We often think of a ‘Brand Experience’ as a special and intentional event; it’s something planned and controlled. However, it usually consists of much more than we realize – because the brand experience begins before the customer even really starts to recognize your company’s brand. Your brand experience actually extends much wider than you might imagine, and includes the digital experience as a major component: it’s every email, SMS, webpage, app, social post or any other way the customer encounters your brand. Even a T-shirt with your logo is a part of your brand experience, even though the control over these things may be far outside the reach of the PR or marketing department.
Understanding better the far-reaching nature of what a ‘brand experience’ is, it’s easier to see that the intentional brand experiences we set out to create must reconcile any deviations across the whole. Each touchpoint must retain authenticity and consistency, leading all the way to your ‘main event’. Only when all these are aligned is it possible to have control of the brand experience, and then it can be taken to the next level.
Brand Experience in 2022: How Digital storytelling helps you retain control
Digital storytelling is not only effective at communicating complex values and ideas – it also helps you to control your narrative. When digital storytelling is done well, it fits into a larger, cohesive plan by using common media assets and persona-driven narratives. By using a content management system that unifies these assets, a brand is in a better position to ensure consistency across all touchpoints.
Your ‘single source of truth’ then becomes a fountainhead of brand messaging that is consistent and on-target.
Digital storytelling technologies for an improved Brand Experience
Although digital storytelling is versatile enough to be deployed using a variety of digital media, it can have the greatest impact when specific tools and concepts are used. These leverage your brand story to the maximum of its capability, and enable you to take more control over the experience.
Let’s have a look at three ‘levels’ of digital storytelling technology, and the way these can help you to create a more persuasive brand experience.
Interactive digital signage
Digital signage is becoming more widely used, including in retail settings. The best engagement is achieved with interactive digital signage that encourages the customer to step-up and step into the world of the brand. Interaction and gamification are powerful tools for creating strong engagement and powerful memories.
With a simple touchscreen, the customer can make a personal connection with your brand by crafting their own brand experience, using digital storytelling assets that come from your single source of truth.
Immersive Digital Showroom
Take your customer even deeper into your world with an immersive experience they won’t forget. Immersive Experience rooms have a multitude of business uses, but one of the most impactful is when they’re used as a digital showroom.
These immersive brand experiences enable you to create a digital virtual showroom that is tailored to each customer. You can explore the products that are most relevant for them, and actually show their benefits in a real-world setting that the customer recognizes.
Immersive digital showrooms have the greatest impact for the participants who are physically there, but these can also be a part of a hybrid event strategy. The events inside the digital showroom can be broadcast to online participants too, and they can become active participants themselves by interacting with attendees directly via the immersive screens.
Digital Twins are becoming a popular way to visualize complex mechanisms and interacting values. These are complex mathematical simulations of physical assets, which are then rendered into a 3D digital virtual model. This can be explored in real-time, using actual sensor data, and even be used to model hypothetical situations.
If used well, a digital twin can become a virtual digital story of a physical asset – a centerpiece for your brand experience.
The possible application for digital twins is truly a new frontier in digital storytelling, and it is yet to be fully explored. The present-day use of digital twins is primarily in leading data-based decision making, however as the technology becomes more widespread it will find broader application in other areas of business. Brand experiences will certainly be a prime target for the application of this remarkable tool.
Immersive storytelling technologies are the best way of experiencing digital twins. They enable participants to step into the virtual world they exist in, and explore the full depth of it. When they are used for your brand experience, a digital twin can enable customers to explore a virtual version of your operations or explore the difference your products or services can make. While many companies can be reticent about such transparency, it helps the customer to feel that they truly know your brand.
As well as seeing a digital twin of a real-time process or asset, your customer can benefit from exploring simulations of predicted outcomes too. Some possible examples:
- A complex mathematical model of assortment planning and merchandising can have a more tangible impact when the results on buyer behavior can be seen.
- An air treatment system can prove its value by visually demonstrating how quickly it can sanitize the air in your customer’s actual premises.
- And a software developer can demonstrate the actual impact of their product by showing how it improves the efficiency of order processing and logistics.
Your brand experience needs to demonstrate what you’re worth
A good brand experience needs to show the customer exactly what you’re worth to them. This can be in monetary or physical-value terms, of course, but more is gained with an emotional connection.
Forming a strong emotional connection is not always easy, but digital storytelling is certainly the best way for achieving this. We have explored just a handful of digital storytelling tools that can help create a winning brand experience, and there are many more to consider as well.
The key however is to ensure that you retain control over how your customer experiences your brand – and digital storytelling helps to achieve this by maintaining a single source of truth.