Storydoing. Beyond storytelling
published on 13.04.23
There is a term known as digital overload, and it is something we all suffer from on a daily basis. It refers to the overwhelming amount of information, advertising and communication that we receive online (e.g. from social media). In other words, we have so much content at our fingertips that it is difficult for us to process, analyse or enjoy, and this excessive volume can even cause us stress and anxiety. It is also not easy for brands to stand out in this crowded environment. As a result, marketing departments and advertising agencies are looking to innovate, implementing new techniques that are striking, capture more leads and make themselves seen and heard through a better customer experience, so they are able to shine among so much saturation.
FROM STORYTELLING TO STORYDOING
For those of us who love to tell or be told a good story about a brand, storytelling is great. In the same way that stories and fables have been able to pass on values from generation to generation, this technique is about communicating the values of a company, brand or product by turning them into a story in a way that is natural, implicit and connects with its target audience.
However, as the years have passed, storytelling does not seem to be working as well as it once did. Digital overload (information oversupply and saturation online) is to blame. It acts as a barrier and makes it very difficult to communicate, to penetrate, and for stories alone to reach people simply because they want to hear them. To get over this hurdle, we must try to go beyond. Having realised that users are tired of hearing stories, the decision has been made to go one step further: to make them experience these stories. This is the root of the concept known as storydoing, which combines reality and action through the lived experiences of a brand, to put the customers at the heart of the story. A technique that generates content during the process of creating and building brands, based on constructing moments that are perceived as tangible value.
Storydoing is therefore the leap or the next step for storytelling. The interesting part is that once the story has been told and listened to by the target audience, the next level can be reached: action. And it is here, for the first time, that consumers take on the leading role for a brand that seeks engagement, notoriety and loyalty.
EXAMPLE: BIC. What if you can pay with creativity?
A GOOD STORY IS EXPERIENCED
Some analysts may believe that storydoing is an alternative with which to address the loss of effectiveness in the current digital environment. However, it is worth noting that this technique invites companies to first reflect on their meaning and their contribution to society; to review their story, their products, their way of communicating and, perhaps most importantly, to clarify their purpose. This internal analysis means that brands which communicate and have subsequently communicated with storydoing attract both early adopters (the first consumers to try a product or service) and laggards (the last customers to approach the brand), thanks to proper implementation and the effectiveness of this technique. In this way, storydoing allows brands to become highly valued, due to their engagement, and as a result they perform excellently in terms of their business. And all this is because a story that is experienced is remembered much more than a story that is told.
Characteristics of storydoing:
- Commitment to action.
- It transforms a brand’s story into the experience of the consumer.
- The target audience helps to construct the story and participates in it.
- The story is not fiction. It takes place in the here and now.
- The customer experience defines the brand.
- It can encourage the creation of new products/services.
EXAMPLE: DOVE. Choose beautiful
A brand must be memorable, it must know what it represents and the added value it contributes to society. In terms of marketing and communication, having a good story to tell and putting your customers at the centre helps to create a good campaign. That is why storydoing works so well, because it is story and action; and it’s at the forefront of the company’s identity, its raison d’être, its corporate culture, its growth and its innovation.
In summary, as we have seen, this technique has multiple benefits: the brand image is enhanced; it differentiates the company from the competition; it increases the credibility of products/services because the target market tests them; it generates a greater return and high engagement ratios; it builds loyalty, provides feedback and creates a community; it attracts new customers through recommendations; and all of this ultimately results in a boost to the company’s revenue.
It is true that the most interesting aspect of this technique is that it creates a favourable environment where the consumers are part of the story and perceive the company’s values. As a result, through this experience, the product becomes a meaningful part of their day-to-day lives. However, in my opinion, the idea that storydoing is replacing storytelling is misguided. I believe that both narrative communication techniques play a role in building a brand and act as a bridge to reach more customers. Using both enables a brand to grow and position itself in consumers’ minds in an era that is as overloaded with digital content as the one in which we are living.
EXAMPLE: RED BULL. Space jump
Author: Joan Margarit, Marketing and Communication Analyst
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