Tricia Nichols

Giving control over to external parties can help broaden the reach of brand stories and assist in creating meaningful bonds with consumers, said Tricia Nichols, vice president of global consumer engagement at Estée Lauder Cos.

“It’s about giving that brand microphone elsewhere and creating a megaphone,” she said. “Micro-storytelling allows us to…tell multiple stories and create positive interactions and positive engagement with our brand.”

That bonding starts with crafting narratives that can help brands bond with their consumers. At Estée Lauder, the focus is on four narratives: the rule-breaking spirit of Estée (whom Nichols termed the “original social influencer”), high-touch experiences, the teaching spirit and confidence, she said.

Those bonds are valuable. “You can go from being worth 10 percent of share of wallet to being worth 24 percent share of wallet all because someone bonded to you,” Nichols said. “That bonding is worth quite a bit, especially in a revenue way.”

The idea is to create small moments that connect with shoppers.

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For one product — Advance Night Repair Concentrate — the Estée Lauder team created a story line around the 10,000 micro-movements that eyes experience per day, Nichols said. “It’s like your eyes are walking five miles,” she said.

One graphic showed several eyes moving — rolling, blinking, etc. But in another version of the same story, the team built a 360-degree story online that looks like a viewer is walking five miles through San Francisco.

Nichols also shared an example of a teaching moment with Estée Lauder global beauty director Violette, who showed viewers how to create the “French kiss” lipstick look for National Lipstick Day.

While the brand’s Power Foil mask has been featured by celebrities like Victoria Beckham, the megaphone effect comes into play when it’s in the hands of influencers, Nichols noted, as she played a video showing bloggers struggling to properly apply the sheet mask. “If this were a brand-controlled story, this may not be as clumsy as this is about to get,” she said.

The next level of influence comes from the Estée Lauder team itself, Nichols said. The makeup advisers have shared more than 40,000 posts, and the company is looking for the next influencer within that group. “This is where you get the ultimate in brand love,” Nichols said.