The most successful brands don't just sell products; they tell stories.
To stand out from the crowd, create immersive digital experiences, and connect with their customers, businesses need to harness the power of storytelling.
In this online panel, we’ll be chatting to digital leaders to explore how storytelling can transform your customer experience and drive results for your business.
Join us on Thursday 21 September at 10am to discuss the power of storytelling in product, how to measure its effectiveness, and how developing your brand story can help drive better ROI.
Register to join live or watch the replay on demand:
Meet the panel
Dr Feyikemi Akinwolemiwa, Senior User Experience Researcher, National Grid
Feyi currently works as a Senior User Researcher at National Grid.
A versatile, adaptable and impact-driven researcher, Feyi is passionate about solving problems through research and its importance in various cycles of product development, whilst balancing business needs.
Feyi tackles complex, high-level research challenges within an uncharted problem space. As a certified change agent (EPIC people) and an ethnographer, Feyi enjoys creatively combining methods together with data triangulation to uncover valuable insights for product teams. She also values storytelling as a tool for transformative research.
Jaz Blakeston-Petch, Senior Product Manager, Domino's
With 8 years in e-commerce product management, Jaz is currently focussed on creating simple, yet delightful loyalty experiences at Domino's that keep customers coming back time and time again.
Pulaq Pathak, Principle Product Manager: Support CX - Prime Video and live sports, Amazon
With 10+ years of experience in Product and Customer Experience, Pulaq's current focus is to offer a seamless support to customer when they need help. Create new ways to delight customers and recover the CX in the fast-paced video streaming platform.
Anita Leslie, Head of Product at 383
Anita Leslie is Head of Product at 383, with 20 years experience in digital product management leading cross-functional product teams to create great outcomes. She works with teams and businesses to understand the vision and make decisions led by data and first-hand knowledge of customer problems, in addition ensuring it is clear what value is being provided to the customer to drive commercial growth. Anita has experience in all areas of product management and throughout the product lifecycle, from new product development and product market-fit, to product growth and product sunsetting, in B2B SaaS and mobile.
Hello and welcome to Byte, the latest in our series of events diving into digital product. I'm Anita, Head of Product at 383 and I'll be your host this morning as we explore storytelling and the impact it has on digital product. Now, storytelling isn't used to just convey information, but to create an emotional connection and an experience that resonates with customers.
When done well, storytelling is a powerful tool that can elevate brands to new heights. Today, we're going to be talking with some product specialists who have used the power of storytelling to transform customer experiences and drive results for their businesses. We'll explore how they've used user research and product design to captivate, engage and connect, building lasting relationships with their various audiences.
First up, we have Feyi, and Feyi currently works as a Senior User Researcher for National Grid, and is passionate about solving problems through research, and its importance in the various cycles of product development, supporting user experience while balancing those business needs. Feyi values user storytelling as a tool for transformative research in digital product.
Good morning, Feyi, and thanks for joining us today.
Thank you so much. Nice to be here.
Thanks. We also have Jaz. Jaz is a Senior Product Manager for Domino's with eight years in e-commerce product management, and Jaz is currently focused on creating simple yet delightful loyalty experiences that keep those customers coming back time and time again.
Good morning, Jaz, and how are you today?
Hey, morning, everyone. I'm great. Thanks. Saying hello from sunny Milton Keynes.
Great stuff in Milton Keynes. So, last but by no means least, I have Pulaq and she has over 10 years of experience in product and customer experience and Pulaq's current focus is to offer seamless support to customers when they need help.
She creates new ways to delight customers with their experience in the fast paced, Prime video and sports world. Good morning to you, Pulaq.
Good morning to you, Anita, and everyone. Glad to be here.
Thank you very much. We are so delighted that you could all join us today. And thank you for taking time out of your diaries.
