Storyscaping With Apps: Story + Value + Experience = Consumer Love


What is Storyscaping?

It’s not complicated. It’s not even something I developed— all credit goes to Gaston Legorburu and Darren McColl of SapientNitro, as outlined in their seminal book Storyscaping. In a nutshell, Storyscaping makes the case that consumer expectations have shifted, and many brands need to play catch up.

Storyscaping is how you transform a great storyline into an immersive Story System where people enjoy their connection with your brand and want to continue their loyalty and be participants in your world.

The digital landscape is changing rapidly, social media is evolving, and brands are beginning to understand both the importance of storytelling and the need to develop channel-specific engagement strategies.

Of course, stories attract customers, but brand communications today are already so saturated with stories that this is no longer enough. What do the authors recommend? Create “Experience Spaces” that consider both the digital and real spaces that customers will interact with.

“You need to create immersive worlds. Create worlds that resonate with the highly connected, digitally enabled consumer of today. Create sensing and adaptive worlds that, in this ever-changing environment, can differentiate and cut across emotional, physical, and virtual experiences.”

Brands need to rethink marketing entirely, focusing on how they can add value for consumers — by extending the brand experience, delivering the unexpected, and finding ways to become relevant in between transactions. Brands need to develop more meaningful relationships with their target audiences by leveraging technology, and some brands out there are already doing just that. Let’s take a look at how Nike, along with their agency R/GA, tackled a big challenge by innovating in the way they approach building brand equity with new consumers.

storyscaping framework

Example of Storyscaping by Nike

Tapping into any new market is difficult for an athletic apparel manufacturer, even a global giant like Nike. When Nike decided that they wanted to get into the skateboarding apparel market, they knew they had to find a way to establish credibility with skateboarders, a strong subculture that has its own lingo. Advertising alone wouldn’t work — even if they recruited skateboarding superstars to become brand ambassadors, they needed to do something original to quickly establish authority in this new market.

While the Nike marketing team might not have read Storyscaping, they certainly employed the formula (story + value + experience) to create a groundbreaking iPhone application for skateboarders, one that lets users learn new tricks, share their tricks, and take part in challenges with other skaters around the world. To create the app, Nike and R/GA worked with some of the biggest names in skateboarding, including Paul Rodriguez and Sean Malto, to develop training content for beginners and experienced skaters alike.  But what was truly groundbreaking was the ability to integrate consumers into the content creation process, enabling them to upload their content, show off their skills, and share their tricks with other skaters around the word.

storyscaping app

To create an immersive experience that drives engagement, Nike also integrated gamification into the app. The “Game of S.K.A.T.E.” lets skaters connect anywhere around the globe to compete through the app. Users can also chart their progress and share content from Nike SB with their friends via social networks including Facebook and Twitter. Nike also leverages Nike SB-generated content across branded channels, including YouTube and Facebook.  This creates a richer Storyscape where the focus is on the users, not the product — that is a key ingredient in the formula of “story + value + experience”.

While Nike certainly isn’t the first brand to build a useful app that creates value for consumers, they did deliver the unexpected and created something incredibly well-received by the skateboarding community, or at least skaters with iPhones. Nike could certainly extend this experience to Android and drive even more brand engagement.

How You Can Leverage Storyscaping

This is just one example of what’s possible. Think about your company— how can you create value for your brand by leveraging the Storyscaping formula when developing an application? It doesn’t matter if you’re in the consumer market or the B2B space. You don’t have to break the bank to develop something as engaging as the Nike SB app; in fact, most applications don’t need to be as sophisticated at first release.

Today, your ability to build stronger relationships with your audience is limited only by your willingness to invest and your creativity.

First Line Software provides expert-level mobile application development services for consumer, business, and government-grade mobile apps tailored to your unique business needs.

Talk to us today to learn more about our creative processes and experience and ensure your company has a world-class mobile application experience.

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