Telling a story – crossing channels.


Despite the title, this is not quite a story about adventures on the water or tales of a mariner’s exploits. That’s another post altogether. And, despite my weakness for puns, I’ll stop myself from pouring out any watery plays on words.

Telling a story – crossing channels_image  
‘Cross channel’ is the pretty established idea that customers want their experience with brands to be as seamless as possible, across all touch-points. Whether it’s in a face-to-face sales meeting, on the phone to a call centre, across social media or on a website, customers expect to receive a consistent experience. People don’t want to be treated in different ways as they interact with the different faces of a brand.
For larger organisations, ensuring a consistent customer experience can be quite a challenge. A brand might have teams operating in different locations, with their own goals and objectives. One team might manage social media, another the website; a regional team may be focused on their specific markets, and targets and marketing teams may have another idea altogether about how to go about building engagement with audiences.
Having a clear value proposition and branding (and all that this entails) has traditionally been seen as the most important way to develop a unique, coherent company “voice”. However, when this message and brand identity is ‘deployed’ from the top-down and the centre-out, it’s easy for it to become distilled and fragmented.
So what can be done to help smooth out customer experiences?
That’s where the power of storytelling comes in. When an organisation is on the receiving-end of new strategies, a brand vision, or even new ways of working and selling, it’s essential that all these messages have meaning. Stories that we can relate to and connect with will influence us far more deeply than creative slogans and clever visuals alone. ‘Putting Customers First’ or ‘Striving to Work Better Together’ all sound very good, but they can mean different things to different people. A well-told story, on the other hand, with a context people can relate to, does a much better job at conveying an organisation’s message.
Today’s audiences are far more discerning than ever. We curate our own digital content and are acutely aware when we are being spoken to by a corporation. The stories we tell must be authentic. Real stories told from within an organisation, handled in a creative, fun manner, can go a long way to bring about clarity and a common understanding.
Working with teams throughout an organisation to identify and create these stories not only delivers great content, but can also be an invaluable teambuilding experience.
The challenge, then, is to shape this content into well-thought out campaigns that bring these stories to life!
 Por Alexei Kidel

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