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Article 20 Apr 2021

From Narrative to Brand Experience in a Digital Environment

Last March and April, the pandemic-fueled lockdown led to a search for new ways to interact with one another, making us avid consumers of content created both ourselves and by others, including brands. In fact, according to a study conducted in seven different markets by YouGov, 30% of adults admit to engaging with adverts on social media more often than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nonetheless, something happened to the content from brands in this situation, something that particularly caught our attention as experts on the topic. It is perfectly summarized in the video entitled “Every COVID-19 commercial is exactly the same.”

Many of the brands that appear in this piece have spent a lot of money on defining who they are, their values, their proposition, and identifying and revealing their target communities. Many even have identity manuals with specific guidelines on how to produce their content. But at the end of the day, their audience is unable to differentiate them from the rest.

How is this possible? If companies have worked hard on their brands and are different from one another, why are they publishing almost identical content? Why is there a gap between brand identity and customer experience?

While it is true that what happened during those months was so exceptional that we should be cautious in using it as an example, there are also clear grounds for necessary reflection. The thing is, as stated by Twilio in its recent “COVID-19 Digital Engagement Report” study, COVID-19 has been the digital accelerator of the decade.

According to that same study, which was conducted with more than 2,500 decision-makers around the world, COVID-19 accelerated company digital communication strategies by an average of six years. 92% say it is very likely that their organization will expand digital communication channels as the world reopens, 54% say COVID-19 steered their focus toward omnichannel communications, and 53% added new channels during the pandemic.

We are therefore facing a major challenge in company communications: Connecting with all stakeholders without sacrificing who we are, through all channels and formats, and consistently over time.

It is logical to accept that companies in the same sector or industry will talk about similar issues, but each one should do so in a unique way so it can be recognized by the industry and its audience.

Having a well-defined digital brand narrative is more pressing and important than ever before. At LLYC, we understand digital narrative to be “a narrative that emanates directly from the brand’s DNA and harnesses all its digital assets at all times through a content strategy aimed at connecting, attracting, and boosting loyalty among its stakeholders, all based on a differential value proposition.”

How can this be achieved?

Ana Folgueira
Executive Manager of the Creative Studio area
Ana has a long professional history in the field of communication. As well as being the Manager of Creative Studio, she is also a Founding Partner and is in charge of narrative quality of the company.She is the Founder of Fundación Dreamtellers (now Fundación LLYC) and has participated in more than 50 audiovisual storytelling projects for different organizations and companies such as BBVA, EY Foundation, Asociación para el Progreso de la Dirección, Campofrío and Deloitte.Ana is a teacher at the Instituto de Empresa, has a master’s degree in Creative Writing from the old Escuela de Letras de Madrid, is the author of the children’s book “En algún lugar de China” and runner-up of the I Luis Adaro Award for short stories.
Alejandro Domínguez
Senior Director of the Digital area of LLYC.
Senior Director of Digital Business in Europe. Alejandro has more than 15 years of experience in strategic and digital communications. He has designed communication and online marketing strategies for more than 50 brands in sectors such as technology, food, health, sports, and transportation, among others. At LLYC, he leads the Digital area's team and clients in Europe. Before joining the firm, Alejandro developed his professional career at agencies such as Weber Shandwick, GREY Group, and APPLE TREE. He holds a degree in Journalism from IE University and a master's in Political and Corporate Communications from the University of Navarra and George Washington University. He teaches Digital Communications and Marketing at Loyola University, the University of Navarra, and Instituto Europeo di Design.
José María Machuca
Head of the Digital Area at LLYC
José María has a Degree in Advertising and Public Relations from Universidad San Pablo-CEU and a Master’s in Strategic Management and Sales from the IE Business School, Madrid. He has more than eight years of experience in strategic consultancy and business development and was also ultimately responsible for such major accounts as Mahou San-Miguel, Mutua Madrileña, Iberia, Coca-Cola during his time at Dentsu Aegis Network. He worked as the Head of Digital Customer Experience at WAM, a digital marketing consultancy firm, to develop this area and lead strategic projects for new and existing clients.
Carlota Jiménez de Andrade
Head of Creative Studio
With a Degree in Bilingual Journalism from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and a Master’s in Communication Management and New Technologies from the ESIC Business School, she leads the audiovisual branded content team for Creative Studio. During her six years at LLYC, she has held various positions in the areas of Corporate Management and Financial Communication. She also headed up the LLYC Foundation for 18 months and worked in the Chairman’s Office. She currently sits on the Purpose-driven Branded Content Committee of BCMA and works for Creative Studio with such clients as Siemens Gamesa, Schindler and EY.

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