a vending machine to complete dance
moves to “win” drinks. Coca-Cola takes
the brand story idea of creating happiness and breaks it down into multiple
ways to enter that theme.
Keep in mind that you decide the
degree of conversation and interaction
you want with your consumers. You may
decide to be transparent about listening
very closely to their opinions and ideas,
but choose to have a light, responsive
dialogue. Or you could choose to be com-
pletely open and engage in intense con-
versations, allowing them to co-create
content with you.
nessing a community around a brand
demands commitment to delivering
high-level content regularly.
The value of expanding your story or
brand over time lines, territories and
audiences should be obvious. To nurture
conversations with your audience, in an
age where there is an inherent urge to
“click away,” transmedia development
means smart, long-term thinking. It
requires commitment to delivering a ful-
filling experience that encourages brand
and story loyalty.
• Start with why.
• Remain true to that core theme/
• Listen to your audience.
It’s not magic, it’s research
The strategic conversations you’re starting that are built on a story or brand
begin with a core theme and message,
but quickly focus directly on audience.
With social media, content is being
smashed apart like a piñata, the pieces
spread far and wide in the hope that
audiences will pick them up. This isn’t
strategy. Take time to research:
• Who is your target audience?
• Who are you trying to talk to?
• Who are you actually talking to?
• What do you want from them? Interaction? Conversation? Ideas? Action?
Opinions? In order to get what you
want, you need to know what you
By looking at your audience or target
market, you will recognize their behav-
iors. Are they playful? Busy? Gamers?
Passive? Vocal? From here you can begin
to craft and design an experience for
them. For example, how much of the
experience with your brand will be “lean
back” versus “lean forward”? Will it play
out in the real world or online? Har-
By being genuine, relevant to your
audiences’ needs and credible, your
story/brand and the ways in which you
communicate will mean that you begin
to celebrate your audience—and they, in
turn, will begin to work with you to nur-
ture your brand.
about the author
Alison Norrington is CCO and founder of
storycentral, a London-based production
and storytelling company specializing in
transmedia, strategic planning, incubation of new entertainment properties,
story architecture and cross-platform
implementation. Follow her on Twitter: