Why are we on this planet if not to lead with our values? I mean, life is way too short and and companies that don’t understand that they are asking for a relationship and for time, to me you have to start with your values.
Gregor Clark is the Principal at Hiker, an award-winning creative agency that helps global brands and social impact partners conceive and tell better stories. The agency has won an Emmy, Telly and Webby award (triple threat!). Prior to Hiker, Clark co-founded Plenty NYC. He is a member of the Center for Public Philosophy in Santa Cruz.
In this episode of Velocitize Talks, Clark shares his insights on what makes a good story, social responsibility and telling the truth.
Up close & (not too) personal (1:40)
Part of the challenge that personalization still has to overcome and sort of conquer in terms of driving engagement for individual audience members is straddling that line between not being creepy and yet being as personalized as you possibly can be.
Unlike previous generations, roughly 44% of Gen Zers say they are more likely to share personal data for a more personalized digital experience.
Stories worth telling (4:33)
I see him as a child and he’s angry and why is he angry, and then I uncover the reason why…part of it is just understanding that the best content is the stuff that really embraces narrative.
In 2016, Hiker created a powerful social impact campaign with Verizon, featuring NFL linebacker William Gay, who lost his mother to domestic violence as a young boy.
Making it on YouTube (6:05)
These are individual storytellers embracing kind of a history of oral storytelling plus highly idiosyncratic personal relationships with their audience and they’re getting millions of views. This is a kind of narrative.
According to a recent Business Insider survey, both Millennials and Gen Zers have moved on to Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube to tell (and show) their stories. Around 65% of young people check Instagram at least once a day, and 62% report being daily YouTube users.
But to all of tomorrow’s hopeful influencers, Clark has some advice: “Don’t put more crap into the world unless you absolutely have to.”
Speak the truth (7:57)
We’re in an era where authenticity is really under attack. Audiences are very confused about the truth and we have cynicism and then we have skepticism where people just feel that they are not being told the truth. Brands have an amazing opportunity in this space to actually recapture…what it means to be authentic.
Last year Edelman conducted a study on brand trust and found that only one-third of consumers trust most of the brands they buy and use. That said, nearly two-thirds of consumers try to buy in accordance with their personal beliefs. As far as growing consumer expectations, Edelman cited three critical gates of trust: product, customer experience, and societal impact.
Get real (9:15)
It goes to the heart of a critical American and global issue about identity and beauty and self-respect and self-love and that campaign was enormously successful.
Clark cited the 2004 Dove Campaign for Real Beauty as just one example of how a brand can leverage the concept of storytelling for good. It was one of the first campaigns to focus on the consumer instead of the product. Plus, because of its diversity, it proved relatable.
How can I provide a kind of white space or an open space, a canvas that gives room for the user to be in control, and I think that’s the future right now, not trying to be as noisy and content rich as possible.
To learn more about Hiker, check out their website.