Everyday there seems to be a new technology claiming to be the solution to building more awareness, creating better content and driving more sales. And most of them are pretty darn cool. But, as we explore the latest and greatest tools, and geek out on new platforms and technologies, we have to remember one thing: never, ever lose sight of what is really important… the actual STORY.
No matter your industry, there is no question that technology has completely transformed the way we do business; the way we communicate. But all too often, the mode of communication is getting in the way of what we are communicating, and to whom. The AR/VR experiences may be memorable, but are they leaving a lasting impression for the brand? Is the experience aligned to the brand story that you are trying to tell? I recently had the opportunity to take part in a panel discussion at the NYC Wine and Food Festival that included all technology experts. While I don’t fashion myself a tech expert… I do know a good story when I see one and spend the majority of my days counseling clients and teams on how to create stories that emotionally connect to their audiences. Experience has taught me that only once you have your story down, can you begin to bring in the tech experts (which, full disclosure, are abundant and brilliant at Ketchum) to help bring that story to life in ways that have never been done before. Below are just a few guiding principles to consider when using technology to tell your brand story:
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Always start with your end consumer. Adoption of new technology can be quite slow, so we need to be able to build a program/message that speaks to the consumer no matter where they are in their journey. As more and more brands embrace a consumer-first mindset, we need to take the time to build a story that aligns to their lifestyle and their core values. Technology can and should be the gateway for consumers to immerse themselves in your brand and message. But it will only leave a lasting impression if you are able to create emotional resonance with your brand.
INVEST IN THE TECH, AND THE STORY
Too many brands are running blindly toward the next buzzy tech because “everyone is doing it.” This is flawed logic for a few reasons, but most notably because brands are losing sight of their audience and message. Technology works when it’s not “technology for the sake of technology” but when it exists to service the end consumer and take the friction out of their daily lives. When you can find the intersection of brand message + consumer need + technology, you can create a truly immersive and memorable experience that consumers will be eager to talk about and share.
SCALE TO THE MASSES
All too often brands execute programs using technology, but those experiences tend to be limited in reach. We need to find ways to scale that experience. We cannot assume that the general population will be ready to hear or be receptive to our message. Tech is complicated, it can overwhelm (or even freak out) certain demographics. We need to remember to keep it really simple and scale the message. There are many ways to solve for this challenge: from unique partnerships, retail collaborations, influencer marketing, and overall paid and earned amplification, you can make your tech story both visible and relatable.
In closing, just remember one thing: technology should only enhance an already compelling brand story… it is the most incredible asset you have.