Everybody loves a good story. It helps the listener or the viewer to collect knowledge and feel immersed in something new. Stories can be told in order to entertain, to share experiences or to pass on information. Lately I have observed an increasing number of companies that manage to get their customers involved and discovering their products by telling a story. I find it to be highly efficient.
In the digital world today, it’s most often a constant rush for relevant information that can be obtained fast. People are used to taking in a great deal of information and then reusing the same for learning, for making decisions, from choosing between one product and the other.
What is the product? What makes it unique?
The products that really stand out nowadays are those that manage to deliver a story. Here I found a rather inspiring example of Betabrand. This example teaches us a couple of facts. For example, is the story vague? Betabrands solution was to accentuate the details up to the point where they become unique. Continuing with the same example, wooden buttons on a shirt have the potential of becoming a selling point even in the digital environment, where such details can easily pass unnoticed. The customer remembers the story, which turns wooden buttons into a unique and desirable element. The users will remember and value the connected product as well.
The story of using the product
Videos and creative pictures that place the product in a context are simple means for illustrating a story. Everybody starts looking for a specific type of product because they have a problem or a need that they want to solve. What makes a specific product stand out can simply be a better presentation of the solution. The steps that the user takes while using the product create different stories of their interaction with the product.
How to make a good story?
Starting with a conversation with the website’s users is always an excellent start for making a good story, I would say. Then ask customers about what they value in the products in the non-digital environment. Ultimately, try to reflect their emotional motivation in a digital story of the product.
Allowing customers to interact in a new and memorable way with the products also creates a valuable story. Take for example digital fitting rooms that combine the picture of the product and the customer’s image in order to simulate the traditional shopping experience. Although the concept of a fitting room is traditional, the execution is unique and built on modern technology. Most important, it helps the customer build an own story of the product through the innovative way that she is interacting with it.
What I see as a great advantage for product storytelling today, is that the diversity of new technology available, also provides an array of possibilities. Storytelling can start in the shop, continue online, then on a wearable device, onto an interactive advertising billboard and so on. New and unique stories will be created and they will be specific to each customer, depending on the product discovery path that they have taken.