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The Best way to use Digital Storytelling for the Industrial Manufacturing sector

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December 16, 2021
Industry makes the world go round – we rely on industrial manufacturers because their products make basically everything work. From traffic-lights and supermarket refrigerators, to trucks, planes, and trains; all these essential technologies rely on parts that are made by industrial manufacturers. Many products are made from parts from multiple manufacturers, which demonstrates how inter-reliant we have become and that there is plenty of competition in the industry.

While many parts are made by well-established industrial conglomerates, there’s no shortage of new upstarts with a look-alike product with ‘identical’ specifications. How can industrial manufacturers distinguish themselves in this tough market?

The best tactic for these companies to demonstrate their complex values with digital storytelling technologies. These can create memorable brand messages by weaving them into narratives that have value to the target audience. Most industrial manufacturers produce a variety of parts and products, with applications in diverse industries.

The result of this is a large and varied ‘portfolio of things’, often represented by hefty product catalogues that are not at all inspiring. To actually sell these parts, the manufacturer needs to address different customer groups with a clear message that conveys the value of their product to them. Critically, they need to show that the item price or specification is only half the story.

Buy the light, not the bulb

Every single part or device made by industrial manufacturers has clear values and impacts on daily life – but this is often ignored in favor of lists and technical specifications that demonstrate marginal differences.

These specifications might be useful once a buyer is already considering a supplier, but first they need to know why they need your product to begin with - because people buy the light, not the bulb. Let’s use the example of a thermal cutout switch. These are small parts that are often used as a safety device, but not always.

Without a clear legal obligation, a potential customer might prefer to use a cheaper version or just skip it altogether. The specifications for a typical thermal cutout are pretty boring, and they don’t tell the customer why they shouldn’t just go for the cheapest brand - or why they should use one at all.

Remember, competitor products will all boast the exact same specifications, which makes it hard to differentiate your brand. In addition, these certainly just don’t give a compelling reason why a customer would choose the product in the first place. 

Instead, it’s much more effective to speak to the customer in those terms that actually matter to their situation. This requires just a simple, customized story that demonstrates what the actual impact is for them, and maybe – maybe – why your brand is the most attractive option. Such a story might instead tell customers:

“Because our thermal cutouts come from a market-leading brand, you can be sure of the best possible performance, guaranteed safety, and longest service-life”.

This makes the real-world benefits clear to the customer in a way that affects their business. Ultimately, a ‘portfolio of things’ needs to be presented to the customer in a way that shows how they tie-into the big picture. Being able to show how your components fit into the ‘whole’ will make the value much clearer – because without them, the ‘whole’ doesn’t fit together – your parts are the missing pieces of their puzzle.

Using an immersive experience to visualize abstract concepts and connections

As our world becomes more technologically advanced, things become more complex and interconnected. This complexity means it is harder to understand the many connections between technologies, so customers need to be shown these connections instead. Data complexity is a job for machines and AI.

Humans however, excel at experiences. We can absorb and process incredibly complex ideas and connections when we experience these ourselves.

We can actually demonstrate complex and abstract connections when we use digital storytelling, especially in the form of an immersive experience. Participants in digital immersive experiences are able to make personal connections with the information, by engaging with it in their own personal experience.

Immersive storytelling can be further enhanced by adding interactive elements that allow the participants to form their own story - and this is even more memorable too.

How to customize Storytelling experiences with Digital Storytelling Software

Digital storytelling experiences like these not only allow audiences to bridge the gap and access hard-to-visualize concepts; they also create powerful personal connections with the customer.

This has been demonstrated by the shortening of sales-cycles and the increased deal sizes when digital storytelling is used. The best part of digital storytelling is that you can use totally customized stories to reach specific customers. A customized experience is obviously going to be much more effective, because you can create stories that are acutely relatable for the actual situation.

In the past, it used to be a real challenge to create unique digital stories for different customers or customer-segments. Now it’s possible to do this very easily. By using the Hyro digital storytelling software, literally anyone can easily assemble unique, professional digital stories from their digital media library.

Better still, the Hyro software makes it possible for just one person to present these experiences using just a regular tablet. There’s no other digital storytelling software that combines this level of capability with such ease of use.

Given the incredible power of storytelling, it makes good sense to enable each employee in your organization to be able to use it. Hyro does exactly this – it makes it possible for any company to use this incredible tool at all levels of the business.

Digital Storytelling FAQs

How can I improve digital storytelling?
Digital storytelling is an art, and you should always focus on finding ways to improve. Take a regular inventory of your digital storytelling efforts and note which approaches had the best results. You should use metrics like engagement, empathy, as well as how easy it is to follow or retain information afterwards. Conduct A/B tests as a part of your creative process, and refine which techniques and styles are most effective.

What’s an immersive experience?

Immersive experiences put the audience at the very center of the action – usually using large screens that occupy most of the visual field. Many immersive experiences use interactive and touch technology to draw the audience even deeper into the experience.

How do immersive experience rooms create value?

Immersive experience rooms create value in a number of different ways. Firstly, they have strong value by virtue of their application; they have incredible impacts in training and sales, as well as collaborative scrums. The engagement is unparalleled, and participants are more involved and ‘present’ in the process. Secondly, an immersive experience room makes a statement about your commitment to getting the most from innovative technologies – showing the world you are a leader in digital innovation.

How do businesses use digital storytelling?

Digital storytelling has become the ‘go-to’ method for brands to communicate complex value propositions, and to reach customers on an emotional level. When digital storytelling is used well, the audience is involved, engaged, and invested in the outcome.

How is digital storytelling different from advertising?
Digital storytelling could be used for advertising, but they are distinct concepts. ‘Advertising’ is the fact that you are informing people about something, whereas a digital story is a cohesive narrative that takes the audience on a journey. Digital storytelling is widely used for sales, training programs, and as a way to change people’s preconceptions. They will see, hear and experience things during the digital story, but the goal is not necessarily ‘advertising’.

Written by:

Gerben Mak

Managing Director
All Blog Posts

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