Stories have always been vehicles via which we communicate and perceive truth. But more than ever before, stories are taking center stage in the consumer marketplace, enabling brands to forge meaningful, lasting connections with generations of customers.
One of the key challenges for today's marketers is the creation and delivery of cross-channel brand stories. Consumers no longer access content via a single channel. They use a range of personal technologies to connect with the brands and retailers that are important to them—and they expect to be "wowed" every time, regardless of the channel they use to access the brand.
So, for growth-minded retailers and consumer brands, omni-channel success hinges on the ability to deliver cross-channel brand stories that are engaging, memorable, and consistent.
The Art and Science of Cross-Channel Brand Stories
Deployment strategy is only one aspect of effective cross-channel brand storytelling. The most successful brand stories blend art and science to create highly engaging messages that reach more audiences, across an extremely diverse range of touch points. Ideally, the stories being told will be shared by large numbers of consumers and ultimately exhibit viral qualities across multiple channels.
The art of brand stories is the ability to craft relevant and impactful content—encapsulating brand culture while connecting with the needs and preferences of core audiences. Whether content is being generated for the company's digital catalog or for some other multichannel purpose, the creative process focuses on deliverables that hit home and invite audiences to deepen their relationship with the brand.
However, science is often the driving force behind the art of brand storytelling. The creation of impactful brand messages begins with the use of analytics to identify core audiences and discern their cross-channel behaviors. Customer and user behavior shape the story by informing creatives' quest to produce meaningful content and by helping them perfect the story across all channels.
The bottom line is that cross-channel brand stories require both art (creative development) and science (cross-channel analytics) to be successful. The art is driven by the idea, while the science inspires the art by aligning messages with target audiences and prevailing behaviors in the omni-channel marketplace.