We love our audiences to get involved in the discussion as well this morning. So at the bottom of the screen, you will see a react button where you can share your emoji responses. We love seeing those pop up on the screen. And there is also a tabs button to the right. If you'd like to ask any of our guests anything. Please drop your questions in as we chat and then upvote any that you like the look of and we'll have some time at the end to pick these up with the panel. So that's all the housekeeping done.
So let's get started. We start right at the beginning of the process with user research playing a really crucial role in shaping the narrative of a digital product, helping to uncover the needs and behaviours that build a really compelling product. If I can start with you Feyi, how do you approach and understand the storytelling preferences and needs of a target audience for a product?
Yeah, amazing. Thank you for that question. For me two things are important.
Context is key and also the stage of product development, which you've mentioned, because all of that aligns with the overall business purpose and objectives. So for the target audience, it usually varies because it could be either B2B, so business to business, where it's a bit more technical - you are talking about outcomes and jobs to be done, or B2C where it's the general audience and customers. So their approaches are somewhat different. But the overall theme, it's the same. You either have three objectives. To improve product stickiness, or reduce risk and improve efficiency, and make a profit.
That's the ultimate aim, so while they are different, the overall objectives are the same. So for me, it's all about connecting the dots, especially if it's the discovery phase where we're still trying to do scopes, see what can we build, how can we solve the right problems, how can we ensure that we're building the right things?
You're still trying to get the scope out, trying to map up all the objectives. Then stories are really key at this point, but also is about collaborating with other departments. So we're talking about analytics, marketing, just having that overall 360 degree picture to ensure that this is the right step we're taking and we're sure about the right processes.
So it's not just about the user research. The user research is behavioural, but at the same time, you need to make sure that you're comparing with the right data - you've seen all of the what's and the why's. So that's how I approach the overall processes and then user research.
So for B2C, I tend to be a bit more elaborative because I love journey maps. You're trying to see the entire process from the beginning to the end. Trying to uncover with diary studies, ethnography, you really uncover things that are not very obvious to the business, but you can uncover with the right questions and the right approaches to research. So I love that journey map.
But for B2B, it tends to be slightly different. You're all about outcomes, processes, efficiency. So jobs to be done, user cases, and all of that. But at the same time, I always advocate that, even though they are different in the B2B world, we still need to understand people's stories. And that's where the opportunities lie. The hidden opportunity is not readily visible because product is just a part of people's lives. So only a little bit, but there's so many experiences going on in the background. So if you don't uncover it, you can miss out on opportunities if you're designing for them instead of with them, those are two approaches. So those are my outcomes, my approaches in general.
And it's really important, isn't it? Because you're trying to understand, you're trying to get under the skin and understand people and how they're interacting and what their challenges are.
So once you have those insights, how do you then collaborate with designers, developers, and product managers to ensure that the things that you've found out on your diving that you've done, your diary studies, your jobs to be done or the journey map, how do you then take those user research insights and the considerations around accessibility and inclusivity, and ensure that they're effectively translated into those storytelling aspects?
From the very beginning it's all about empathy with my team members. You don't just design a study and say, hey, this is the outcome. You carry people along from the very beginning.
From the very beginning, we undergo that collaborative nature. These are the questions we're trying to answer, this is what we hope the outcomes will be, these are the hypotheses, and this is the way to approach it. So everyone is on that journey with me.
Sometimes I invite people to observe sessions - user sessions - so they are there observing the world, seeing how people are speaking and how people are interacting with product. So that removes that showing them, wow, this is real, literally there, and when everything comes, it's almost like a workshop where we sort of gather together and say, Oh, this is what we're learning.
Marketing produces their insights, user research says, Oh yeah, that's the reason why. So these are some of the questions that could have been answered. And now user research has uncovered even more. So it's very collaborative and that's very important that we need to carry people along, and then decisions are being made together.
