Guest blog written by Davies Tanner
Davies Tanner is an independent specialist PR agency dedicated to delivering tailor made, engaging and powerful brand communication strategies and campaigns for the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. As specialists in launching and repositioning venues, hotels and destinations, we have strong media contacts and extensive influencer relationships, and are proud to work with some of the most respected, trusted and recognised hotel, venue, restaurant, destination, spa and golf brands across the UK, Europe and Asia Pacific regions. To find out more, visit daviestanner.com.
The fragmentation of media and the rise of social media and mobile technology have shifted the way people consume information, as well as their buying decision-making. With such a variety of platforms and types of content at our fingertips, we are spoilt for choice and can now be extremely selective in what, when and how we choose to consume content.
While we listen to the radio, watch TV or scroll through our social media feeds, brands try to interrupt us to tell us why they’re better than anyone else and ask us to do things for them. But we often ignore emails and banner ads and skip sponsored posts because brands are perceived as ‘bothering’ or interrupting us, instead of connecting and trying to build relationships.
Relationships are the lifeblood of brands. This has allowed for techniques such as brand storytelling to emerge.
Brand storytelling is the use of authentic, emotional stories to create more personal connections with audiences with the aim of driving business growth and fostering customer loyalty. It represents a new era of marketing communications where content is integrated across a variety of media channels and marketing activities, including social media, digital marketing, content marketing, SEO (search engine optimisation), PR (public relations), advertising, video, events and sales collateral.
The first step to brand storytelling is connecting with people and inviting them in to your ‘story’. Some of the most adept at doing this are not-for-profit organisations; Cancer Research fights to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured; The Wildlife Trusts believe people need nature, but nature also needs people. These are the organisations we often invest our money in without even expecting anything in return. Thriving brands believe they serve a greater cause, other than market domination and profitability, resulting in audiences feeling helped as opposed to sold to, which in turn drives brand loyalty.
The second step to brand storytelling is, rather than shouting about your offerings and who these are for, which many competitors can match or even surpass, tell your audience the story behind your offer. Harley Davidson believes freedom is exhilarating so they create motorcycles that give people freedom and excitement in their lives, messaging which the company injects in every marketing and PR activity. Think of what the ‘moral’ of your story is and position your products and services as the means to achieve your end goal in your story.
The third step, and one that brands struggle with the most, is positioning your ‘why’ - effectively your core mission, to fit what sometimes is a very fragmented audience formed of people from different demographics and reigns of life. The key with brand storytelling is finding the shared beliefs across your entire audience and using them to create content that connects with them on an emotional level, as opposed to rationally.
You can have the most important message in the world, however, if you tell it in a linear, traditional way, it will never make a meaningful, long-lasting impression. Brand storytelling has the power to invoke strong emotional responses from customers. People feeling part of a brand’s narrative are more likely to open emails, visit your venue’s website, invest and even speak highly about the brand, becoming ambassadors who spread your message free of charge. And that is the ultimate goal every venue should strive for in order to stand out and capture attention. If your venue can achieve this, its brand, message and mission will persevere and make a long-lasting impact in the world.
To discover how your venue can appeal to broader business and influence your target audience’s perceptions through the art of storytelling, visit daviestanner.com.
Co-founder of Hire Space. Making event planning a joy with the UK’s leading live venue marketplace.