Trade | Personal Narrative
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Personal Narrative

Each interaction people have with your brand has the potential to make their personal narrative richer.

What can a brand do to help people develop, share and craft their personal narrative?

Every day, people engage in the story and narrative called their life. It’s personal. And when things are personal, people pay attention. They are more passionate and committed, and they naturally gravitate toward places where other people — living similar personal narratives — gather. Passionate people, your consumers, are more engaged, especially if a brand has provided the means to participate.

 

Personal narrative matters

In the past, personal narrative was influenced by limited one-way inputs such as proximity, socioeconomics and one-way channels such as television. However, the last 15 years have radically transformed the way a person curates, shares and actively develops their personal narrative. People are asking others to participate in their personal narrative – one experience, tweet and share at a time.


Brands that think of interaction as making a choice to participate changes possibilities. A brand can have a meaningful role in personal narratives by aligning products to peoples’ experiences and the stories they share online.

We believe brands that actively participate in helping people find, express and shape their personal narrative will be more relevant and ultimately more valuable to consumers over time.

People don’t exist to consume brand stories. They seek meaning through experiences in life. People live their lives in multiple personal narratives, such as parenthood, love, creation, family, friendship and leisure. It is within each of these personal narratives that stories are told, shared and sought after. And it is these stories that advertently or inadvertently change behavior. This is essential to understand in order to help shape your consumers’ narratives.

 

Brands can no longer deliver a self-serving inward-focused narrative, especially through interruptions in media. Most CMOs realize stories influence opinion, consideration and ultimately a purchase — which is why 79% of marketers report their organizations are shifting their brands to a content-driven approach according to Forrester Research.


IT’S NO SURPRISE THAT 61% OF CONSUMERS SAY THEY FEEL BETTER ABOUT A COMPANY THAT DELIVERS RELEVANT CONTENT AND ARE MORE LIKELY TO BUY FROM THAT COMPANY VERSUS THEIR COMPETITORS.

Source: Custom Content Council

What’s missing in the current content marketing environment is the use of personal narrative as the layer to connect brand, marketing and direct response communications. Adding this personal layer knits together new platforms, content providers and brand communications by relevant story themes that motivate people toward business goals.

 

The rapid growth in branded content creation, combined with the hundreds of platforms for managing and publishing, makes it difficult for any one person to have a single view on how a multi-platfrom story is being told to the measureable benefit of a business. Marketers need guiding principles to align stories, platforms and data to achieve measurable results.

How do corporate marketers and communicators, as well as their agencies, place a rigorous focus on aligning stories to consumer personal narrative? There’s a lot to overcome. Here’s a way to think about it.

 

Solution: Personal narratives are the organizing principle for content marketing that works


Today’s highly fragmented digital landscape means that people participate in stories fluidly across platforms and screens, which means every story we tell needs to be multiplied by the number of channels we want connect through.

Source: Kevin Keller, GE Capital