We all know the story of The Three Little Pigs , but do we know how this classic children's story can help us develop our own brand stories or design a creative content marketing strategy?
At our recent 2013 Integrated Marketing Forum, Dr. Pamela Rutledge, Director of the Media Psychology Research Center , used the example of The Three Little Pigs to show how brands can create more emotional bonds with customers/fans by expanding the brand's story and providing more value to their target audiences. Dr. Rutledge coined the idea of giving a brand story more legs as Transmedia Storytelling: a coordinated story experience told across multiple media channels .
With technology constantly being enhanced and new devices, applications and channels being launched almost daily, our stories can be shared in so many ways via so many outlets. And with each new technology or channel that story can change based on the user seeking the content.
So, how could those three little piggies (and even the big bad wolf) further elevate their stories or provide a different experience to their fans in this era of new technology and demand for unique, valuable content? There are so many ways...
Let's focus for a moment on pig #1. While his idea to build his house from straw may not have protected him from the big bad wolf, his heart was in the right place. He was taking a more economical and environmentally friendly approach (no cutting down of trees or use of chemical materials). Today this little pig could launch his own green-living website focused on all-things green for the home. What about starting a Pinterest board with handmade crafts made from straw including his very own line of straw hats? Perhaps a comical Vine or Instagram video series..."Hay is for Horses, Not Houses."
Pig #2, well he was a bit smarter and went with wood to build his house, but maybe he should have hired a professional contractor. To provide more value to his fans, this little pig could design a DIY mobile app with remodel and building instructions. A YouTube channel would be a great visual way to share videos of how to build that perfect piglet tree house or design a fence to keep out the big bad wolf (with humorous insights of things to avoid when working with wood and ways to deter a hungry wolf in search of a meal). And to reach more fans and engage his audience further, this little piggie could use social channels to uncover new ideas for videos or projects.
Pig #3...now this guy had it a little more together. His house of bricks was solid and kept the big bad wolf out, which gave him more time to focus on his passion for cooking. He could start a recipe blog, share food porn photos via his Instagram account (#pigslovetocooktoo) and send out weekly emails containing new recipes. If his recipe blog took off it could lead to his own cooking show...Think Beef, Not Bacon.
And as for the big bad wolf? Well, he could finally tell his side of the story and get people to understand his motives by starting his own Facebook page. Perhaps he could think about expanding into the home-security sector...you know, "Big Bad Wolf Tested & Approved" and a blog with security tips.
Basically, brands these days have to think of ways to create a more authentic or unique experience for customers/fans. They need to truly understand their audiences and craft stories that these audiences are looking for. Those stories can then be shared via numerous different mediums.
Ask yourself, how can your brand learn from The Three Little Pigs? How can your story be told in different ways across different platforms to create experiences that grow audience engagement?
* These Three Little Pigs scenarios are an expansion of Dr. Pamela Rutledge's humorous, tongue-in-cheek examples. View the original case study .