Otherwise, If people are not carried along, then you're like, why is this, why is that, is that enough for us to make this decision? But when everyone is carried along together, it's indisputable. It's like, yes, this is the right thing we're building! The excitement is there. And also advocating for all user groups, you know, accessibility, you've got those who might be colorblind, you've got those who are - even circumstances, for instance - if people are buying products online, it's not all the time that they're sitting at the computer. They could be cooking food, holding a baby. Anything could be going along. So you uncover so many needs like, Oh, we didn't think of that, but because everyone has been carried along then all of the decisions are being made.
So I try to advocate for everyone, everyone needs to be involved. We need to design for different user groups with different needs. So that's how I make sure that we design together as a team.
I love that a bit of seeing is believing. Sometimes getting the folks to sit and see what you're seeing and experience what the customer is experiencing is really valuable - and bringing folks along.
So, we've just talked a little bit about creating that user friendly narrative experience that resonates with the target audience. But, we've got to be able to build what we're finding into the product itself, right?
So we've gone and we've understood what the challenges are, what the customers are experiencing, but how do we start to build that out? So once you've got those research findings, how do you start to incorporate that storytelling across different touch points in the customer journey when building the product?
Thanks for this question, and I would like to go back to Feyi. She used the word empathy, because whenever we have to tell the story, and especially I think this is the main reason I love working in Amazon, because every time the story has to come from the customer perspective.
What we do is, whenever we have to use a storytelling technique - and that's the most used technique - whenever I have to present a business case, it starts with a story. To understand why we are doing this, and exactly how Feyi said about the customer research, that comes very handy. Because that tells us what customers are struggling with.
Maybe they're not exactly using the right words. They're not calling out that we need a particular thing. Example, we want a cancellation. We want a refund with the cancellations. The customers, you might not get the exact word, but the story just helps to take it out. And especially when you're presenting to senior audiences who have very little time to approve a business case, the storytelling technique helps us to join the numbers with why are we doing it?
So, we start with a story - this is what the customer is struggling with, this is exactly what we need. And I always love to quote the customer directly so we can use their language, which I feel is a very powerful tool in storytelling techniques. And sometimes when you quote the customers, find the quotes from Twitter, or wherever - the online group - that's where you can see what the customer is asking for. And then you build it with the user research, which definitely then backs with the data. And then the third thing I would say, the numbers come in. So that's the way we have been using the storytelling technique.
I would like to quote a very kind of everyday example, which we recently implemented. This is where a lot of online digital services are offering subscriptions. And as a user, and especially as a mom, I forget when I sign up for a subscription. And I would sign up for a free trial. And then within a month, I would start getting some bills. And I was like, I don't even remember? So this is where as a customer, we started seeing that people are calling saying, I need a reminder email, I haven't used it! And this goes against all the finance numbers because you don't want customers to cancel it, right?
But the user research and the storytelling became very powerful in this scenario. That you will end up building loyalty, if you hear the customers. So this was a recent thing where I worked with senior stakeholders in Amazon to push forward so that customers, if they haven't used the service, can launch it and get a refund. And it took us three years, I would say it sounds easier even with the user research, but because finance has a different angle, it took us time. But in the longer run, you can see how it built customer loyalty. So I love this when the storytelling comes to life and then you can bring back the story about how delighted the customers were.
Yeah. I love that story product because there's a couple of things in there, the story itself, but also, it's a very small thing and it's lots of little things that then build up to create that customer loyalty and we should focus sometimes on those small things.
And it's very difficult sometimes to put those stories around the small things because everybody's focused on the big number. But that was really powerful. Thank you for sharing that.
Jaz, when we know what we need to do for users, how do you then get buy in from everyone who is, and will be working on the product to get, we've touched on it a little bit there with Pulaq, but how do you go about getting people aligned with the story that you want to be able to portray. How do you go about that?
Great. Thanks for the question. And yeah, the approach is probably quite similar to how Pulaq’s explained it, but hopefully I can build a little bit on how I've approached it and how we use it at Domino’s.
