June 5th, 2023
Effective storytelling has always been an integral part of creating compelling content that awakens customers to your brand and builds loyalty. But what is the best way to approach this in 2023 and beyond, when the world of digital is more vast than ever? Our partners at Contentful tackle that topic and more at their Contentful Storylines 2023 tour.
FFW is a proud Silver Sponsor for all five global stops on the tour. We first attended the New York City event in May, which really got us thinking about the potential and storytelling capabilities of content in new, refreshing ways.
As we turned the page on the Contentful Storylines NYC event, some things became increasingly clear:
- The power of composable content is super-charging an organization’s capacity for storytelling
- Contentful is the composable content platform that provides both the technology and the know-how that enables brands to bring stories to life across any digital channel
- FFW is more excited than ever to be partnering with the Contentful team
Here’s a recap of what we thought were some of the biggest highlights from the NYC show:
Greatest Hits and Takeaways from Contentful Storylines NYC
“The New Art of Storytelling” — A short film from Contentful
We got a sneak peek of Contentful’s new film, “The New Art of Storytelling.” This short film on the future of brand storytelling blew us away with its level of quality and the range of experts interviewed. It dives into the future of brand storytelling and the impact content has on how businesses connect with customers. At FFW, we see firsthand how digital experience platforms powered by composable content are a powerful tool, enabling this “new art of storytelling” at scale. Check out the trailer below or watch the full video here.
How brands can use video games to storytell and engage customers
The professor of video games, Dr. Kris Alexander, gave a compelling keynote with examples of unexpected, yet effective uses of video games as a medium for brands to tell their stories and better engage with their customers.
We heard about marketing campaigns that integrated video games from Gillette (in-game advertising on Burnout Paradise), Hellmann’s (in-game partnership with Animal Crossing), and Kentucky Fried Chicken (multi-pronged video game strategy complete with a VR employee training game, a dating simulator game, and a KFC video game console concept to keep fried chicken warm while playing video games).
Dr. Alexander pointed out that, even though on the surface these brands had no clear business getting into video games, they each ran successful campaigns because of their focus on Impactful Synergy – a customer engagement strategy that Dr. Alexander boiled down to 3 key pillars:
- Each campaign was certainly unique – no other companies in each of the brand’s markets were employing video games as a part of their marketing/customer engagement strategy at the time
- This made it attention, and headline, grabbing
- This is the WHY – there was a point and a narrative to each of the campaigns. They pushed the brand’s meaning beyond the surface level
- Each campaign focused on engaging with their community/audience. Gillette understood that the main users of their products (young men) were the target demographic for Burnout Paradise. Hellmann’s built a virtual community at a time when we were all craving in-person community (Spring 2020…). And KFC…well they understood that all gamers eat food. And a number of them love fried chicken
Inspiration From Other Leaders in the Composability Space
We also heard great stories and perspectives from a variety of companies at the forefront of composability – organizations and technology platforms that embrace the virtues of modularity in everything from system architecture to visual design to organizational governance. It was inspiring to hear from a number of our partners, both on stage and in the conversations that followed over coffee and happy hours:
- Aiden Schrock, Sales Engineer at our partner Vercel, joined Rob Remington from Contentful for a session on how to leverage a headless technology stack, with Next.JS and Vercel’s front-end development platform, to achieve higher rankings and optimize content for your audiences.
- TaskRabbit joined Twilio Segment’s Sr. Director of Product Management Ron Pereira on stage to discuss how they leverage Segment’s Customer Data Platform to supercharge their digital customer experience as the leading online marketplace, helping consumers find help with everyday tasks such as furniture assembly, moving, delivery, and handyperson work.
- Headless commerce leaders, and FFW partners, BigCommerce presented a session titled “Transforming the buying experiences, one composable story at a time”. Sachin Wadhawan, VP of Tech Partnerships, and Jenny Hopkins, Principal, Channel Accounts, shared insights from five customer journeys that demonstrated the why, the what, and the how to composable commerce experiences.
Your Digital Platform Should Empower Storytelling
Taking all of the great lessons learned from our time at Storylines, it is important to remember that a great digital experience is first and foremost a human interaction. There’s a person on the other side of the screen. How can you make sure that every single person that engages with your brand digitally has an equally great experience? How do you balance consistency with flexibility, especially across many brands and touchpoints? What has to be done to ensure that digital experiences — and the platforms that power them — scale into the future?
We at FFW are always thinking about how to best empower our clients’ teams to answer those important questions, and create a digital platform that will enable them to effectively manage those digital experiences that are so important to effective storytelling with their audiences. If you’re curious to learn more about how we can help you, don’t hesitate to drop us a line.