Effective strategy enables executives to direct available resources to achieve maximum competitive advantage.
Conceptualization of strategy requires several capabilities, few more important than a deep, nuanced knowledge of customers, the inner life of customers, and environment factors influencing customers’ behaviors and perceptions.
Conceptualization of effective strategy demands insight and creativity: incisive metaphors for how customers experience a brand and develop a strong preference and loyalty to the brand.
The development of an engagement strategy calls attention to the need for effective metaphors that define and illuminate how brand-marketing firms can connect, inform, entertain, and reduce the barriers to word-of-mouth referral and brand allegiance.
The figure below depicts several key aspects needed to develop an effective engagement strategy.
Brand Engagement Theater constitutes the definitive metaphor for visualizing and, thus, marshaling the available resources of a marketing operation, its global marketing supply chain and its business ecosystem.
Commitment to the experience of the brand defines brand power, emphasizing the resonance and vitality of the underlying cultural narrative or affinity for the brand and its story of consumption.
Brand narratives work the same neural pathways as bedtime stories for children; great brand narratives become bedtime favorites: “Tell that one I like again, pleeeese!”
Affinity with the brand voice and brand users as a group
Recognition that the brand represents genuine value
Response to the branded offering as truthful, authentic, and unique
Lack of any compelling reason not to share
NARRATIVES OF CONSUMPTION
Customers buy products and services from the conviction that consumption will produce happiness.
The act of consuming (products or services) does not produce happiness; rather, the story one tells oneself in the act of consumption (and immediately following) creates the perception of value, quality, and satisfaction—happiness.
Effective engagement strategies offer usable scripts and metaphors that customers can use in preparation for or during the act of consumption.
For this reason, effective engagement strategies start with what we call a basis of conversation—the talking points that customers use as its relates to the awareness, consideration, trial, purchase, commitment, etc.
Effective engagement strategies then translate these talking points by consumption context and phase of an engagement life cycle into a set of scripts or dialogs.
These structured dialogs become the foundation for the development of multimodal content—copy writing, rich media, and interactive applications.
Great brand narratives becomes experiences that customers share with others, inducing others to join the consumption cohort of brand users.
Participation or the willingness to invite others into the brand narrative of consumption defines the second dimension of a brand theater.
Strong narrative and good storytelling provide the foundation of brand engagement theaters, giving customers reasons to experience the brand and share that experience with others.