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August 9, 2022
Brands are always chasing the latest brand storytelling trends and 2024 is only accelerating the change from one trend to the next.
Not only what stories brands tell, but how they tell them, and where they tell them, are always in flux. Today we break down the kinds of stories brands are telling and the key platforms they’re using.
First up, the internet. (Yeah, we know…. Duh.) But seriously, digital storytelling has overtaken traditional methods like newspapers, radio, and TV.
An estimated 4.9 billion people use the internet, and that number increased by 400 million in 2022 alone! Brands have been pushing into this space for decades now, a push that has now reached a fever pitch of clamoring and shoving to get your new ideas out, dictating an evolution of your brand content and storytelling.
Brands, at this stage, need a brand marketing strategy that reaches consumers where they are in the way they want to be reached. Companies that do have six times more conversion rates than those that don’t. Content is king, as the saying goes, or as we like to say, the lure. But what kind of content reigns supreme?
These few trends give an idea as to what the general customer is thinking in 2024.
More and more brands turned to Social Responsibility in the last few years, and then the rubber band snapped back.
Just a year or two ago, brands taking a social stand was becoming a huge component of what people looked for in their brands.
The thinking was/is that they wanted them to stand for something, and for brands not to ignore crucial issues (whether that be political, global, local, or whatever).
Brands got behind the idea that people want to feel aligned with their brands, and with so many options for them to choose from, you can’t afford to sit on the fence.
You knew there was a “but”.
Trends change so fast that you can get whiplash.
Now, with so much division in politics and on social media, many viewers are pushing back on that very notion. Fast forward a half hour (in marketing time, where time speeds up), and today, 6 out of 10 Americans want brands to stay out of it.
Still, there are companies that are taking a stance on something that’s important to them and doing it well.
The car company Renault has gone an interesting way with their stance.
Their hybrid car commercial takes this unusual approach: “Don’t use our product.”
Well okay, not entirely, but their point is similar – don’t always use our product, because as much as electric cars are better for the environment, it is still worse than some alternatives (biking, walking, etc.).
But this stance is very, very clear.
We care so much we don’t care if you use us. It’s a strong message, and it’s something that is appealing to potential customers.
Similar to this is the concept of inclusivity. America’s demographics are changing, and consumers want to see a reflection of themselves in the brands they follow. over 60 percent of consumers want more inclusivity in marketing.
Target’s holiday campaign ad from last year does exactly this, by bringing in and celebrating different people and cultures from around the world.
There’s an old adage, KISS: Keep it Simple Stupid.
In marketing, it can be KISS’d to translate as: “know your core messaging.”
Don’t get too caught up in always needing to think outside of the box, be surprising or creative with your brand storytelling.
Yes, those are important elements, but they are ultimately meaningless without knowing what it is you want to say.
Look at Hulu’s newer ‘Time to Have Hulu’ campaign. Their messaging isn’t flashy; it is simply that you, the consumer, should use their product. Why? Because they provide x, y, and z. It couldn’t be more straightforward.
To that end, once you as a company know what you stand for and what your core message is, you need to deliver that message in an effective, engaging and relatable way through your brand storytelling.
Companies such as Red Bull and Yeti coolers excel at this.
They know their message, their product, and their audience, and they know how to relate to them.
How best to relate to your audience? Use them.
Make your consumer sell your product. After all, who knows it better? Who enjoys it better?
Subaru’s #meetanowner campaign highlights their consumers and sells their products by selling to the people who use and buy their products.
It’s a great way to not only showcase your worth but to do so with authenticity and honesty. No fake talent, no scripts, just people speaking genuinely how they really feel about something that impacts their daily lives.
As the world has shifted over the recent years to facilitate more at-home and remote lifestyles, video marketing and content marketing have had to adjust.
While you could always shop from home in the essence of old-school QVS-type shows, modern marketing has had to develop a more “click and shop” approach.
While not entirely new, more consumers being more inclined to stay home has caused this tactic to really increase.
We at Scenic Road partnered with Hy-Vee, a midwestern grocery chain, to produce a web-based cooking show that incorporates this product method.
Now, the pandemic and shift to at-home shopping isn’t the only driving force behind this approach. Consumers are also busy, and addicted to convenience.
How often do you watch something and think, “That’s really cool, I should get one” only to completely forget about it by the next day?
This eliminates that possibility and puts point-and-click purchasing into the hands of the consumer.
Like that recipe? Buy all the ingredients on the spot and don’t worry about having to write it all down and remember it at the store. It’s all there, taken care of for you.
Ultimately, consumers today not only want quick, easy, and convenient, but they want to feel like they’re understood and taken care of.
Don’t make them do the work to buy your product. Help them out!
It hasn’t quite “arrived” just yet… but with the popularity of VR gaming, it’s only a matter of time before the advertising and brand storytelling world finds a way to truly incorporate this new technology.
Companies like Qantas have started to use VR to allow users to explore travel destinations before they visit.
This is the ultimate “try it before you buy it.”
While not quite as dynamic as it is educational, 360 and VR videos are increasingly popular ways to virtually visit your office headquarters, showcase your retail environments, or give a virtual tour of your manufacturing facility.
Who knows where this next stage in brand marketing will go, but if the ground floor is virtual trips to the Great Barrier Reef, it’s bound to be exciting!
We saved the biggest trend for last.
TikTok is taking over.
Or took over.
It’s already happened, in a fraction of a blink of an eye. That’s how fast trends move. From the time I started writing this to the time it was published, TikTok has achieved global domination.
Facebook is scrambling to keep up. TikTok, Reels, and other short-form video storytelling formats are on fire.
People love the authenticity, the brevity, and the energy. Brands will do well by creating content that works in this format.
Humor isn’t for every brand, but it works spectacularly as short-form snackable content that people love to share.
Brand storytelling is, in some ways, a constantly changing landscape, but some things stay true no matter the brand. By keeping in mind these trends and putting your own unique spin on them, your company can make 2024 an exceptional year:
Listen to your consumers, understand your brand, and bring them together effectively, openly, and authentically.
Until the trends change next year.
If you’d like help fine-tuning your brand storytelling or creating videos that entertain and inspire, reach out to us today.
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