The Value of Storytelling in the Technology Changing World: An example case of Ben & Jerry’s.

Every brand consists of different ‘touch points’ with the customer, that is what technological developments have inevitably entailed. The big advantage of all those ‘touch points” is that whoever connects them receives a wealth of information and fantastic brand loyalty. Touching people is a process that is existing for centuries, by telling stories.

People love stories and pass them on to others. The art for companies is therefore to have a story. Preferably a story with the necessary ‘juicy’ elements to motivate people to tell the story further. A story does not have to be invented, because every company has one. Stories can be found around the corner, according to the Kitchen Sisters. Do not go find something fake, but use the existing stories of your people. Furthermore a story may be funny, that works, but it works much better if the story comes from the heart. When a story is real, people will have more trust in believing it, and creates a personal connection. (Nelson & Silva, 2010)

Ben & Jerry’s.

The story of Ben & Jerry’s is about the two founders that started the ice cream brand. They managed the story very clever, first of all they communicate that Ben & Jerry’s is not a brand, but a company with unique values ​​that connects people. This is the start of their story. The whole company philosophy is about giving topics to talk about. Only recently they started with traditional advertising.

The start of the company is a sampling culture. Iconic is the free cone day, it started as a thank-you to their customers in the 70s. In 2010 they gave away more than 1 million ice creams. The next step was to involve their social media in this story. Through their Twitter account @benjerrystruck they asked their followers who wanted free ice cream. In the New York region, they then set out a route to give those people their ice. They consciously went in search of digital influencers. The more followers you had, the more likely they would come. Next to that, they called the transmitter of a tweet a hero, was also part of involving their story lovers to their social media channels. Everything was done to create as much buzz as possible. (Van Belleghem, 2010)

In addition, people are always looking for a secret and a fact that does not actually have anything to do with the brand, this creates curiosity. And curiosity creates a start of getting people to talk about it. This is why own media channels are becoming increasingly important. If you want to tell your stories to the world, it is best to have your own media. In the case of Ben & Jerry’s, the importance of having their own website and e-mail list in their case was again strongly emphasised.

Nowadays, advertisers pay millions to reach their target audience. Having your own media channels, which by definition leads to fans, so this needs to be incredibly strong. A way to give strength to the story telling is to involve influencers. To change or create the perception of your brand, it is now common to use these influencers. When this will be part of your marketing strategy, take these three categories in consideration: social / digital influencers, opinion leaders (within the category) and finally use own customers.

In addition to these influencers, our own employees are often forgotten, which is regrettable. Because every organisation has a story, and who can tell it better than the employees themselves. Employee advocacy is of great value for increasing your network and reach. (Frank watching, 2018)

The conclusion is that having strong channels can only be created by trust and ultimately only reinforced by a good story behind the brand. Story telling can be used to refine strategy, build  awareness, and strengthen communications. (Fog, 2010)


Fog, K. (2010). Storytelling: Branding in practice. Samfundslitteratur.

Frank watching (2018), Training, Available from:|actieblok| [Accessed: 14.5.2018].

Kuenn, A. (2012), 8 Storytelling Tips To Enhance Your Content Marketing [online], Marketing land, Available from: [Accessed: 14.5.2018].

Nelson, D. & Silva, N. (2010), Kitchen Sisters [online], Frank watching, Available from: [Accessed: 14.5.2018].

Toch, H. (2018), The future of shopping , 1nd edition, Lannoo, Culemborg.

Van Belleghem, S. (2010), De waarde van storytelling voor je merk: 3 cases [online], Frank watching, Available from: [Accessed: 14.5.2018].

Influencer Marketing and selecting a Social Network

Defining a social network is nowadays more important than ever, since the rapid developments of social media and networking websites.

We live in a society where it is more important ‘who you know’ than ‘what you know’, thus websites encourage their users to build up followers, friends and contacts. These social media developments made businesses establish networking strategies that influence the choice of users. The trick is that you want to connect users to your brand. So users that want to be associated with you as a brand can be called ‘your social network’.

Determine a social network is done by mapping and measuring flows between interactions and personal relationships on the online channels that are offered. Offering users a website or other application which enables them to communicate with each other by posting comments, reactions and/or images and messages with information creates a data set of information that can help companies to segment a their social network.

By knowing what people like, who they follow and what their opinion is about several subjects, it is desirable to create a profile of people that could match the target audience of your brand. Thus by analysing your target audience and previous customers can help to select the best influencers that match your brand. As result form selecting the right influencers and connect them to your brand, it enables greater reach due to a similar target audience.

Connecting influencers to your brand can help to get more followers, likes and subsequently more customers. With the advent of social media and internet it seems that consumers are almost blind to advertisements. So when it comes from a “real person” it seems more trustworthy. After all, someone you can identify with, you believe rather than a company advertisement. 

Influencers have the ability to change behaviours and can influence purchase decision making in a given context. These influencers have earned followers and engagement of an audience by producing content on particular topics. Thus connecting a business goal to this particular topic could create a perfect match. This beneficial relationship creates more impact on individuals than just regular advertisements.

Top 3 influencer marketing campaigns:
1. Sprint – with Lele Pons
2. H&M – with Ela Velden
3. Naked Juice – with Kate La Vie

(click here for advanced list)

When you as a company decide to start with influencer marketing, remember the five steps action plan.
1. Define online audience
2. Discover right influencers
3. Monitor influencer opportunities
4. Take action and engage
5. Measure results