Brands are here to entertain, not just deliver a retail experience

Picture this - you’re scrolling on Instagram, and you see a photo advertisement for books, but there’s no story behind the image. It’s just an empty product, and you don’t have a reason to choose that company over any other bookstore.

Brands are here to entertain, not just deliver a retail experience
Giles Taylor writes for W/Brand Design Blog
Giles Taylor, January 29, 2024

Now, instead of a lifeless photo, you see a short video of the same product. Someone is reading a book while they travel on an aeroplane, curled up on their sofa, or with their child in bed. You’re no longer selling a product but entertaining people with a story.

Creating content that engages consumers is known as brand entertainment. But why is it important, and where do you begin? Keep reading for branding advice on entertaining your audience and how to get started.

What Does Entertaining Your Audience Actually Mean?

Entertaining your audience is about engaging consumers with content like short videos, photos, films, and TV shows to improve brand awareness. The aim is to create meaning behind the brand and an emotional connection to consumers. 

It’s better than directly telling the customer to buy your product, which can be cold and salesy. People want to know that you care about them, and in return, they care about you.

Why is Entertaining Your Audience Important?

Before you start coming up with entertaining ideas to push your brand identity, it’s vital to know why you’re doing it. Otherwise, you’ll create dry content that doesn’t provide value to customers. 

  • Builds trust with your audience - Communicating your start-up story and beliefs enables people to see you as a brand rather than a product. Think of Levi’s. They sell jeans, but their real message is that they create high-quality jeans made to last. They’re showing that they have their consumer’s best interest at heart, which builds trust.
  • Creates an emotional connection with your consumers - Humans have a deep need for connection. So, using entertainment to evoke emotions will draw the audience to you.
  • Cost-effective - Entertaining your audience typically uses digital methods, so it can reach thousands of people worldwide and skyrocket brand recognition.
  • Sustainable marketing - Once your content is out there, it gains traction and attracts new consumers without requiring mass production.

How to Use Your Brand to Entertain Your Audience

Knowing why you need to entertain your audience is one thing, but knowing how to do it is another. Here are a few ways to get started.

Draw from your brand’s story

Many retail brands don’t realise that their brands are the story, and you should turn those stories into an experience for your consumers.

Maybe your company began because you struggled with hair loss, so you developed a hair growth oil. Perhaps you care about the environment and love running, so you made trainers from sustainable materials. Whether you have an ecommerce shop or a physical store, there’s a reason behind your products - tell it.

If you’re struggling to find a direction, revisit the basics with our guide on how to create a brand or try developing a brand character.

Take inspiration from media and entertainment companies

If you want to create high-quality brand entertainment, take branding tips from the best. Look at competitors or high-earning companies to identify how they engage their customers.

Nike's "Just Do It" campaign is a classic entertainment success story. The slogan connects with millions of people who want to exercise but struggle to, well, just do it. The adverts focus on determination and trying hard to get what you want. But it's subliminal message is, ‘You can do these things if you choose Nike.’ 

They even slipped some sneaky advertising into the film What Women Want. One scene features a woman hired by a brand agency to create a campaign for Nike. She imagines what it’s like to be a woman exercising and the struggles they face. And, from the brainstorm, the famous tagline is born. It’s not the truth, but it is entertaining.

The takeaway is that the movie doesn’t mention buying Nike products. But somehow, their brand is on your screen, and you’re emotionally invested.

Engage your audience with videos

Nowadays, people have a short attention span, so you need content that interests your target audience quickly. A great way is to create a video. It doesn’t have to be long, just a few minutes to draw people in and teach them about your branding.

Think about the emotions connected to your product. Let’s go back to hair loss as an example. If your target audience is men in their mid-twenties, you could explore how it feels to lose your hair. It might cause a lack of self-esteem or sadness. 

Show those emotions in your video. For instance, it could feature men looking at their hair loss in the mirror and feeling sad. They start using your product, see new hair growth, and the sadness turns to joy. People think that if they buy your product, they’ll have that outcome. But what it’s really doing is tapping into deeper levels of happiness and self-worth.

Make interesting images

A mistake many ecommerce sites make is taking generic photos of their products. But the truth is, it’s not that interesting. Your images must advertise the lifestyle and emotions of the brand, not just the item. 

The brand, Mr Kipling, sells the idea of homemade baking. Images are usually set in a homely environment, instigating feelings of comfort, nostalgia and safety. The adverts give you a warm fuzzy feeling, and their cakes are a part of that. It’s entertaining to the target audience because they want the lifestyle the picture represents rather than the product Mr Kipling is selling.

Branding entertainment is the way forward

Creating material to entertain your target audience is a cost-effective and sustainable marketing strategy. It builds trust with consumers and taps into their emotions so they care about your brand.

Withbrand is a specialised B2B branding agency that will guide you through developing brand entertainment to hit your goals and establish long-term sustainability. Get in touch today and take advantage of our expertise for a thriving and successful business.

Giles Taylor writes for W/Brand Design Blog

Giles Taylor

Giles is the founder and creative director for W/Brand. A graphic designer from Reading in Berkshire, UK, he's a dad with two wonderful children who enjoys walking and playing the guitar.  

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