I think for me as well, obviously everyone talks about communication being a really key part of a product manager's job. And sometimes, every day, we're telling stories, right? And sometimes it's very intentional and sometimes it's less so. And I think it's really important to understand when you're telling those stories, that could be literally in an elevator with someone that you've bumped into in the team, or it could be like a whole big kickoff, etc.
So you need to be really clear on what your goal is around that storytelling piece. So is it really to convince someone of your idea or approach, or is it about getting them motivated to work on this with you? Is it to really help them build up some empathy and understanding? Because, like Feyi talked about all that great user research that goes on as well, if those people that you're talking to haven't really been immersed in all of that and like Pulaq was saying, how do you bring that in?
That's really, really key because they're not necessarily going to have time to be in all and hours of videos and be in all those sessions. And then part of the question was kind of how do you get buy-in from everyone, but then it's being really, really clear about who that everyone is. Are they the people that are building this with you? Are they your other colleagues in the marketing department that might be helping to retell this story elsewhere? Is it, like Pulaq said, an exec that's really about some cold hard facts because they really don't have much time?
And also it's really important to think about how much context that they have as well. So, like Pulaq, I try to combine the emotional storytelling bit, backed up with some hard data. And there's lots of great frameworks that you can go and read, loads of great books around it, but one that sticks with me is, you're on a stormy island, you're not in a great place, then what you need to do is you need to build a boat, and that could be your product, could be the team that's also helping build that boat, and then you go on a journey, which is going off and building this thing, and then you end up in the sunlit upland.
But you have to remember that it's often not about you, the stormy island, your customers on that stormy island, like Pulaq said, they've got a customer there who has all these subscriptions and wants to cancel. So I really try and start off with okay, the customer is the hero of that story, and this is their stormy island.
For Domino's, it's a Tuesday night, Jess finally pulls up outside the front of her house, exhausted from her day in the office, and the hellish commute home. She turns off that engine, just sits in the car for a few minutes to reacclimatise. She walks in the house, she trips over the school bags in the hallway, embraces her partner and asks, ‘what's for dinner then?’ ‘Well, actually I thought you were sorting it tonight?’ And then the hanger sets in and this is where we come in.
And this captures the essence of who that customer is. And it's way more memorable than saying, Oh, our key target audience is families who are time poor in the week, and really prioritise convenience over value, which it's all built upon real stuff. I've fictionalised it a bit and told that story, but hopefully it'll be really informed by the type of work that Feyi does.
And then we start to, as we've introduced this world of pain, we need to get the customer there to the sun that uplands, which is bellies full of hot, tasty pizza, essentially and the kids aren't in the background going - ‘where's the pizza?’ And obviously the solution is your products and how we get there.
And that piece around being really deliberate about what you use to bring that to life. So once you've set that emotional scene and people have got a really strong idea of who that customer is and what's going on, it then works as like a real glue that then helps people remember all the facts as well, that you start to add in over the top.
And then I try to end on, here was the stormy island, here's the customer's pain point, the boat that we're building is the solution, it's all backed up by the great stuff, that type of work that Feyi does, all the stuff that might come from the hard data as well, and then the sun that uplands is customer's going to have a better time.
And this is how it really also maps back to the business objectives and the goals. And then hopefully you've ticked off people that are both very emotionally led in terms of how they make decisions, or very logically led, but most people are sometimes in the middle. So having that mixed approach is key.
I really like that, I liked the bits that you pulled out there in terms of people and how they react to things. So some people are more data led, some people are more emotional led and that sort of psychological behaviour in getting people to be taken on your story.
That was, that was really fascinating. I really liked the approach that you used there. I guess in unpacking that a little further, are there some real big challenges that you faced when doing that storytelling and putting those elements into the product? And have you got anything that you can share around maybe how they've been overcome?
