When trying to reach your customer base, is your brand awareness highly dependent on social media platforms and on online marketing at large?
You can probably relate to the jam-packed online audience that is drowning the select people who are actually your potential customers. How can you get your brand to resonate with our customers without overdoing the volume factor? You want to be heard on all channels, all the time, but without shouting.
More than a Taste
The numbers (and Entrepeneur) say it all:
- Every 60 seconds, users upload 100 hours of video to YouTube.
- Every 24 hours, more than 4.75 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook.
- Every day, 500 million new tweets are brought into the world.
So among this social media smorgasbord, how can you give your users even the tiniest taste?
But you don’t just want to give our users a taste of awareness. You want to engage them, build a long term relationship with them, and let them feel like they’re part of our experience, and you’re part of theirs. Now the question is: how?
Well, it’s definitely possible. Starbucks, for example, seems to have mastered their brand awareness. MarketingProfs tells us that on Twitter alone, Starbucks is the fourth-most-engaging brand.
I’ve gathered 6 case studies that each illustrate the storytelling experience that you can share with your customers, and Starbucks is one of them.
The Power of Storytelling
Storytelling uses the human-to-human aspects of your brand to connect with customers on a personal level. This means developing your brand’s powerful stories and experiences to be shared with customers, letting them join your brand’s experiences, rather than just observing them as a (passive) onlooker.
By engaging users in your story, the worth of your brand’s awareness comes to life — and now inadvertently builds yours and your customer’s shared experience.
He isn’t just aware of your brand and its virtues, he is living your story, and can even contribute ideas towards building your product.
Another advantage to building your brand awareness through storytelling is the long term relationship factor. Once your customer has shared an experience with you, he is not only aware of your brand while you present it to him, his experience resonates with him personally, and is in the back of his mind from then on.
Getting Your Social Media Voice Heard
Once you’ve recognized the value in achieving brand awareness through storytelling, you’re still faced with challenges. Your story doesn’t only need to captivate a user and create a customized brand experience, our story needs to appeal to spectators over an endless amount of brands — all of whom are telling their story loud and clear in the social media landscape. You know your own story is worth the customer’s while, but how can you be heard among the crowds?
KISSmetrics tells us that storytelling narrative created brand awareness when it your company’s story is relevant, personalized, and easily digestible.
But what exactly should they be digesting? Simple: your uniqueness and your personality. By virtue of uniqueness, nobody can tell you or your brand how to be unique. All you can do is embrace your brand’s unique personality, and let it
Customer Engagement Gold Stars
That being said, what you can do is take a look at some All-Star examples of unique storytelling examples that are not only full of personality, but soared through social media channels with sky high user engagement rates. How’s that for brand awareness?
A1 Steak Sauce Facebook Campaign
A1 Steak Sauce (on behalf of Kraft foods) won the Facebook Silver Award in 2015 for their “New Friend Request” Facebook Campaign. Stating their campaign objectives as being “Awareness, Sales, Brand Repositioning” — Kraft proposed their steak sauce to buyers in the relationship perspective — and communicated this bond through storytelling.
With customer engagement as the baseline, the sauce became an experience that people could relate to based on the Facebook friending experience. They connected with the product as far more than just a condiment.
The A1 Facebook scenario was a simulation of the customer’s daily life experiences, resonating as a brand that the customer was not only aware of, but identified with, and shared an experience with, too.
Oreo’s Roojoom Recipe Book
Oreo utilized Roojoom’s storytelling platform to create an apparatus for users to share their favorite Oreo based recipes. The Roojoom package serves as an organized display for Oreo fans to gain insight from food bloggers recipes published across the web.
By choosing Roojoom as their customer engagement tool, Oreo was able to guide customers through all forms of Oreo related content. Even though the content was user-generated, they keep their reader focused within a branded experience — for an average of 9+ minutes per session.
As marketers fight for audiences’ attention, capturing 9 minutes at a time is a great boost in brand awareness. What can you learn from Oreo’s storytelling example?
