NEW YORK: Estée Lauder, the beauty company, has successfully engaged consumers by using “micro-storytelling” to advance a range of narratives in support of its brands.

Tricia Nichols, Estée Lauder’s vp/global consumer marketing and engagement, discussed this approach at the 2018 CommerceNext conference.

“We have come up with a term called ‘micro-storytelling,’” she said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Estée Lauder embraces “micro-storytelling” to deepen consumer connections.)

Such a strategy differs from traditional models by not relying on one big idea at a time. “It’s smaller, more frequent narratives that will deepen connections and create bonds with people,” said Nichols.

In promoting Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Concentrate Matrix, for example, it explored the notion that the eyes experience thousands of “micro-moments” each day – as shown by an illustration of blinking, squinting, eye-rolling, and so on.

Elaborating on this proposition was a 360-degree online video that drew on the insight that the eye blinks 10,000 times a day. This number was translated into steps, and involved a five-mile walk through San Francisco.

And this approach, for Nichols, embodies a key component of micro-storytelling: namely, leaving room for communications feeding into a wide range of subjects, rather than pursuing a rigid, inflexible emphasis on a single topic or theme.

“Most brands may have one thematic story, one message, that they're telling over and over and over, and maybe in different ways,” Nichols said.

“You're not going to get somebody to bond to you because you just told them one story, one time. And, often, brands will have that one story they stick to.

“But micro-storytelling means that I may tell a story about science, and love of science for skincare. I may tell a story about how to [use a product]. ... Or I may tell a story about something else entirely.”

Reflecting further on Estée Lauder’s micro-storytelling formula, Nichols argued that each stream represents a “doorway” that gives the consumer a route to connecting with a brand.

“Share meaningful narratives through micro-stories … These are little doors that you can leave open for people to walk through that may not already be walking into your brand,” she added.

“You may not walk through the bigger doorway that says, ‘Hey we have this, this is what’s it about, and we want you to use it.’ But you may walk through one of those other doorways that I've left open.”

Sourced from WARC