We influence the story

20 Oct 2017
Kevin Lam


So, you’re in a shop looking for a laptop and you find there are a few that you like. You think about the criteria that differentiates them: design, spec, price. What’s the key factor? Most likely, it’s a combination of these features that represent value of substance. There are so many similar items to choose from these days. Maybe you select a more expensive model, thinking its price means it must be better – you’re not an IT expert after all. What is it that gives you the perception that one brand is more durable or cooler or easier to use? Why do you even need a new laptop? This dialogue, happening in the heads of shoppers around the world, shows where the value of clear and persuasive brand messaging can come into play.

PRs are omni-channel storytellers

We are all influenced by brand messaging and storytelling that is going on around us. It crosses communications channels, from Facebook to magazines, overhead on the streets or read in a review. Public relations pros are dedicated to driving brand growth through persuasive omni-channel storytelling, using earned, shared, owned and paid channels to share the key messages of a brand to target customers. At Sinclair, along with our flair for media and influencer engagement, we have a passion for building market relevant brand narratives, and always go the extra mile with our flexible approach.

We understand consumer behaviour

Motoo Nakanishi, the father of corporate identity in Japan, has said that a brand needs to create two values in order to sustain market share and drive growth: value of substance and value of message. The value of the message is inclusive of the brand story as well as how and where this story is delivered to the audience. With an increasingly nuanced understanding of the customer experience, message value needs to look at more than just the use of the product or service – it expands to incorporate how a product or service completes our lifestyle and gives our story meaning.

At the forefront of this new idea of consumer behaviour, we work with our clients to create meaningful stories for brands that allow consumers to fully embrace the brand experience.

Back to buying a computer, and speaking from the customer perspective, the brand I would choose is the one that adds value to my personal identity and lifestyle, and takes into account my cultural value. As found in the study “Cultural value, consumption value, and global brand image: A cross-national study” in Psychology and Marketing, cultural value is inextricably linked to brand image, and is widely accepted as one of the crucial concepts in understanding how consumers perceive value, which in turn determines how they shop.

Memorable storytelling works

There are so many choices available, and information is constantly flooding the digital world. To stand out, PRs need to craft stories are easy to digest and remember. The adage keep it simple, works. Brand stories should aim to stand out while offering outstanding cultural value. This added element of value enables a brand to increase their margin against its competitors. Strong and meaningful storytelling that resonates with audiences, inspires action. Amplifying brand storytelling through authentic and engaging activities that are forward thinking and appreciated by the audience, catch attention and generate the power of word of mouth.

Same story, different channel

PRs need to not only be good storytellers, we must be digital storytellers. To make impact, we have to understand how to tell the story on each individual channel. Our story needs to be customised to each channel’s audience, with copywriting, images, video and such recreated to be relevant to the criteria of that channel.

Each channel is unique, so the way we tell the story needs to be different for each.  I remember a client asked me a very interesting question about whether it is possible to feed the same message with same photo on Facebook, Snapchat, WeChat and LinkedIn. Certainly not, I said. That would be like saying you can get one driving license to drive a motorbike, a yacht and a jet.

At Sinclair, our trilingual team are the best conversationalists in the business, with social media, digital marketing and multimedia experts on board who have both global experience and extensive knowledge across a range of channels, from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, to WeChat and Weibo. To get it right, we need to have our finger on the pulse when it comes to knowing what the story is, and how to tell it.

The value of substance and the value of message 

To achieve that viral effect across media and social media channels, while staying focused on long-term business goals and true to the brand message, a story should have 7 key elements:

  • A simple message
  • A catchy gimmick
  • A sustainable idea
  • Localized thinking
  • Shareablity
  • Interactive elements
  • Visual strength for local tastes

We influence the consumer by telling brand stories, while also improving the growth of a brand. We influence the brand by creating the story to enhance the experience of the consumer and their lifestyle value.

We influence the story. That’s how we shape the conversations that matter.

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