Yeah, I think there's bits around making sure that you have all of that story, and you have the time and space really to prepare those stories, because everyone lives really busy lives and there's lots of complicated work that's done to really understand the customer behaviour. And it's trying to make sure as a product manager you're spending time with customers having the chance to go through all that data and then starting to help join the dots. And I find it helpful to build up a bit of a bank of these stories as well, so then when you're in these moments where you have to be really clear and articulate about what's going on from a customer perspective, you’ve got a bank that you can really lean on that helps you in those moments.
I think one of the other challenges is around remembering that actually, you as the brand, you're not the hero of that story. What you think is story worthy, or maybe what some of your other colleagues think is story worthy, actually, what your customers care about can be two very different things. And for Domino's, buying a pizza isn't that deep. You're not buying a car or a house. It's not like this high stakes purchase. So we have to remember that customers are coming to us with their bellies rumbling, and they really want to decide what they'll eat and get their food as quickly as possible, and it's a very in the moment purchase.
So it's all about trying to think through how you can make sure that storytelling is helping, rather than getting in the way of what the customer is trying to do. Because customers want to be in and out when they're ordering food from us. And it can be quite interesting then because from an e-commerce perspective, it's quite transactional. So then it's trying to start to think about how you can pepper in elements of the stories that are told elsewhere throughout the marketing activity. Which is really why I liked the comments from Feyi around the whole story mapping piece and how that can really help with this.
So you might look at the customer journey, say through an app lens, but actually what's going on beforehand and what's going on afterwards. And can you make sure that that's also brought into how you prototype? And how you share those storyboards, or take other people through that journey and kind of come up with the experience together?
So a good example might be, what is the messaging that you're trying to portray on the marketing side? For Domino's, it might be about, you can really trust Domino's to get your pizza hot and fast. You can't really necessarily trust everyone else that's maybe on these aggregators to get there.
And then how can I start dropping that in the experience? And that can be quite functional, for example, we try to be really clear about how long it will take you to get your pizza and try and make it easy for you to track your pizza as well.
Yeah, absolutely. Because that's the thing, you're right. You've got to think about the absolute reason why somebody needs to engage with what your product is, and the type of response that you're looking for. So yeah, I absolutely can see what you're saying there. So Feyi, you've probably got loads of stories to tell.
But have you got a couple of examples of your research findings that have really influenced storytelling in a product that you could share with us?
Yeah, absolutely. This was on a consultancy basis - there was a product team that were trying to work on a library experience. So a library, they wanted to replicate the experience of going into the library, reserving the book, going through the pages, and reading it and then returning it back.
The target audience were obviously book lovers, those who like going to libraries, and all of that. So they wanted to replicate that experience in the form of a product and an app. So how do we get people to go to the library online, and reserve the product and then encourage them to come back in store?
So it was a very sweet spot for those who love to go in, and versus those who might be interested in using the app. I immediately said, look, the way to approach this is we need to get inside people's minds and that's going to be a diary study. Because obviously there's something going on before even people get into the library. There's a lot of decisions that are being made. They're probably being recommended by family and friends. There's just something and they're triggers. And there's also the after experience of getting the book, reading it, what mindset they're in, trying to come back for more options as well. So it was a very complex experience that needed to be replicated in a very intelligent manner.
And the only way was through diary study. There are other methods as well, but I recommended that approach. So what I did was we went to the library, we recruited people there and then, we just wanted to talk about challenges and pain points. And then asked would you be interested in doing this diary study with us for about five days? It was designed around triggers. How do you select books and talk about the entire experience? So when you go in the library, how do you know which section to go to? Themes that are emerging really strongly, decision paralysis, there's so much to choose from, or I just want the book to unwind after a long day, or I love reading books. So different target audiences that are emerging.
So that process then made the product team really focus on the tactical experience. and trying to bring it into the product. So, obviously, people go into the library, they pick up a book, and they read like the first few pages, and then that decision is then, well, am I going to borrow this book, or is it not worth my time?
