What’s your story? It’s becoming an increasingly important question for brands and agencies, with brand storytelling now a central pillar of marketing strategies. Brands are becoming publishers, producing thousands of pieces of content every day across various platforms.
New talents are being discovered on smartphone screens around the world, and brands must identify new ways to join the conversation between them and their audience. With the proliferation of new technology, brand storytelling has become non-linear – a customer’s journey with your brand could start at any one of a multitude of possible entry points.
To address these challenges and opportunities, we have gathered together some of the best brains in the business to share their thoughts on the art of storytelling.
Matt Davies, the UK managing director of MEC Wavemaker, explores the notion of stories as social glue, creating bonds and points of discussion between people. James Larman, the head of strategy at Drum, argues that brands and agencies are flooding consumers with a "fire hose" of content – and that they need to spark those discussions by delivering content with value that has a stance.
Does your brand’s story really matter? That’s the question the creative director of Metro, Sophie Robinson, poses, flying the flag for brands’ role as facilitators of their customers’ stories.
For Matthew Kershaw, the managing director of content at iris, the way forward for agencies is "full-stack" story-making – creating and controlling everything that exists between a brand and its audiences.
James Devon, the planning director at MBA, explores how brands can craft a coherent story in a non-linear, interactive world.
Technology is at the root of changes, Caressa Douglas, the vice-president of branded integration at BEN, writes. She argues that new video-on-demand platforms give film-makers greater artistic autonomy, and savvy producers are now casting brand participation as assiduously as they would actors.
Jack Peat, the head of digital at 72Point, sees content as "le grand unificateur" – bringing together PR, SEO, digital advertising and social media marketing under one umbrella.
We've also gathered together industry figures from across the marketing spectrum to discuss the future of storytelling – and how brands can live happily ever after.
I hope this collection sparks new ideas and points of view – because, ultimately, stories are arguments for a way of seeing the world.