How to Create a Compelling Six-Second Brand Story?

How to Create a Compelling Six-Second Brand Story? - Duct Tape MarketingWith the proliferation of media and the rapid adoption of digital channels, consumers are bombarded with thousands of brand messages and stories every day. In fact, marketing experts estimate that, on average, people are exposed to over 5,000 advertisements each day, making it harder than ever to gain the customer’s attention.

The reality is that you have six seconds to tell your brand story and make a connection with your customer. Yes, six seconds. A 6-second window to give your customers, your audience, a reason to care, and a reason to want to learn more about your offer. Success in those six seconds depends on the perceived value that your brand will bring to the customers’ lives: the “Why you do what you do.” This message needs to be always refined through the lens of simplicity, clarity and alignment; the three foundational pillars that a brand story absolutely must have to connect and engage with the customer.

The Big Difference Between “What” and “Why”

Why should a customer care? Why should they listen to your story? Wrestling this question to the ground from the customer point of view requires you to go to a deeper and more emotive level of engagement with your customers by distilling down the “why you do what you do” as a company into a “why” that captures the customer’s imagination.

Most marketers focus on the “What”: the product and its functionalities. Whereas the customers are willing to know “Why” that product is so different than all the other options available, and “Why” does it matter to them. For customers, the “Why” must speak to the true impact and purpose that you deliver to their life. It must resonate with the customer in such a way that he or she wants to be a part of the brand story.

With that in mind, here are the top five guidelines to create a compelling 6-second brand story:

1. Start with the Mind of the Customer

Your brand story must be simple, clear and aligned with your customer’s needs and wants. It must be bold and encourage exploration.

2. Simplify a Complicated Issue or Problem

Simplify the essence of “Why” the brand matters, or what is the value that it brings to the customer. Most customers have neither the time nor the inclination to try to figure this out on their own, which is why this question needs to be answered through the simplicity of a great story.

3. Stir Emotion in the Consumers Mind

Give people a reason to care, a reason to buy, and a reason to stay. People don’t buy from making logical, rational buying decisions. They make emotional decisions and then justify those decisions by rationalizing them with facts.

There is a huge difference in whether your audience views your story as just another transactional relationship or a story that emotionally connects with their professional or personal journey.

“Good marketers tell brand stories; great marketers tell them with purpose.”

4. Be Memorable in Striking a Chord that Prompts an Internal Question or Reflection

What do you want people to think when they see or hear your brand? People will be more engaged if they can actually relate to a story rather than listening to fact-laden statements about the wonders of a product.

5. Make your Customer the Hero of the Story

Compelling stories resonates when the audience can put themselves at the center of the story. We must make customers the hero, while the brand assumes the role of a mentor. When your goal becomes participation, rather than control, the hero is more likely to let you into their world [and their story]. You can start by focusing on experience-based efforts for a better customer engagement.

“Make the customer the hero of your story”

– Ann Handley, MarketingProfs

That’s it! Sounds easy right?

Not really… Creating a compelling 6-second brand story can be challenging. It requires a diverse set of scientific skills and an artistic eye. No matter how short the message is, never short-change the depth and richness of the story. And always remember to ask yourself: does your brand story pass the test of simplicity, clarity, and alignment? Can you tell the brand essence in six seconds? Is the story so compelling that it can transform your customer into a storyteller on your behalf?

The Power of Transformational Marketing: Aligning the Story, Strategy, and Systems

 Once you have the Story, the next step is to connect with your customers through formats that they consume, in channels that they use, across every touchpoint in the buyers’ journey. Your customer is not only at the center of the story but also at the center of your strategy.

“Story without Strategy is Art; Story with Strategy is Marketing”

Your Strategy should be a clear path to reach your target audience with the right message, through the right channel, at the right time. It requires ruthless focus and consistency throughout your entire organization, both internally and externally.

Now, all that’s missing to truly transform your marketing is the alignment of the Systems, which is how you communicate that Story to the consumers. It enables you to flawlessly execute your Strategy and measure the return on your marketing investment. All the enabling technologies, employee communications, sales collateral and processes must be fully aligned to bring your brand to life.

This is the secret of Transformational Marketing: Having the right Story, the right Strategy and the right Systems in place to unleash the true power of your brand. Transformational Marketing alters business models by changing how organizations market, communicate, and sell to customers. By providing products and services that actually make the customers’ lives better, companies build valuable customer experiences and transform customers into brand advocates.

How to Create a Compelling Six-Second Brand Story? - Duct Tape Marketing

Dave SuttonDave Sutton is a global authority today on Transformational Marketing– enabling businesses to reach, connect and engage with customers in a way that gives them a reason to care, a reason to buy, a reason to advocate and, most important of all, a reason to stay. He is the founder of TopRight, LLC– a Transformational Marketing firm that helps companies move to the top right quadrant of their competitive frame, and corner the markets where they choose to compete. TopRight’s 3S Playbook model of the right Story, the right Strategy, and the right Systems turns sales transactions into customer experiences that connect and communicate why you do what you do and what difference it makes for your customers. Follow Dave @TopRightPartner.

