I think that probably the majority of us, especially those who are involved in the business area have heard or tried, more than once about “experience economy”. This is the new phenomenon that has conquered the business market in the postmodern society in which the focus is on senses and emotions. It is known that every business is a stage, so the companies are not basing their offerings on their products or services, but on experiences.
Which is the main purpose of “experience economy”? The most important result of this new way of branding is that the customer’s emotions and senses are influenced. the customers are involved and actively participate into this new type of relationship. Through this the customer is invited to make use of all his five senses. the sixth one being represented by the atmosphere, the feelings that are created.
The story telling is considered to be another strategic tool in the branding process, a concrete rhetorical tool. It can be described by the emotional involvement, the experience, the corporate branding and spirit and also the recognition of the products/services. It can be used when products are alike and there is a need for differentiation, and also when the price or the quality of the offers are not enough and there must be something else in order to engage the customer. The storytelling can be a very powerful way to illustrate the value of your products/services.
Klaus Fog et al., Storytelling, branding in practice, Samfundslitteratur, 2004
The message is the offer of the company. Let’s look over the following examples:
Tesco: “Every little helps”
Addidas: “Impossible is nothing”
Fujitsu: “The possibilities are infinite”
Harrods: Omnia Omnibus Ubique (All Things, For All People, Everywhere)
L’Oreal: Parce que je le vaux bien. (Because I’m worth it)
Walmart: Save Money. Live Better
The conflict. Every story needs a conflict and you cannot risk to bore your audience. People should be able to identify themselves in the story, so they are not alone and their demands are listened and taken care of.(something also known as “ customer perceived value”).The conflict can also be based on some contrasts in order to create a difference and target a much wider audience.
IKEA, for example has done this through their concept of “design for everybody, design for the elite”.
Here, you have to decide who or what functions as the characters in your story. The customers have to be able to get involved in the characters’ lives. By using real people in your story, you can create moments that will induce a flow of information between you and your customers.
The plot of your story is the most important component. You as a business man, should be able to help your customer to envision himself as the main character of the story and to realize the outcome he will achieve by using your company’s products/services and the success that he could have. Your story must show that success and development is possible and it should create a comfortable environment for the reader.
Where and how can we tell stories? We can use stories on internet at “about us ”section. We can mention stories about staff management, new activities, etc. We can also use stories when presenting the history of the company. Another method of storytelling can be represented on product’s packaging (e.g.milk cartons) or on staff’s magazines and intranet where you could think about showing that the persons behind are alive and are real people.
The experience economy is also known as the added value of the storytelling and as Rolf Jensen mentioned in his book “future products will have to appeal to our hearts, and not to our heads”, adding experiences and feelings to products/services is becoming a requirement of the business market.
This article has been contributed by Ms Ana Maria who is studying Marketing management at the university college of Northern Denmark.