Francesco feels that his brand is getting disrupted in the region, their markets challenged by agile upstarts who do a better job of “getting their customer success stories on the front page.” He wants his team to do a better job with their own customer stories.
We begin with a two-day theme development and digital strategy workshop in Singapore for 30 Manulife digital marketers and UX designers from eight countries. Francesco, the new CMO, is meeting most of them for the first time, himself. We see why he hired us. He tells stories that are dialogues with his audience, which we always champion for our clients and their brands. He improvises, also vital to our method. When he sees out-of-date information he’d mistakenly left in his slideshow, he shrugs, turns to his audience without missing a beat and says, “Don’t read, listen.” We liked that line so much that we turned it into a mantra for our workshop.
During a break on the second day of our first workshop, Francesco, who has been fully engaged in all the activities, comes up to us with a fresh light in his eyes. “So…,” he says. “What you do is like design thinking for storytelling!”
“Yes.” we say. “And it’s different, too.”
The themes we developed together in 2016 helped teams localize stories while staying aligned with the Manulife brand globally. Another mantra for our work: ‘Localize the global, globalize the local.’ [compare www.manulife.com.sg to www.manulife.com.ph) Manulife Philippines launched a Start Your Story campaign, and Manulife Singapore launched a campaign called Leave a Legacy, both developed in our workshops.The ultimate ROI? Manulife APAC’s growth of over 20% YTY led all regions on the way to a record year in 2016 for the global company.