“There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune”. – Julius Caesar
As every Shakespearian play has a reference to the world outside fiction, here, Brutus can be seen encouraging his men to capitalize on the opportunity present and avoid any feelings of regret later. True to this quote even today, the business world is presented with a wide range of opportunities by the top tech trends of 2023 that brands should tap into the potential of. Any and every business is all about identifying the pain points of consumers and providing a solution to people through their products and services. Then why do some businesses soar high while some struggle to take off? The answer lies in another question- what’s in a story, your story?
Storytelling has been a part of human life since birth. The stories from grandma to the books we read and movies we see in growing years to the stories that we live to tell, our brains are wired to play different characters in various stories all our life. Brands today can use this aspect to connect with customers. By curating relevant stories, a brand can cater to every consumer emotionally. Today technology has moved beyond a streak of basic, monotonous duties and has grasped qualities of humans like intelligence, creativity, and empathy. Consider AI, from detecting human emotion, and being a movie star to predicting the future, this technology has come way far from what was imagined a few years ago.
The Era Of Interactive Brand Stories
As old as humans, the conventional forms of storytelling like books, movies, advertisements, music, paintings, magazines, etc always come with restrictions that pertain to availability, time, location and are not always accessible. This reduces brand reach and gives brands a memory slump from the consumers. As persuasion requires a constant reminder, tech-powered storytelling allows users full control over their experience and a humane side to not-so-human strategies, something that is impossible to forget.
As mentioned by us in our top tech trends for 2023 guide last month, the prevailing tech trends will have a huge impact on customer relationship management and product delivery of brands this year. With the need to present more immersive stories in 2023, building the brand protagonist with these trends will help businesses create stories that are engaging, stories that go on for long, and stories that make people come back for more.
The Virtual Avatar Way Of Storytelling
A significant evolution of technology from chatbots to virtual avatars just shows the world that with chatbots, people used to feel a sense of seclusion, hesitation, and irrelevance, hence the change. Digital humans- an integral part of not just the Metaverse but every other digital platform today then may it be a website, an application, or a kiosk are now not new to the eyes and ears, but are you exploring the full scope of these avatars for your business? 84% of buyers today feel they need to purchase from brands that have a vision, have their values aligned with consumer beliefs, show that they care about their hurdles, and talk about issues they are passionate about- In short, buyers relate to brands that come with unique stories. With a virtual avatar-powered digital persona, brands can curate character-based stories that create interactive experiences for users to fit in well amongst the percentage. As a brand ambassador, assistant, or a salesperson, an AI-powered avatar with a self-learning system can curate tales for a brand that-
1. Educates people on topics of interest in tune with the values and vision the company has.
2. Inspires users to make accurate decisions through examples of success.
3. Entertains people with humour, fun facts, interesting banters, and much more.
4. Informs about the company’s products and services that map to the customer’s pain points.
To leverage the power of this top tech trend for 2023 to narrate stories, we have profiled the strategy for you-
a. Align the avatar’s personality to your brand.
b. Personalize stories according to user profiles.
c. Place avatar-based stories at the right place in the customer journey.
d. Track user activity at all times to contextualize conversations. Deploy an avatar that narrates stories in the customers’ natural language.
a. Do not create stories with data that is old and real-time narration is not present.
b. Do not make the avatar pop up to narrate stories where quick and urgent assistance is needed.
c. Do not narrate stories that hurt sentiments or are not community safe.
Explore further: Avatar-based storytelling
The Metaverse Way Of Storytelling
Executive attention to virtual worlds has grown since the revenue from Metaverse strategies has reached a whopping $400BN. Since then ROI insecurities have taken a back seat while immersive world investments continue to multiply. Metaverse is another form of sustainable storytelling that has made it, fortunately, and brands do not have to keep looking for new strategies every now and then. With the power to keep user attention for long, here’s how you can tell good stories with a brand-specific Metaverse platform-
- Acquaint people about the products and services with ‘do it yourself’ activities like a virtual try-on, 3D visualization, or product configuration.
