Thursday, December 29, 2011

4 key elements that make N-of-8 story development different

Right after the first of 2012, I’ll be embarking on a series of N-of-8 groups in several European markets.

So I thought it might be an appropriate time to post the highlights of how this process is different.

 N-of-8 brand story development process helps you develop and communicate compelling and persuasive stories, and can help craft memorable brand messages that customers can easily relate to and recall.

In essence, N-of-8 story development is a tool that helps you listen to your customers and translate how to persuasively and effectively communicate your story.

Unlike other research, story development is:

  1. A narrative story, not just claims
  2. Development, not just simple testing
  3. Iterative, not reactive
  4. Seeks customer input, not just feedback

As with any good story, a strong narrative flow is key.  By understanding the structure and components of the story, its narration becomes more effective, leaving the customer with powerful messages that can be easily retrieved.

N-of-8 is deliberately interactive, allowing us to establish a dialogue with customers and hear the story in their own words.  It is a qualitative, iterative process, presenting stories in customer listening groups of eight participants.  Customer response and participation is paramount in this process and we relay the raw, unpackaged stories in order to gain the most valuable customer input.

Initial stories are purposefully crafted to be provocative in order to give the customer something to push against.  This allows them the opportunity to provide their suggestions on language, story flow and content, giving them a sense of “ownership” of the developing messages. 

This is a key point:  you are not testing for their approval on messaging, but rather probing for the customer’s direction in creating a meaningful and relevant final story.

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