They replicated that tactical experience in the app, so you could actually thumb through books in the app, and go through that experience. So those little bits and bobs, those things were were then replicated. So they said that they were not going to go through that tactical experience if researchers didn't expose that, and the importance to their target audience - they wanted to go through the experience, they wanted to read the books, they wanted to be able to get recommendations from their family and friends and fellow book lovers. So all of that was then replicated and put on a priority list. Rather than just, well, there's a book, I'm reserving it, and I'm picking it up.
That experience pushed that app on top of the list and we realised there was far more downloads after that. So it was called TactiLibrary at some point. So that was a way that user research prioritised features as a way to solve core user needs versus just designing a product for a library. That's one of the main examples.
Yeah, I love that. I love the fact that actually through the observation and the understanding and the story, but it's about realising what do people value, and actually they value being able to have a first scan read of those few first pages of a story, storytelling and story, in order to make a decision.
And again, both you and Jaz have talked about, it's not just in the moment, actually. It's about understanding the connected story as to how somebody got there in the first place. The fact that they've had a bad day, and they're hungry, and they don't know what they're going to have for tea, versus, actually what was the journey that took somebody to make a decision that they were going to, they were going to loan a book.
I love that and that whole, that whole piece of connection. You’ve started to touch on it a little bit there in terms of the difference that it makes to business. So, we've established that effective storytelling creates those memorable and engaging user experiences.
But the business is always like, well, what does that mean for our results? How's that going to make a difference? How does the incorporation of storytelling impact things like user retention, conversion rates, ROI? These business metrics that are so important to the business itself. And how do you communicate those findings to key stakeholders?
I would like to go back to our roles as product owners - we're always tied up to a goal. So we'll have a goal for the year, or for the next three years, and five years. So I think when you touch on it about ROI, yes, we all are tied to the goals, right?
Ultimately, Jaz was saying, the customer is the king. So you need to delight them, keep them retained, and especially in this world where they have so many options to go to.
So one thing storytelling brings back to ROI is how I have used it in Amazon and other companies I've worked so far. How do you make customer loyalty, and make them need the product again and again?
And the key part of storytelling helps is because the customer is more important, it's not the product, but it's the ease of the product that fits in their life. So what's going on before, after? If you're using a product and struggling to find help, or you're struggling to find it, or make it work, you probably won't come back again to it.
And that's where the research ties back to ROI. That if in the user journey, you see there are some big friction points, you start with the user journey, which gives you an idea of where to look for. And that's where the big data points help. When we bring data from the web journey mapping, or you bring data from how many customers are calling in or complaining, or where they're struggling and taking more time, or where the customers are dropping off and not doing a sale, is it just your credit card journey which is making it struggle?
So that's where the journey mapping ties with the data. And it ties back to ROI that how do you prioritise the customer struggling with these five pain points, but what we see with the data is these are the two points which are really high priority, which is hurting at the end the ROI. Or the customer just making a purchase because they couldn't figure out how quickly the product will reach them, or they're nervous that they would be tied up with some of the terms and conditions, which they won't be able to come out of. So those things, the data helps, and then you can go back and show to business that - if we fix these pain points for customers, then you would get more customers and ROI.
But it's making customers' lives easy. So then they would prefer to come back again and again. That's how I would say we join back at ROI and tie that back with our goals too. Does it fit in our three year plan? This is what we want to grow in the business and that brings the story together and the business case which you can then follow through.
Perfect. Thank you, Pulaq. Feyi, did you want to add anything to that?
Yeah as a user researcher, I'm constantly communicating with different stakeholders across the business. So, we've got the design team, we've got executives, and it's all about what's in it for me. Why do I need to know this? There's user stories, but how does that impact the business?
So I have to tweak my communications and insights from a point of view perspective and the council perspective. So it's not just about this and this and this. So what? What do we do with this information? So for financial stakeholders, they want to know what's the impact on profit. As Pulaq mentioned, what's the impact on our business goals and the return on investments?