- Create a platform that is immersive and encourages user participation in various fun activities like games, dancing, music, general awareness events, etc through rewards.
- Present brand values and the vision with a tour of the virtual world that is dipped in brand-specific colours, quotes, and references.
- Run ’emotionally intelligent’ advertisements inside the walls of the Metaverse.
Want to dig deeper?
a. Create a Metaverse platform that is inclusive to the brand so that the experiences can be personalized for each buyer persona.
b. Curate campaigns through Metaverse experiences that cater to the creators.
c. Develop Metaverse-powered stories that have movie elements and trigger emotions that people have after watching a good movie.
d. Own stories that balance business transactions, educational awareness, and fun elements well on the platform.
a. Do not deploy stories on different Metaverse platforms.
b. Do not use a Metaverse platform to tell stories without a digital human brand ambassador.
c. Do not stick to only one device for the deployment of Metaverse stories.
Related: Metaverse-based storytelling
Maruti Suzuki case study-
Recently, Maruti Suzuki in partnership with DaveAI launched Expoverse; a multipurpose Metaverse platform to virtually exhibit its participation in Auto Expo’23 to the world. This brand-specific Metaverse platform hosts a:
- Launch zone: This is a space that the user avatar can enter to experience immersive brand stories from Maruti Suzuki. The brand is using Metaverse to bring its history, vision, technological developments, and success stories to the world.
- Amphitheatre: This is a virtual showroom that exhibits a collection of 16 models for the users to explore.
- Technology zone: This is a space where users can gain knowledge about automotive technology. Another way of storytelling leveraged by the brand to educate customers and pique their interest.
- Sustainability zone: This is a space where the users take a pledge to give back to nature through Maruti Suzuki’s vision for a sustainable future that goes beyond the cars they manufacture. Green technology is the theme of this space that depicts Maruti Suzuki’s journey of developing cars with a good environmental performance. This is a classic example that not just talks about the brand’s vision but also social awareness issues that need to be addressed.
- Adventure zone: In this space, the users can take part in adventure sports like rock climbing and earn rewards. User participation in brand stories ensures people remember the experience for long.
- Entertainment zone: This is a space for users to relax and enjoy some music and dancing with a group of friends and loved ones. Multiplayer Metaverse experiences lead to emotionally intelligent stories that get an instant ‘yes’ from users.
- Studio zone: Here the user can take a selfie with their avatars next to their favourite Maruti Suzuki model and share it on social media. An example of storytelling that goes beyond the exhibit- this experience does not need reminders.
For a wider reach, Maruti Suzuki arranged for the availability of VR devices at about 1100 dealerships all over India and this experience is available through other devices like mobile phones, laptops, and desktops as well. The key differentiator of all DaveAI-powered storytelling experiences for customers of brands is the virtual avatar deployed to personalize the journey. Powered by an AI sales brain, this central-to-all-stories virtual avatar was deployed in the Expoverse as well to inspire experiences that show just how meaningful a virtual journey can be.
Talking about the Expoverse project, Mr. Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Officer, Marketing & Sales-Maruti Suzuki says,” We are expanding our digital footprint and this year our ecosystem gets stronger. After the massive success of our two Metaverse projects with DaveAI– Nexaverse and Arenaverse, we are now announcing the launch of Expoverse. This multipurpose Metaverse platform is to enable accessibility and connectivity to people who would like to witness the Auto Expo without restrictions of geographical boundaries.”
From reading to living. Enter the Expoverse: Expoverse
1. Every brand has a story. It just has to be told in the right way. To win and keep customers, you need to embrace virtual avatars and Metaverse. Virtual stories increase conversions by more than 28%.
2. Digital brand stories tend to help digest ideas, facts, and numbers coherently and stir emotional responses. Every great story has a hero who conquers battles and wins. A virtual avatar is the protagonist in your brand story that leverages your offerings to solve customer problems and win.
3. Today, digital brand stories trump traditional advertising as 90% of consumers prefer brands that know how to story up an advertisement on the platforms they spend most of their time on.