There are seemingly endless opportunities now for brands to reach their target audiences. With so much commotion and competition, it can be challenging to stand out and really connect.
Critical to getting it right is to have a distinct and holistic brand experience that emotionally resonates with your audience.
Brand experiences should be memorable and relatable. They should be authentic and consistent across all channels. When done well, they help to build trust and loyalty with customers. This is especially important for the leisure & hospitality sector, because trends emerging from the pandemic and pressing economic pressures mean that people need a truly compelling motivation to go out, and want to receive the best service and overall experience when they do.
A great website can make all the difference as part of the mix. Often the first point of contact between a brand and a potential customer, your web presence and experience should project memorable ‘brand stories’ to create connections that stimulate action. To make a high-impact first impression and to facilitate sales, the website must - obviously - be easy to use and navigate (it’s amazing how many are not): Clear, concise product descriptions are key to a smooth experience, enhanced with high-quality images and videos. The trick is to deliver these while also expressing a unique and magnetic ‘brand story’.
Storytelling can increase conversions by a whopping 30%.
Search Engine Watch
When it comes to the role of digital touch-points for hospitality and leisure services, Online Travel Agencies(OTAs), work well for comparing rates and finding deals, but they can’t offer the same level of personalisation and engagement as a brand’s own website. The key opportunity is to inspire customers with your brand experience, express your true story and show case your unique offer. A well-executed preview of what is waiting for your customers when they visit your hotel or restaurant will connect with your visitors on a deeper level, cultivating direct-contact relationships and ultimately helping to increase revenue.
It’s a common misconception that digital design is somehow less ‘artistic’ and more practical than designing, for instance, a physical space. Of course, online experiences have the potential to be just as creative, conveying stories in imaginative and astonishing ways. What makes a website or mobile app great, is the balance between how well it facilitates the user’s goals, and its aesthetics, tone of voice and blend of content. User experience is fundamental, but itis not the only factor to consider. Storytelling is vital for connecting with users and leaving a lasting impression.
People retain only 5% to 10% of information if it consists of statistics alone. But, when they hear a story, they remember 65%to 70%.
London School Of Economics
• Start with a distinctively unique ‘narrative’. What is the brand story that you want to tell? What message do you want to convey? Is it own-ably yours? Once you have this, you can start to think about how to translate it into a digital format.
• Use a range of visual assets to tell your story. Create a mood, to convey and provoke emotions. Unusual images and videos, well chosen, will resonate with your audience.
• Work on the language: Get the copyright, adding detail and context to your story. Be clear & concise, using a unique tone of voice in keeping with your brand personality.
• Engage users with meaning full interaction to make them feel like they are a part of the story.
The narrative should also serve as inspiration for the design, underpinned by a seamless user experience. Websites are most effective when they successfully combine aesthetics and logic. Done well, this will provide people a sensation of complete immersion into your brand: Visually pleasing and emotionally engaging imagery, combined with writing that is clear, succinct, and simple to read, and a straightforward interface.
Our website design for Côte Brasserie achieves exactly that. Requiring an inspirational and personality-led website that bridges the gap between the physical and digital channels, Côte approached us to move the brand forward and target a younger guest. Employing all the principles we have been discussing above, the new website shares the ‘Joie de Vivre’ of the brand essence and communicates the emotive essence of the Côte dining experience from morning to night. This new website has resulted in over10% increase in booking conversion rates, and a fresh new digital presence that builds anticipation, tells the Côte story and resonates with thein restaurant experience.
It’s not easy to find a balance between empathy and creativity. Website designers need to be able to understand the needs of their users, but they should also take creative risks to connect with heart as well as head. In this sense, digital experiences must be more than just a beautifully designed UX and UI system. They should also engage users emotionally, using storytelling, personality and humour to create a connection with users.
STORYTELLING INCREASES THE VALUE OF PRODUCTS BY UP TO 2,706%.
Study conducted by writers RobertWalker & John Glenn
There are many benefits to using brand storytelling in digital design. Here are a few of the most important:
• Strong brands build emotional bonds with consumers, emotional bonds only develop through great experiences.
• A brand is all about having a point of view and a story. Strong brands project who you are, what you do, how you do it, where you want to go.
• It’s more than just empathising with your user, a brand is all about the emotional response we trigger. Tell a story, show people who you are, how you feel, your attitude and ambience.
• We need to remember that people visiting our websites are not just digital ‘users’, they are also the physical ‘guests’ that will enter our spaces. We need to think more holistically about their experience with the brand as a whole rather than purely the digital experience. Closing the gap between the physical and digital experience.
If people love a brand story, 55% are more likely to buy the product in future,44% will share the story, and 15% will buy the product immediately.
Whilst de-coding and anticipating users’ wants and needs is critical, as a brand you also should be curating the experience and triggering certain targeted responses – perhaps even disrupting their planned path with unexpected stimuli. One example is our design for the website for Center Hotels. Resulting in a 61% increase in website users,77% website conversion rate growth and 61.3% direct bookings increase.our design uses an authentic brand story and moments of localised surprise, humour and discovery, in order to inspire visitors to want to explore Center Hotel’s locations in Reykjavík & beyond, seeing the brand as the go-to local expert. In addition to beautiful visuals, the web experience enhances guest communication via tech-tools such as Triptease, Hotel Resbot and Revinate and Ota Insight, Benchmarking Alliance and Google Analytics for data analytics and market benchmarking.
Creative storytelling creates a more engaging and memorable user experience, enabling brands to standout. When users are emotionally engaged with a product or service, feeling like they are part of its story, it is proven that they will remember it and use it again. At I-AM we aim to design remarkable experiences that change the way people think, feel and behave by creating moments of joy that build affinity between customers and brands. We defifine the foundations of the brand proposition and experience, and convey this effectively through storytelling. We can help your brand engage emotionally and provide people with a reason to want to visit or book with you. If you can do all of this, it will result in an increase in direct bookings and return visits.