And they have to be very articulate about it. If this is not solved, from what we're seeing, this is going to result in drop off, and this is the impact on investments. And then that catches their attention.
It's not being manipulative, but it's presenting hard facts and data. So we have the emotional part that Jaz spoke about, and we have the hard facts to back it up. And then we have the point of view and the next steps to be taken to mitigate against this. So that's my experience as a researcher.
I think it's interesting. Sometimes it's the risk of not doing? We can make this better, but actually if you don't do it, this is going to have a detrimental impact. And that's also the thing that I think we weave into our stories, especially when you're thinking about customer experience and how do you show the value of a customer experience?
Yes, it could ultimately result in revenue, but actually there's lots of little things that can make a big difference if we did a number of them.
Look, thank you so much for all your responses so far. I'm conscious of time, so we've got some time now to pick up some questions from our audience.
So I'm just gonna start going through some of those and we'll see what they've got for us! So I've got a question here, which is why do you think people relate and connect with stories? Jaz, I was going to ask you, what's your thinking on that?
Well the classical answer, is that we've been telling stories since the dawn of time, right?
But I think the real thing is that often the stories that we're telling, and the way that as a panel we've discussed this, it's really bringing to life other people's experiences. And it enables you to actually relate to what's going on and put yourself in their shoes. You can close your eyes and hopefully imagine that scene that I talked about, having that bit of rest just before you go into the chaotic house.
And it's something that kind of facts and data just, just can't do. And I think we're very, as much as we like to say, we're very logically driven, and even people that are, I think we still make a lot of decisions based on emotions and how we feel about stuff. Data can help with that but it's really stories that kind of is that glue like I talked about that brings it together.
Feyi, Pulaq, is there anything you want to add to that?
I just want to add an anecdote, exactly what Jaz said. If you are watching a sport and the screen goes blurred for 10 seconds. It's very hard to understand. But if you move it into a story and say, hey, you're watching your favourite team's sports and they are just trying to score a goal, and then you get a blurred picture, and you hear about the goal from Twitter, and not from your streaming service.
And that's where the story brings the impact, because you see the pain that I don't want to miss out on my favourite team's goal. In soccer, or football as we say. So I think that's where we have seen, and I would say neurologically, we are driven to stories.
Numbers are great, they help a logical decision, but everyone relates to a story. That's why companies are adding diversity to the group, and you want to hear people's perspectives. So yeah, I would just add that as an anecdote.
Thank you. I've got a question here, which is not how do you tell the story as in the words we use, but what are the mediums that you would use to tell, or the formats that you would use to tell that story?
Have you got any examples of different ways of doing that, if that makes sense? Feyi, maybe start with you?
Yeah, absolutely. You have to be very creative when you're using this format. So there could be highlight reels, there could be visual journey maps. There was a time within a company where we did a study about people shopping in Australia.
So it was a cultural factor and some certain idiosyncrasies that they were facing. That they were not aware of. So we wanted to celebrate this insight. So we did like an Australian Day theme, put together like, Australia and just a celebration of culture. So it was a combination of highlight reels of people talking about the experience and then what makes Australia, Australia as well.
So it was a very powerful combination. So you have to be creative with your formats. Just the best way to get this information across. So video reels, journey maps, participatory workshops, pop ups. There's so much you can come up with. Again, it varies across industries and businesses as well.
No, that's great. Jaz, have you used anything creative in your recent sort of storytelling?
Yeah, I did. I think typically at Domino's the way a lot of stories are told is in a presentation format. So it's backing up a bit like Feyi said, backing up. I always try and make sure if I've got a point I try to bring it to life with an actual video clip I can if I've got from a piece of research.
But I also just wanted to think back to the crazy time of COVID and we were looking at that whole experience when people could start to collect food again from places, and it was a time when we had a lot of constraints as well.
I wanted to touch on this because if you don't have big budgets or big research teams you are also thinking about what you could maybe do to help bring to life these stories. So, I went, got in my car and went around to record videos of picking up food from different places to really understand how they were handling this experience of getting customers back in.
