A strong brand experience requires a solid strategic narrative. A good story can attract consumers and make them believe in your company. This effort is a way to establish brands in increasingly competitive markets.
It is necessary to identify a significant differential to define a strategic narrative. It is this concept that will guide the story you have to tell your audience. Thus, this proposed idea will shape your brand concept.
Many companies have invested in this strategy, and the reason is simple: it brings results. With an effective narrative, it is possible to create a brand identity and communicate with the consumer.
Therefore, in this post, we will detail the strategic narrative concept.
Next, you will go through the following topics:
Keep reading to understand!
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What is a strategic narrative?
A strategic narrative is a concept that enables brands to create a unique story that will guide their entire business activity.
This narrative, when created, has the role of showing the future to the consumer. From this, companies indicate how they differentiate themselves from competitors.
Therefore, it is necessary to create these narratives from a solid concept. If there is a clear idea behind the narrative, brands will shape the public’s perception of it.
Good work will create real stories in the consumer’s head. After all, this is the main idea behind a strategic narrative.
It is important to note that this concept is related to storytelling. So, brands will create a story to illustrate a market concept that a company follows.
It is necessary to structure the strategic narrative on three bases to make this possible:
- the change your brand proposes to the market;
- how the consumer benefits if they are engaging with this idea;
- the future according to what the brand presents to the consumer.
Case studies that help to understand the strategic narrative
Want to understand strategic narrative through good examples? First, think about Netflix and what it brought as a revolutionary idea.
Before streaming, could you find your favorite movies at Blockbuster, right?
In their branding concept, Netflix indicated that the future is how we live today: easy and affordable access to a large selection of content.
So we can understand that Netflix’s strategic narrative was to show that you can watch movies and TV series by paying just a monthly subscription.
It was a powerful statement and seemed unrealistic. However, by working on its concept, Salesforce meant that the classic software model was about to be outdated.
Indeed, this is the scenario we see today.
Salesforce meant that in the future, we would no longer have the software installed on our computers.
Today, tools that help us in everyday life run directly from the cloud, in the SaaS model. This model is what Salesforce proposed, executed, and, more than this, showed with its strategic narrative.
Another great example is Apple. The tech giant introduced itself to the general public with a slogan that, at the time, said little: “Think Different”.
Today, if we look at what the brand has done over the years, we can see the proposed strategic narrative.
One of the foundations of the company’s work is innovation. Whether in new technologies or design, Apple has a fantastic mission to bring unique products to the market.
Therefore, with each product launched, Apple makes a point of reinforcing this position of innovation.
Everything it delivers to the market follows the slogan created by Steve Jobs. They are unique and minimalist products aimed at changing the market.
Which role does narrative strategy play in business?
We are used to seeing mission and vision statements by companies. These are essential concepts that help to understand what that organization proposes in its business.
That said, it is possible to state that narrative strategy replaces these two concepts.
The main reason is that it can create a long-term idea about what the brand intends. Thus, a single short story will be the center of the company’s activity.
Another important point of the narrative strategy is its relationship with buyer personas.
By having the main story, this strategy can reach different audiences precisely. Thus, it is necessary to be clear when showing how this narrative changes to meet each specific audience.
If this can be done with competence, brands can structure interesting narratives that can catch the audience’s attention.
Why are companies investing in that?
Creating a strategic narrative has helped companies generate strong brand awareness.
When organizations create stories that start from the present and project a specific future, they create expectations for the audience.
Therefore, the responsibility in using this strategy is great.
When well performed, this concept brings valuable results in the long term. We list and detail some of the main ones below.
Establish an organizational culture
Every company must have a conceptual starting point. This will guide its operation, the working environment, and the final product’s intended quality.
However, to achieve this, it is important to have a clear idea of what the company wants. That is why organizational culture is so influential.
With this, a strategic narrative is essential to develop a solid culture, which will start with the employees and target the consumer. Everything, however, needs to start from a well-defined vision.
By investing in a strategic narrative, companies can implement a deep-rooted culture.
This work is, for example, what Apple does to have more and more innovative products.
Create more accurate Marketing campaigns
Marketing staff must link campaigns to the narrative that a company uses.
By doing this, there is more consistent communication about the brand. This will ensure that the audience is reached in the right way.
In a content strategy, for example, the strategic narrative relies on essential elements such as:
- the tone of voice;
- writing style;
- subjects covered;
The direction of marketing campaigns becomes clearer when a company has a strategic narrative.
