Engagement tools get in the way of engagement. People don’t want to talk to machines. People want to belong to communities. They want to be part of something; they want to stand with something. They want an emotional connection. Starring at a screen will not necessarily give you that emotional connection. Never have we been so connected and so isolated at the same time!
Today, the secret to viral connectivity is in the story telling. Look at Coke Happiness; IBM Smarter World; Pepsi’s Refreshing Project; Burrberry’s incredible reformation under the management of Angela Ahrendt. Then there is similar story telling happening in Nike and in Starbucks. These brands have learnt the importance of story telling. Story telling is becoming so important to the brand that there is a story telling conference happening in the States right now. Stories connect brands to their audience.
Steve Jobs said:
“Life is about creating living experiences that are worth sharing.”
Jobs said it was not about the box. It is not about RAM or screen resolution. He recognised that the computing platforms are not enough. In essence, he was saying that the tools simply channel the motivation of the individual or of the group. However, for social platforms to be effective, you need to work out a message. That message needs to inspire the audience and the audience of audiences.
Sure, the engines that are being designed allow us to share. However, we need to recognise that relationships today share a confluence of data, emotion and connectivity. Technology is not even half the story. We need brilliant story tellers. And that is the genius of marketing.
Remember, a brand is but a collection of awesome experiences. Awesome experiences are not simply within the grasp of the engineer working alone! It takes a community that aligns with the intent of the brand to bring about something special, something that is worth being shared.