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How do you upgrade your Executive Briefing Center into a Digital Storytelling tool?

Fig. — 
October 4, 2022
A well-designed briefing experience can provide your company with a unique opportunity to better understand their needs and co-create solutions that benefit all parties.

How do you upgrade your Executive Briefing Center into a Digital Storytelling tool?

Executive Briefing Centers form an essential part of the customer relationship toolkit by strengthening the relationship between the company and their clients.

The primary goal for these dedicated spaces is to serve the objectives of the Sales or Marketing departments. However, a modernized Briefing Center should also help the Customer to get familiar with your brand by stepping into and exploring your world. A well-designed briefing experience can give your company a unique chance to understand their needs better and co-create solutions that benefit all parties.

When done well, Briefing Centers can become a ‘focus group of one.’ Unfortunately, Briefing Centers are too-often considered from only one side of this exchange, and fall short of fulfilling this potential due to inflexible designs or older technologies.

Outdated and tired

In many cases, companies are still using outdated setups. These can consist of not much more than a conference room with some AV equipment. Guests at briefing rooms like these are expected to sit quietly and pay undivided attention – which is a lot to ask. Presentations become limited by design, are frequently long and generic, and cannot be tailored to the specific situation or needs of the customer.

If we think of attending an executive briefing as being somewhat like going on a date, then it’s clear that setups like these no longer ‘cut the mustard’. After all, would you want to go on a date where the other person just gives a presentation about them, and how wonderful they are?

When your Briefing Center can support two-way interaction, you have a space where the door is always open to new solutions and bigger deals.

Defining a Briefing Center – What is it?

A Briefing Center can be defined as a consciously designed space that enables a company to show what it can do, and how this relates to the customer’s needs. As these are dedicated spaces, Briefing Centers serve as a living testament to the dedication the company has to the customer.

The value of a well-polished briefing experience cannot be understated. A survey conducted by the Association of Briefing Program Managers (ABPM) revealed that 88% of respondents said that their recommendation of a company would depend on the briefing experience they receive at a Briefing Center. This shows the remarkable impact that a good Briefing Center experience can have.

It’s a competitive game though - 48% of visitors to an executive briefing in the survey had also attended briefings at other, rival companies. This means your company’s briefing experience must really stand out if it wants to win.

The opportunity of a good Briefing Center can only be fully grasped when the company uses it to show off the unique qualities of their brand and how their offer is the best in the market. By surprising the customer with a refreshing solution to their own daily struggles, your company can demonstrate that they truly understand their situation and that you’re ready to leverage your expertise to help.

Briefing Center

What’s the difference between a Briefing Center and an Experience Center?

There is a considerable overlap between ‘Briefing Centers’ and ‘Customer Experience Centers’, or CXCs. A modern executive Briefing Center or CXC should be more than just a space – it’s a digital storytelling tool that can add real value to your business.

Ten years ago, Briefing Centers were much simpler. The level of expectation was lower, and the technological capabilities were more basic. Compared to their modern counterparts, older Briefing Centers typically consist of ‘static’ (sit-and-listen) designs. The static designs of these spaces rely too much on the customer paying acute attention to a single screen – often used to display a PowerPoint or other standard presentation. When more engaging media or technology is employed, it might just be on a loop – displaying the same message or demo on a regular rhythm to whoever happens to be there.

Instead of these ‘fossils’, your Briefing Center needs to keep pace with your developing brand. Whenever new products or features emerge, you need the ability to add them to your digital storytelling. When a customer comes to visit, you need to offer an experience that is always current and specifically tailored to them.

Briefing Center

Digital storytelling software: How to use a Briefing Center more effectively

When clients want to update their current Briefing Center, it’s because their current solution isn’t delivering the value it should be.

These older setups may be using outdated technology, but sometimes they’re using technology that’s current but too difficult to use and adapt. Despite having very modern tech, these end up becoming stuck in the past and lack the ability to customize for each individual client.

The critical difference between an effective, ‘always fresh’ Briefing Center experience and one that is ‘stuck in time’ is the digital storytelling software behind the scenes. Your digital storytelling software is what gives AV technology and immersive experiences the ability to adapt and thrive. It means you can offer customized experiences for each client. It also means you can support more complex layouts and experience designs, which gives your brand the best chance to stand out with a unique Briefing Center concept.

What does a modern Briefing Center consist of?

Imagine stepping into your new Briefing Center into Experience Center – what does it look like? What can it do? How does it generate value for your business?

First, a Briefing Center should offer an experience. No more ‘standard’ client briefings, it’s time to upgrade to immersive digital storytelling. This puts the client into the middle of the story, and lets them discover how your solutions can become part of their plan.

Next, let’s consider the goal. Customer Experience Centers give Sales and Marketing teams an opportunity to make new and long-lasting connections with potential customers. When forming these connections, it’s helpful to build your experience around four key domains:

1. Your brand identity – Using the experience to build your brand’s reputation with the customer, and make clear what you believe in.
2. Your Offer
– See the range of products or services you offer, and give demonstrations.
3. Their Problems
– Demonstrate that you understand the challenges you face, and show them how your offer can help solve these problems.
4. Explore complex issues
– There’s more at stake than whether you match their needs. What about payment terms? How would deployment work in practice? What about addressing unique challenges in different regions? This is an opportunity to resolve lingering doubts about how things work in reality.

There’s no typical layout or recipe for success here, but the best Briefing Center experiences will include multiple interactive touchpoints. This might include a Demonstration Center with sensor driven signage such as RFID or 3D models, which displays holograms or digital stories that explain products when prompted by a sensor action.