Increase audience engagement
Audiences need a good story to follow, which generates interest and makes them more willing to listen to what the brand has to say.
The conceptual basis is like a storytelling strategy. However, instead of only selling products, the strategic narrative is also focused on establishing brands.
As a result, good work with this strategy creates great stories about brands in general. Thus, it is possible to shape the public’s perception of these companies.
Netflix is a successful example. Its proposal was revolutionary and based on reducing all the money spent on DVDs to just one monthly subscription.
After that, all the changes were easier to make since the audience was engaged with the strategic narrative. That is why the transition to streaming was so successful.
How to apply strategic narrative in your company?
Establishing or changing a company’s strategic narrative is a complex task. First of all, you must know that this process happens in stages.
Planning is essential to ensure an accurate presentation to the audience. Otherwise, there may be a disconnection between these people and the company’s DNA.
If this happens, one of the consequences will be the audience’s loss of engagement.
Next, it is necessary to show the impacts of this strategic narrative. People need to be convinced that the story told will lead them to a major advantage.
It is important to work in this narrative, projecting a future full of benefits.
This way, it is easy to create in the consumer the idea that there is a “prize” waiting for them at the end of the journey.
Next, check out the steps of this work and how to apply strategic narrative in your company!
1. Align the new strategic narrative among the company’s board
A strategic narrative needs to reflect the vision of the company’s board. Therefore, it is important to have an alignment of perceptions among executives.
These people will use their extensive market experience to determine which paths to follow. Of course, the company must align this knowledge with the brand’s audience.
An effective strategic narrative is the one that generates an impact on the consumer.
Even if the audience doesn’t know they need to follow a new story, it must make sense. Only then is it possible to have an effective strategy.
2. Name the change
The first step is to contextualize the current market situation.
To do this, you need to explain what other companies have been doing.
It is not about depreciating competitors or criticizing what they offer. The focus must be on introducing your business changes.
At this stage, it is important to separate the old from the new. This way, the audience can understand that your company is building a narrative of evolution.
For example, a tech company wants to launch a new smartphone that features four cameras. Thus, it must show that current phones are effective, but the next generation is coming.
Apple used this approach to introduce the AirPods Pro.
Wireless earphones were already on the market, but the company used the concept of “Think Different” once again.
Thus, it managed to introduce a new product using an effective strategic narrative. Again, the story told was of something unique in the market.
You must present a narrative comparing:
- the current product or service (which will become something outdated);
- what your company offers (which will be the future).
Amidst this introduction of the strategic narrative, companies must indicate why the change is necessary.
It is important to explain how the audience will benefit from a better service or product.
3. Show the advantages to the audience
After indicating changes via a new story, it is necessary to say why it is relevant to the audience.
This work is one of the most challenging parts of implementing a strategic narrative.
Here you need to be sharp: tell the audience that those who engage with the new narrative will be in the market, and those who don’t, will be missing out on the best.
For your audience, a well-told story full of statements generates greater trust.
That is why it is essential to be clear when talking about the advantages of the new era of your company’s storytelling. After all, the public is looking for benefits that justify their relationship with your brand.
To be successful at this stage, you must have a solid and attractive campaign. The company’s marketing team is essential to introduce the narrative to the audience.
4. Explain impacts in the future
Companies design game-changing products or services to impact the future.
For this reason, it is necessary to create a strategic narrative that is clear about what changes will be achieved. This story construction catches the audience’s attention.
Consumers want to be part of a unique moment of change, which generates engagement.
By using storytelling elements, such as the hero’s journey, brands can create valuable narratives by projecting the future.
Thus, consumers realize they may have a unique opportunity. Therefore, they are open to showing involvement with the proposed narrative.
5. Measure results
It is always difficult to measure strategic narrative effectiveness.
Still, conversions should be the basis of a more accurate analysis. Therefore, companies must consider when a new strategic narrative generates sales.
A well-executed project leads to sales more quickly.
Also, the length of the sales cycle is an indicator. The shorter it is, the better, which means the consumer needs fewer touchpoints to convert.
When a company tells a good story, there is less effort to convince the consumer of a purchase. The proper narrative generates fast engagement and accelerated conversions.
A strategic narrative can put brands in a new, more powerful and engaging story. It is necessary to create content aligned to this narrative to achieve good results.
A great content experience helps to reaffirm the strategy and generate the desired perception in the audience.
Rock Content can help your company attract a larger audience and engage them with your narrative through a content strategy. Contact us to know how our solutions can help your business!