Brands have become media, producing content in multiple formats. However, they have a new challenge to take up: that of no longer knowing how to tell stories but rather of succeeding in telling their own story and even bringing it to life with consumers.
Tell yourself to cultivate singularity
Adrien Rivierre, the specialist in public speaking and storytelling, introduces his new book “The man is a storyteller” as follows: “We are all storytellers. [.. .] The narrative experience is daily: telling the story of one’s greatest joys and pure misadventures to those close to them, watching breathtaking television series, devouring detective novels […] or sharing one’s whole life, oh how much storytelling on social networks “. It thus recalls the natural tendency of everyone to tell stories, real or fictitious and that brands, in their humanization approach, have appropriated: retrospective book, manifesto, advertising speeches etc. However, many of them have gradually lost their authenticity, by dint of wanting to communicate on stories and content that are too perfect, which do not necessarily match reality. The risk is then to fall into the trap: “telling stories”, which harms the brand image and generates a loss of confidence among consumers.“The objective for brands is to return to more simplicity and authenticity in order to tell their story in an honest and transparent way. They must move towards a discourse that is situated in the present time: the actions are taken, the current doubts. , the questions … rather than playing the announcement effect on projects that are too distant “, explains Lucas Duquenne, strategic planner within the 1969 agency, specializing in digital and editorial communication. This is the position claimed by the eco-responsible brand Veja, which does not wish to be over-communication but rather on communication through actions, with for example recently the opening of a store in Bordeaux, a real concept. hybrid awning repair and recycling of the brand’s sneakers. She also put online, in April 2019, a film, “The Story of Veja”, which traces the genesis of the brand, from the observation of production methods in the fashion sector to the commitments made throughout the production chain. , from sourcing, to manufacturing and distribution. “Eco-responsibility must, however, be a reality for the company and not a final attempt at green-washing. To go further, it even represents a pre-requisite that no longer allows brands to stand out in the face of a discourse. which tends to standardize, however, warns Lionel Curt, Founder of AnimeSprout.
From telling your story to offering your services
“The quest for brands has shifted from that of Love Brand to that of Act Brand. They are now called upon to act, both to prove themselves and to engage their community”, observes Virginie Lubot, Deputy Executive Director of Prisma Media Solutions. The brand-customer relationship is evolving, moving from a transactional relationship to a more service-based approach, where the brand becomes useful or entertains, thanks to the creation of online or physical events: “The important thing is to create micro-experiences memorable “, confirms Lionel Curt. Before the health crisis linked to Covid-19, the trend was for events organized in stores: aperitifs-promotions, ephemeral shops transformed into real places of life etc. During confinement, it is a new way of meeting that has emerged between brands and their community, mainly on social networks, thanks to very immersive live video formats: “The confinement will have had the consequence of disrupting narrative forms storyliving, by digitizing meetings and allowing a definite creative rebound “, continues Virginie Lubot. Social platforms TikTok and Instagram have been very successful: “On Instagram, thanks to the different Live, Stories and Reels formats, users have immediate access to ‘snackable’ content, which seduces with its authenticity and spontaneity. Brands that appropriate these formats can then share a real moment of living with their community “, explains Julie Pellet, Instagram Development Manager. For example, we can cite the committed fashion brand MisterK, which offered live discussions with philosophers and therapists during the confinement, or even the Decathlon or Undiz brands, which mobilized sports coaches on their Instagram account. Finally, another lever activated by the brands: that of audio and in particular podcasts: “The podcast is a very intimate and sensory format because we speak to the ear of the listeners. It is a medium which is also alive because the episodes often evoke particular moments of life (adolescence, motherhood, a changing work, etc.), to people who are themselves doing something at the same time as they are listening to the podcast: running, cooking, being in the transport”, analyzes Melanie Vazeux, Sales Director at New Listenings.
What if brand content was only part of story living?
The notion of story living ( Kissanime ) ultimately questions the brand on its quest for meaning. : “Too often advertisers are focused on the operational and the challenge of declining in 360 ° different formats, at the risk that some are not really consistent with the positioning or the values of the brand. The objective would be that the brands can take the time to review their raison d’être so that all the content is then declined in a natural way “, hopes Guillaume Pommier, Deputy Director of Social and Stories, before continuing ” This is what then allows a brand to become an element of Pop Culture, like brands like Schweppes, with the Villa Schweppes “.On the other hand, living experiences with his community also implies for the advertisers that they adopt a certain letting go in order to see how their customers and fans live the brand and appropriate it, this is the famous User Generated. Happy! “Storyliving is therefore ultimately the opportunity for brands to be part of a long-term relational approach, where the formats created are longer but rarer, and where they give their communities time to respond. in turn by creating content, “ concludes