And then me being a bit guerrilla and trying to chat to people, their staff, and also customers that are in the queues, what their experience was like, what they were worried about. And, ideally you've got a great partner like Feyi, or someone like that from a user research perspective, but don't be afraid also to get a bit stuck in yourself to kind of create that content if it's not readily available for you.
Makes sense. And we've all talked about storytelling and how powerful it is. One of the questions we have is whether anybody has got any great books or resources where they can learn more about storytelling? Anybody got anything that they would put out there as a recommendation?
Jaz, you're nodding your head, so I'm gonna go with you!
There's no affiliate or anything like this, but there's a great one called Storyteller Tactics, and they come in this like card format, there's loads, won't go through all of it because you can go and see them, but it's really helpful as a thing that you can grab, you can put things in front of you, you can think about what works and what doesn't work.
I would recommend Just Enough Research, I can't remember the author, but it's just a way to show how, if you don't have the top team of researchers, how you can just do just enough research and how to go about it. That's amazing as well.
One of the other questions that we've got here is what's the best way to make sure everyone in the team is telling a consistent story?
So you don't end up with that story dilution or it veering off and becoming something much more embellished than it initially was? How do you make sure that keeps coming centred back to, okay, actually, this is the story we're telling, this is the problem that we're facing. How do you go about that?
Feyi, I can see you're nodding your head. Would you like to take this one?
Absolutely. I think it's healthy for people to have different points of views. It's expected and it's celebrated. So my role as a researcher is to combine all these points of views. Again, I mentioned earlier on the what's and the why's.
So we have all of this insight from data analytics. We have all of this insight from marketing. We have all of this insight from user research. We even have product marketing fits insights. You have so much information from everywhere. So my role is to combine all of that and say, okay, this is a point of view, this is what we're seeing, and this explains all the multiple questions that different people have and then putting it in one space and then carrying people along.
So if everyone has a point of view that is different, of course, feel free to debate about it. But here are the facts and the common documents that we're working towards.
So that for me, that helps again, I really encourage everyone to speak up, everyone to have that debate. People always say, well, you spoke to five people, is that enough? Why this approach? And then I'm happy to say, listen, this is the reason, I encourage that conversation. And that helps with scepticism and encouraging everyone to bring their thoughts to the table so we can actually have that one perspective as much as possible for now.. So that's how it works.
Thank you. No, that makes sense. Pulaq, did you have any thoughts on that?
Now, I think Feyi, covered it beautifully. The only thing I would like to add is I think when we work with teams like Feyi, what is key is I think you touched Feyi on the point that - is talking to five people enough? Talking to 200 people because you need to consider the customer base.
And I think where I really like working with teams like Feyi is they give us some more scientific things about statistical significance. So then you know if this is your customer base X, what is the statistical significance which says this is the number percentage of user, we have research, or at least done an open survey, or a direct survey, or face-to-face, and that brings it together to give that concept of confidence to VPs and senior executives about, yes, we do have numbers backing. So I would just at that point.
Yeah, that makes sense. So I think that brings us to the end of our panel for today. I was just doing a little time check there. I do want to thank you, and all that's left for me really is to say a huge thank you to Feyi, Jaz, and Pulaq for your time, taking the time out of your diaries to chat with me this morning.
I think we could have continued this conversation for a much longer period of time. Getting through the whys and wherefores and unpacking how we present it out and how you keep circling people back to that story, and what's super important. So thank you for taking your time out of your diary this morning and to our audience, obviously always thank you for joining us and submitting your questions, they're super valuable and if there's any that we haven't answered we'll take them and we'll look at how we can come back to you.
I hope you've enjoyed watching this session as much as I have in taking part and talking with my value panellists. Look out for the replay in your inbox later today for any nuggets that you may have missed or any recaps that you want to replay.
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