Oreo embraced influencer engagement by showing appreciation for customer loyalty — building their recipe book with recipes from their most influential customers, showing their appreciation of their customers using the Oreo product on the personal level, as well as their feedback.
When reading the Oreo recipe book, customers are motivated to use the Oreo recipes by learning of the positive experience of others. They see potential to be valued and appreciated, within a community of recipe sharing and personal storytelling.
Chipotle’s ‘Scarecrow’ Game App
Chipotle created “Scarecrow” a smartphone gaming app where the player’s mission is to “bring real food back to the people”. With 400,000 app downloads, this game boosted Chipotle’s brand awareness by promoting their mission statement and demonstrating their company’s values.
The brand awareness in this game is entirely experiential. Customer engagement becomes identical to customer experience — and Chipotle’s ‘real food’ principle is fully internalized in a fun and challenging setting. The player not only commits himself to Chipotle’s mission statement, he embraces it as a challenge to overcome.
By choosing to build brand awareness in the gaming app infrastructure, Chipotle tells their customers that their brand is something they can carry with them in their personal phone, to engage with at all times. The glory of an app is that it’s always entirely accessible to the user, and at his utmost disposal and convenience.
Starbucks’s Instagram Account
Instagram has become a go-to space for brand awareness, and content marketing at large. And Starbucks? Well it’s hard to find somebody who hasn’t heard of it. Starbucks’s Instagram account is considered the 2nd most popular account on Instagram. To date, they have 4.9 followers — sounds like a handful of people are aware of their brand!
What’s the recipe behind this fame?
Starbucks’s forte on Instagram is photo submission, rather than one-way sharing with its viewers. By using Instagram as a brand awareness vehicle, Starbucks fosters the photo sharing space into a community of loyal (Starbucks) coffee drinkers. Customers connect both to each other and to the brand through storytelling via personal imagery.
By posting photos of personalized coffee with a worldwide community of like-minded members, customers connect to Starbucks as more than a coffee vendor, but as a communal network that they belong to. When brand awareness becomes a place to belong to, customers can’t forget yours.
Lay’s YouTube Video: Do Us A Flavor
In mid-2012, Lay’s launched ‘Do Us a Flavor’ a customer challenge campaign to create their new potato chip flavor, with a prize of $1 million or 1 percent of the winning chip flavor’s net sales. Winners and new flavors aside, the Do Us a Flavor video has been viewed more than 12 million times on YouTube.
By choosing to engage their customers with a YouTube video campaign, Lay’s succeeded in telling their brand’s story by relating to the customer’s food needs, identifying that he has many food eating needs and desires, and Lay’s potato chips fulfills one of many others. In addition to the customer contribution and engagement experience provided by the contest, Lay’s use of YouTube as their brand awareness medium provided something more.
Customers became able to see Lay’s potato chips as a company that understands and values their personal dining story. As viewers, customers are engaged in Lay’s understanding and accountability of their own story. Seeing is believing!
Williams-Sonoma’s Taste Blog
Outbrain named Williams-Sonoma’s Taste Blog as an “epic” Content Marketing example of 2014. The question here is, why is a company who sells kitchen and home products investing in blog content, especially if they’re not campaigning their actual products?
Williams-Sonoma takes the content blog concept as a window into their customers’ entire homemaking and cooking lifestyle. More than just a recipe resource, the Taste blog engages readers in the many activities and experiences in their lives which involve food, cooking, entertaining and celebrating on the whole.
The readers (who are hopefully also customers) relate to Williams-Sonoma as an extension of their personal milestones, which they throw parties for and celebrate with food. Rather than blogging about the capabilities of their inventory, the Taste blog is used for personalized customer engagement, and the customers’ culinary storytelling is the pillar which the Taste blog stands on.
You can see from these food branding campaigns how powerful storytelling is when it captivates the customer to be a living force in the brand’s experience. This is customer engagement in its fullest form: your customer isn’t just aware or engaged in your brand, your product’s experience is an extension of his own.
Do you have any noted experiences with brand awareness or storytelling? Share them in the comments below.