6 Case Studies That Show How and Why to Focus on Building Consumer Trust

6 Case Studies That Show How and Why to Focus on Building Consumer Trust - Duct Tape Marketing

photo credit Unsplash

If you’re tired of trying to crank out endless marketing initiatives and manage the high costs of advertising in hopes of generating returns, you’re not alone. Marketers everywhere are struggling to keep up engagement with their audience.

But perhaps paid advertising isn’t where your focus should be. Here are six brands that used simple, even less-expensive methods to build consumer trust, which resulted in big gains.

1. Lexus Builds Trust Through Conversation

6 Case Studies That Show How and Why to Focus on Building Consumer Trust - Duct Tape Marketing

In 2011, Lexus Sweden was the first automaker in Europe to provide customers with a voice through the use of reviews and incorporated them into its overall marketing and branding strategy. Since then, Lexus has relied on reviews as a major component of creating and building consumer awareness. This has proven to be a successful strategy, with 99% of reviewers saying they would recommend the automaker to friends and family. Among those reviews, the average customer rating is 4.7 out of 5.

The Takeaway

Reviews work because they bring credibility to the brand and promote engagement within the domain of Lexus. Passionate customers become vocal brand ambassadors. That benefits both the brand and the resellers because Lexus can get a better idea about their customers’ needs and then act upon that feedback.

2. One King’s Lane Provides Value in Retargeting

A lot of brands are using retargeting to try to win back customers. One King’s Lane is among them, but the home décor brand developed a new approach. To increase ad spend efficiency, the company uses custom audiences to target those who have expressed interest in the brand. It then serves content recommendations from publications and sites like the New York Post, Vogue, and Apartment Therapy. The content typically provides a wealth of advice, including how to replicate home décor from popular designers. As a result, the cost per acquisition was cut by 50%, and conversion increased by 4x with a 1.5x increase in click-through rates.

6 Case Studies That Show How and Why to Focus on Building Consumer Trust - Duct Tape Marketing

The Takeaway

This is a smart campaign approach. Rather than simply retargeting customers with product ads in social media or other channels, One King’s Lane focuses on providing value. This builds trust and memorable experiences with the audience.

3. Burberry’s Art of the Trench

6 Case Studies That Show How and Why to Focus on Building Consumer Trust - Duct Tape Marketing

It might be surprising to hear that companies have been leveraging user-generated content well before social media skyrocketed to popularity. In 2009, Burberry launched a new website called “The Art of the Trench,” where users could share and comment on pictures of everyday people wearing products from the brand. Following the site’s launch, Burberry saw a 50% year over year increase in e-commerce sales.

The Takeaway

It’s important to know what interests your audience. Find ways to engage them that leverage their passions and interests. For Burberry, the website focused on fashion and style with real people, not models. Seeing a growing number real people enjoying a product creates trust, as well as heightened interest in the products and brand.

4. Target’s Education Pledge

In 2010, Target pledged $500 million to support education and later aimed to double its donation to $1 billion with a competition centered around students sharing their acceptance letters. The campaign involved customers submitting videos showing acceptance letters being opened. Target collected its favorite submissions to create a commercial, which was used to highlight and expand the visibility of Target’s philanthropy.

The Takeaway

The millennial generation wants more from companies: they want to be part of something that has real impact on the world, both at work and in their personal lives. Utilizing user-generated content presents Target in a way that’s more attractive to a younger generation, building trust through philanthropy and humanitarian efforts.

5. Coffee for Less Optimizes for Trust

6 Case Studies That Show How and Why to Focus on Building Consumer Trust - Duct Tape Marketing

The Coffee For Less company wanted to improve its organic visibility to increase conversions from the targeted traffic. Instead of aiming for general optimization, it upgraded the reviews and comments section of its products. This gave users the ability to easily submit reviews and share their comments with others. As a result, the number of comments grew by 6,000 within three years. According to MarketingSherpa, the comments and reviews on the Coffee For Less website generated a 10% lift in organic search traffic and a 125% boost in conversions.

The Takeaway

Nielsen research has shown that over 92% of consumers trust peer reviews over other forms of advertising. Turning those reviews into a source of organic visibility and traffic will establish trust before the customer even lands on your site. It’s an excellent way to leverage user-generated content and offer customers outlets for expressing their opinions.

6. McDonald’s Revitalizes in the UK

6 Case Studies That Show How and Why to Focus on Building Consumer Trust - Duct Tape Marketing

In 2005, McDonald’s was faced with diminished trust among its UK audience for a number of reasons, necessitating a revitalization of the brand. The changes included revamping the menu and décor, as well as other improvements based on consumer feedback. McDonald’s efforts also brought about a change in communication. There was no mainstream social media marketing at the time, so McDonald’s created a website that allowed consumers to ask any question and it would be answered honestly.

This direct engagement, something the company had never done before, paid off big and improved trust and interest in the brand. By the end of 2008, McDonald’s in the UK saw 11 consecutive quarters of growth, with sales growing by 8.5% in 2008.

The Takeaway

One of the best ways to improve trust is to consistently and transparently engage your audience. The channel you use to communicate is less important than the authenticity and sincerity of the message or response.

What are you doing in your marketing efforts to build consumer trust? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below:

Aaron AgiusAaron Agius is an experienced search, content, and social marketer. He has worked with some of the world’s largest and most recognized brands, including Salesforce, Coca-Cola, Target and others, to build their online presence. See more from Aaron at Louder Online, his blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.


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