Are stories the new brand advertising?

Posted by Aslak De Silva on September 14, 2017
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Content marketing has been around for years, but today in B2B start-ups, it has replaced the traditional brand advertising almost fully. There might not be money and/or knowledge to build traditional advertising campaigns, but everyone has prepared herself to pitch a story to investors and other stakeholders several times.

Now these stories have come to life and are attracting new customers for companies. Many times, people are more aware of stories why the company was founded in the first place than about the actual products or services it offers.

Naava’s founding story is interesting. One of the founders, Aki Soudunsaari, was working as a physical education and health science teacher and noticed how he suffered from short-term memory loss, lost his voice occasionally and had often sore and dry eyes, when teaching a class inside. But all these symptoms disappeared when he held his class outside.

He talked to another founder, Niko Järvinen, who had cleaned industrial waste from water with biological and natural solutions before and they together started to solve Aki’s problem of not being able to work indoors. Long story short, they created the world advanced biofilter solution, which they named Naava.

They combined natural living plants with automated and monitored caring system, which became the world’s first functional green wall. Later on, they updated the system with artificial intelligence and open sourced data capabilities, by creating world’s first smart green wall.

The vision has changed from Aki’s wellbeing to create human friendly indoor air for billions of people around the world. 

“At Naava we are reconnecting humanity with nature. We make the smartest green walls on the planet to bring nature inside, everywhere. We have created future technology that embraces millions of years of nature's innovation combined with Scandinavian design. Wherever you work should feel like a walk in the park. We make it happen by bringing fresh Nordic forest air and real nature indoors. All you have to do is: breathe.”

To promote this vision, we have created many stories to make people aware of the current situation of working in an office environment. Not all of us suffer from poor indoor air quality, but still majority of us are not 100% content or inspired by our workspace.

It would almost impossible to use traditional advertising to get this message through. But with compelling stories, many times told by our happy customers, we get the attention and attract those who align with our core messages.

Today, inbound leads generate 50-65% of our deals monthly. We measure everything and amplify with traditional advertising by buying the targeted reach of our stories. We work together with our PR and communications, marketing, and sales teams to create the best stories possible, but at the same time applicable for our different needs. Feedback is gathered from all these departments and the content improved from the feedback.

For us, stories have overtaken traditional brand advertising. What is the case in your company?

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