O-I hosted its ‘(Un)Conscious Stories’ virtual event on last week which gave insight into how innovators can tell a story that truly connects brands with their target consumers.

The virtual event was a roundtable discussion between Gary Vaynerchuk, founder and CEO of VaynerMedia, Matthew Luhn, former lead storyteller and animator at Pixar, and Arnaud Aujouannet, O-I’s Senior Vice President & Chief Sales and Marketing Officer.

The three leaned on their experience telling stories through different mediums to demonstrate how brands can authentically connect with consumers.

They shared why connecting with human emotions in seven seconds or less is vital for any storyteller and marketer.

“Brands that are able to do that are dramatically changing their ability to influence shoppers,” Mr Aujouannet explained.

“When you think about packaging, design elements matter.

“If you are using a straight line in packaging, you’re probably talking about determination. When you use zigzag, you might associate that with defiance.”

The attendees heard how all of the colours, textures and shapes a brand chooses has meaning.

“The brain has associated that with a human motive, and how you connect that in the right way is so critical,” Mr Aujouannet said.

He explained that Jeep, for example, uses colours related to nature to tell a story about exploring and freedom.

And O-I’s Catalyst Collection uses shapes to connect its bottles to different motives like “Balance,” “Play” and “Defy.”

Driving emotion is critical for brands to form lasting bonds with consumers.

Making purchases based on rational decisions is much less common than you might think, Mr Vaynerchuk, pointed out.

“What’s missing with many brands these days is compassion for the consumer. And one way to tap into compassion for the consumer? The world wide web.

“You have an incredible opportunity to do things and then watch and listen,” he said.

It’s important not to get lost in making decisions at the expense of your vision, Mr Aujouannet said – creating packaging to fit the size of the shelf, being on the internet just to be on the internet.

“It goes back to the root. What do we want to say? How do we bring it to life consciously?”

Building a brand’s story is an intentional process, requiring careful consideration and listening.

Building a story that engages people is all about connecting with consumers not just with “market and demo,” but through human emotion and behaviours.

The panellists’ final words of advice for marketers: “Humility. One word,” Mr Vaynerchuk said. “As that word rises, a lot of good will happen.”

Mr Luhn said his motto when he’s creating is: “Don’t be clever, but be honest and vulnerable.”

Mr Aujouannet emphasised the importance of authenticity, connecting to human motives, and bringing that to life with consistency.