Brand Communication or Brand Connection

When companies like Google, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Unilever, and Tata invest in an endeavor, it automatically gains attention. The subtle yet deliberate inclination of these Brands towards Digital Storytelling has raised a question – Given the enormous expense of producing and broadcasting traditional advertising, should one even consider Digital Storytelling, a more extensive brand messaging?

Of course, Traditional Advertising has its place, but it’s no longer adequate to establish long-lasting Brand Engagement or an emotionally motivating Connection. Communication by definition is about expressing your ideas to your target audience, ideas that resonate and create emotional meaning.

But with the advent of technology and widespread information accessibility, Consumers are growingly exposed to multiple options, wherein each Brand is offering more or less similar set of features.

This puts all brands on a neutral ground with the decision falling in the hands of the Consumers. No particular Brand gets an advantage over the other. Naturally, Consumers have grown averse to traditional advertising. Today, merely having the best features or price, no longer ensures Brand Loyalty. How then can a Brand ensure to build and retain its Consumer base?

This need to break away from the clutter and establish a deeper bond with the Consumers has led to the shift from Brand Communication to Brand Connection.

Brand Connection takes the focus away from what Brands have to say about their products. Rather it focuses on how the target Consumers relate with the Brand. Simply put, the aim is to remind the Consumer, why they trusted the Brand in the first place.

This approach requires connecting with the Consumer at a deeper emotional level rather than appealing to their conscious rationality. It’s an established fact that only on a subconscious and emotional level, does a brand, effectively connect with the individual.

Top Brands have realized the significance of going back to the roots; that is to connect with their Consumer’s emotional needs.

This approach has led innovative Brands to utilize the powers of Narrative Storytelling.

Take, for instance, TataSky’s recent Daily Dillagi campaign – a 13-part, minute-long series as opposed to traditional 30/60 seconds commercials. It’s a good example of clever brand positioning. TataSky’s target Consumer base is primarily household television viewers who are prone to daily soaps. By integrating the brand into a rom-com story, TataSky aimed to connect with its target Consumers at a subconscious level, thereby ensuring a lasting relationship with the Consumer.

Google’s Reunion campaign is another example of clever Brand Positioning via Narrative Storytelling. Similarly, in the case of the Dove brand, Unilever has consistently explored a narrative approach to connect with its audience.

Stories have always been about taking the audience on an emotional journey. An engaging story grabs the audience’s attention, keeps them engrossed and kindles an emotional state in them, thereby rendering them to be more receptive. Effective Brand positioning within the story, thus ensures, the brand message being instilled at a deeper level in the Consumer’s mind.

In the end, it boils down to the thumb rule of communication – “It’s not, about how well you can communicate; rather, how effectively do you get the message across?“

Knowing this - is the difference between Communication and Connection.

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