Interactive components like these or other interactive signage help to extend attention spans with touchpoints that keep customers engaged throughout their journey. Applying touch-capable screens in immersive experiences can also bring customers even deeper into the middle of the story.

Briefing Center

An example of a Briefing Center experience in action

Let’s consider the hypothetical example of what a Briefing Center might look like for a company that offers cloud solutions for businesses. This is a good example, because the potential applications of software and IT are nearly limitless, but also potentially technical and hard to grasp.

In this case, the software company has opted for a simple layout with digital signage and an immersive experience room. Before entering the immersive customer experience, guests have a chance to explore independently using the interactive digital signage.

The main concept is an immersive ‘game’ in which the customer becomes the Operations Manager at an imaginary company – one that’s very similar to their own and operating in the same sector.

At the center of the immersive experience room is a control panel that enables the client to control the game and select different options. The immersive screens themselves are also touch-capable, enabling other team members to make choices and perform specific roles within departments.

In the game, the customers experience familiar challenges and then choose different cloud applications that help automate and optimize operations in every department. Team members work collaboratively, exploring potential benefits and drawbacks for each solution the company can provide – and they get to see how these solutions work in action.

Finally, at the end they can see how the company's cloud software solutions can impact their ROI.

An experience like this makes the benefits of each product immediately tangible, and the customer forms a strong positive memory association with the brand too. The digital storytelling software running the show needs to support this complex experience by offering specific content in response to the customer’s multiple-choice selections.

With sufficiently agile digital storytelling software, any company can offer this level of customized experience. They can create an interactive session that allows the customer to explore digital stories that explain how each solution works by framing this in a familiar context that resonates.

Show your brand from an entirely new angle

Your customers may not see you the way you see yourself, and a Briefing Center is a great way to reconcile these perspectives. When your Briefing Center has been upgraded into an Experience Center, your customer can become the center of an immersive digital storytelling session. These are incredibly persuasive experiences which can challenge preconceptions and cast your brand story in a new light.

The last thing any brand needs is to be seen as stale or out of touch – a powerful Briefing Center experience can make sure you can always stay relevant for the customer and respond to their priorities.

Once again, your digital storytelling software is crucial for staying current. We live in a 24/7 digital age, and it’s vital to grab attention and give customers an experience that is meaningful to them today. At Purple we use the Hyro digital storytelling software because it gives all our experience center concepts the maximum capability to change and adapt. With digital storytelling software this powerful, your briefing experience can become truly interactive by enabling non-linear storytelling. This means you can serve relevant content in any order, or no particular order at all – so if the conversation moves in a particular direction, you can show just the right digital story for that customer, at that moment.

Your unique Briefing Center experience – from concept to reality

Your Briefing Center or Experience Center design needs to be as unique as you are. For this reason, Purple uses a five-step consulting approach for creating a concept that exactly matches your needs and brand identity. We call this the Masterplan.

The five phases in this plan are:
- Defining the creative brief, based on insights from the organization.
- Envision the digital storytelling concept based on design principles and strategic business objectives.
- Design of the digital storytelling concept in detail, with realistic 3D rendering of the full design, technical drawings and inventory of media and technology involved. This is a multi-stage process involving feedback and design tweaks until it’s perfect.
- Create and Build of the entire concept, producing all the elements needed including any specified content. The finished concept is installed on location.
- Delivery of the project, and hand it over to you. Training is provided to make sure you can get the most from your concept and bring your story to life.

Interested to learn about what concept might work with your brand or company? Get in touch and let’s talk about the possibilities!

Digital Storytelling FAQs

What is a Briefing Center? A Briefing Center is a specially designed space used by companies to show what they do and how this matches the needs of the client or customer. Today, Briefing Centers are as much about the brand experience as the range of products, services, or solutions on offer.

What is a Customer Experience Center (CXC)?
A Customer Experience Center (CXC) achieves many of the same objectives of an Executive Briefing Center, but has a greater focus on the customer and their relationship with your brand. A CXC is essentially the most modern form of a briefing center, offering an immersive brand experience that can be tailored to each customer. Interactive elements also create a more engaging experience and make benefits more tangible.

How do you create an executive experience center?
When you create an experience center, it needs to combine your offer with your brand. Consider the customer first and think about what matters to them. Present solutions that match their needs by exploring what pain points need addressing, and demonstrate how your brand and offer help solve these.

What options are on the market for Briefing Centers?
As a Briefing Center should always show your brand in a unique way, the best option on the market for a Briefing Center is one that is custom designed. Purple can co-create a design with you that exactly matches your needs, with software that gives the maximum flexibility for the future.

What’s the Return-on-Investment for a Briefing Center?
Your Briefing Center will provide the greatest Return-on-Investment even faster if it is used as often as possible. With the Hyro digital storytelling software, every department can use the Briefing Center for their own fully branded experience. Moreover, the main goals for the Sales and Marketing teams can be better achieved with more accurate brand experiences that properly match each potential client.

A well-designed brand experience is a perfect marriage of content and physical design. It must showcase your brand, with all its unique qualities put into a personalized context for each client. When your experience can adapt easily with non-linear storytelling, you have the possibility to respond to the clients needs better – and win deals that you’d otherwise miss out on.

What software do you need for an executive Briefing Center?
Executive Briefing Centers need to be as nimble and versatile as possible, so your company can gain the most value from the broadest section of clientele. Digital storytelling software like Hyro is the perfect solution for companies that want to create unique experiences that are easily updated.

Written by:

Twan Korrel

Creative Strategist
Purple Digital Storytelling
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