You are on page 1of 4


Twenty-eight thousand tweets per minute Super Bowl stat.1 Estimated 597 million people active on social media in China market stat.2 More than 80 percent of Internet respondents in 56 countries reported watching video content at home on a computer (84%) or on TV (83%) at least once a month behavior stat.3


Consumers have technology at their fingertips, digital resources in tow, and necks in constant crook checking the ever-flowing fountain of engaging digital bytes. Its very obvious that technology plays a pivotal role in how we live, and why we live the way we do. This is not just because of the growing ubiquity of devices. This is about lifestyle; the consumers expectations of being always connected wherever they are and whenever they want. Thinking about mobility is different than thinking about mobile.4 The application of mobility influences the consumers ability to participate in brand stories and our ability to connect and engage them. 3 4 The industrys use of mobile typically focuses narrowly on a device or app; we consider the larger concept of mobility to widen perspective. Mobility refers to the continuity and confidence of being connected to people, places, objects, environments and ideas. Photo Credit: Reprinted from Storyscaping: Stop Creating Ads, Start Creating Worlds, by Gaston Legorburu and Darren McColl, 2014. Copyright 2014 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA.
1 2

story is as releVant and powerFul as eVer. Stories are how we all make sense oF the world we must explore and redeFine the way we tell stories in this always-on tech-enaBled world. We must moVe Beyond Just telling stories and start creating worlds
Changing Behavior
Even though human psychology has changed little in the last century, we have all felt the profound impact made by social media as a force of influence in our society. Its not just quantity and the fact that most people now use social media; perhaps even more significant is the influence that these interactions are having on consumer decision-making. At the place where decisions were once linear retail environments we see the barriers between the virtual and physical worlds breaking down and experiences becoming multidimensional. The use and role of technology is transforming the instore shopping experience, changing consumer expectations and even the role of the store. Like social interaction, the future of retail and the way commerce is conducted in all businesses is being affected. These changes are paralleled by changes in what content we now expect and how we use and enjoy it. Online video consumption on both home and mobile devices is exploding. Brands like Netflix are challenging the traditional distribution model for entertainment programming. Like no other media, film has a powerful capacity to engage consumers. Though this has long been understood, in the face of media diversity the power of using film to tell and inspire stories is continuing to evolve. The role technology plays in all of our lives is having a profound impact on societal values. In some ways it connects; in others it isolates. Sometimes its a utility; other times its an indulgence. No matter how you dice it, for us it becomes a plate full of opportunity because technology constantly creates new possibilities and has changed the marketing, economic and most of all, the consumer landscape. Story is as relevant and powerful as ever. Stories are how we all make sense of the world and understand our roles within it. Its not likely this will ever change. So we must explore and redefine the way we tell stories in this always-on, tech-enabled world. We must move beyond just telling stories and start creating worlds that inspire consumer participation through shared values and shared experiences.

The Storyscaping Approach

To do just that, we at SapientNitro apply a unique and well-defined approach called Storyscaping. We bring together the application of Organizing Ideas with Systems Thinking to build more effective emotional connections and experiences between brands and consumers. As a result, we help brands create a world of multidimensional experiences, not just ads or websites. We do this by inspiring and enabling consumer participation in the brand story, which leads to greater brand value, consumer engagement and connected transactions. But gaining the attention and involvement of todays consumer is a consistent challenge. They are no longer satisfied by just being told a story; they now expect to be part of the story. Its a reality that requires us to look at, explore and solve for both dimensions story and technology, together. This approach is an evolution from creating ads to creating multidimensional worlds where consumers interact with brands through immersive experiences (and they still often include ads). Within these worlds, each connection inspires engagement with another, and each experience reinforces the brands story. Connections that end with a comma, rather than a period. Beyond story and immersive experiences there are foundational elements that cement the structure of the Storyscaping approach. Sitting at the core of every Storyscape is an Organizing Idea. It serves as a central touchstone that guides the ways brands connect with people and the ways to inspire behavior and build emotional resonance. The Organizing Idea is in essence the creative expression of the Brand Purpose, and its built from the deep knowledge and insight we gather about the brand and its preferred consumer. This Organizing Idea then guides the development of all the experiences that are created for the Storyscape. These experiences and connection points are strategically positioned through and across the Experience Space, per the direction of a Story System. It plots out the potential opportunities for engaging consumers in the brand story over time and across connection points. Some of the connection points may be designed to source content from participants and give those participants a role in evolving the story. They may also allow for non-linear narratives where the story can guide a unique direction for different participants, each designed to be fun and engaging. A final and very important aspect of a successful Storyscape is to build an effective team. The Storyscape approach requires cross-pollination of skills and demands collaboration. Teams of technologists, writers, strategists, and designers all work together (what we call connected thinking), and in doing so create efficiencies of effort and focus attention on areas that require further development. In short, this is our proven approach and method that encourages consumers to become part of a brand story that is ongoing. As a result, brands end up cultivating something even more important than customers; they produce believers who carry the brand into their own story and share it. The balance of Insights 2014 is focused on the opportunity to reimagine storytelling for an always-on world by combining the Power of Technology with the Power of Story. In this issue, we address the changing consumer landscape, new storytelling tools, connecting the virtual and physical worlds, experiences created by technology and data and the expanding role of marketing leadership. As always, we are interested in your feedback on the ideas presented here, and we look forward to working with you to capitalize on these opportunities.

For more information about the Storyscaping approach, read our new book, Storyscaping: Stop Creating Ads, Start Creating Worlds, published by Wiley in April 2014 and available at