, Say More
In terms of brand development, the marketing world has become much more sophisticated. Long gone are the days of, “get 25 percent off your first purchase if you call now!” and other cheap quips. We are in an age in which consumers and society demand a more well-developed understanding of the companies they are investing in. By switching the focus from company utility to company vision and beliefs, you convey a message much more meaningful and priceless. Generate this genuine connection with lifestyle pieces of content rather than hard-selling ads that lack human emotion. Brand stories will help get your point across in a way that is both elegant and non-invasive.
Relate to Your Audience
To communicate a message more effectively, it’s essential to find common ground with the audience. Ask yourself why you are in business, what your purpose is and what these goals communicate as per your company values. An audience may not know much about certain technologies or different specialized services, but what they will understand is the human component that lies underneath. By reaching out to the audience and providing a sincere means for bridging the gap, people will feel more confident in investing with your company.
Keep Your Brand Story Static
The rules with traditional narratives apply to brand initiatives as well – keep the brand story enticing. Engage with customers and clients at all times and make an effort to exceed expectations for the values you’ve set. A life insurance company, for example, that believes in the value of fruitful relationships and genuine hospitality, should let those beliefs permeate through excellent customer service and an inviting company nature. The goal is not only to evoke emotion, but to to create an entire storytelling experience for your audience and be there for the whole journey.
Every company has a story. At Sparxoo, we believe in the beauty of concise, meaningful brand strategy that sticks. Rather than forge meaning for our clients, we build their business based on true, authentic, company aspiration. Our final piece of advice? Be bold. Be disruptive. To learn more why we think brand story will be important this year, download our guide, “2016 Digital Marketing Trends: Your Guide to Be Badass.”