Brands today understand the impact of powerful storytelling and as a way to resonate with their target audience and create an authentic, emotional bond.
In an increasingly saturated market, brand stories are an excellent way to stand out and make your mark. Many popular US brands rely on data-driven storytelling to reach out to their customers and with the aim of creating an overall positive experience.
Take for example Google’s ‘Year in Search’ videos for 2021 which highlighted the year’s most searched phrase- ‘how to heal?’ Instead of simply stating facts, Google presented an emotional and encouraging account of true stories. Such data-driven storytelling resonates with the audience and brings popularity to the brand.
Reinventing brands through data-driven storytelling
In the digital age, customers are more aware of branding and expect transparency from the business. Communication is the key here as just using a catchy campaign slogan no longer does the trick if it’s not also bringing brand credibility.
By understanding your customer’s demand and being empathetic to their needs, a brand can add value to its product or service. While data will bring you vast sets of information, it has to be used effectively to bring the desired result.
This requires an in-depth study of your target audience to understand their requirements and the channels that they are most likely to use. By making marketing more human-centric, brands can completely reinvent themselves.
American multinational manufacturer, Whirlpool is a fine example of brand storytelling using data. On finding that 4,000 American students dropout of school each day because they can’t afford clean clothes, the brand launched the Care Counts programme where washers and dryers were made available at school.
This initiative boosted not only improved attendance rates by 89%, it also got Whirlpool more credibility along with the 2017 Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Creative Data Collection and Research Award.
Creating a data-backed brand narrative
Playing around with facts to create an excellent story is central to data-driven storytelling. Start with finding relevant data from multiple resources and then focus on getting a holistic understanding of the target audience.
A bird’s eye view will give you sufficient information to create a story that has a strong theme and is impactful. Remember that your message has to be clear and meaningful otherwise it won’t stand out from other digital campaigns. Google being a globally popular search engine chose a theme that is universally applicable while Whirlpool targeted a specific demographic and their problems.
The compelling narrative of the brand story has to be backed by credible data and should be put across a channel that brings maximum reach. Since visuals are more enticing, many brands prefer using videos for their content. If your audience prefers reading articles, then you can choose a blog post and include other visuals like infographics or statics to create brand stories.
Zillow, an American online real-estate marketplace has optimised data to create brand stories through blog posts. Instead of drafting a redundant article that didn’t resonate with their brand, Zillow created quirky content that attracts customers and boosts business as well. So, instead of the best homes to buy they give you cities with the most affordable homes for millennials or the best cities for trick or treating.
Brand Storytelling that made an impact
Data can boost your business and make your brand stand out amongst competitors, only if it is used wisely and creatively. Some top US brands have aced data-driven storytelling, made a tremendous impact and serve as a great example for others.
Airbnb: The marketing strategy for Airbnb has always revolved around storytelling. The brand studied its audience and creatively used data to revolutionise hospitality. Instead of selling travel packages, they sold travel experience with customers as the central figure. Airbnb focuses on engaging storytelling where travellers who stay in their rentals share their experiences through posts and pictures. These stories resonate with other customers and bring the brand more business.
Coca-Cola: Coca-Cola has always been a leader at impressive marketing and has integrated brand storytelling into its strategy. During the pandemic, the brand used data to put together a video focusing on heroes who helped humanity during this time. The video carried a strong emotional message focusing on uniting and uplifting the human race. The brand not only understood the sensitivity of the situation but also created an impressive data-driven story to uplift people.
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Data-driven marketing is highly advantageous as it gives customers a personalised experience and boosts brand's reachability. It is instrumental in making an effective strategy as data gives a real-time understanding of the market and customer behaviour. Data helps a business find prospective customers and also brings value to the brand.
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