Why Brand Storytelling is Important to Intel

Tarka-and-Ben-Scott-Expedition

Some years ago we worked with a client who was launching a new online streaming channel for independent films.  The project was run by Tarka L’Herpiniere who wasn’t actually a techie or a film buff, but an explorer. His idea came from a frustration that he couldn’t get all the amazing film footage he’d taken on his expeditions aired on any existing film or TV channels, even though he had produced absolutely fascinating documentaries filmed in extraordinary places. More recently the call of adventure returned as he took on and succeeded at another extreme adventure; Tarka, alongside Ben Saunders, made the 1800 mile journey on foot and unaided,  from  the  coast  of Antarctica  to  the  South  Pole  and  back,  achieving the  first  completion  of  Captain Scott’s  ill-fated  Terra  Nova  route.

Ben and Tarka’s  frozen expedition, first attempted by Captain Scott and his team in 1911, needed the support of many, and Intel was an integral part of thir ultimate success.

To be part of a great story you need to have courage and a cause that you can put your might behind. This ambitious project allowed Intel to show both. Their support allowed Tarka and Ben to communicate with their support team, record vital data from the region and catch up with loved ones during their extraordinary journey. Intel supplied the ground-breaking 4th generation Intel® Core™ processor for their laptop. Not only did it enable Tarka and Ben to stay in constant contact but it also allowed Intel to trial this new technology at sub zero temperatures and their reward was an incredible brand story.  Intel didn’t have to make empty marketing claims about their products, they have been able to take their audience on a fascinating journey which evidences their work.

That story has become Intel’s to tell.

Watch the video The Scott Expedition – A Great Adventure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGqGkQ3hjT4

This is a great example of a brand story and we wanted to find out how Intel has embedded storytelling into their marketing so we recently met with Phillippa (Pippa) Chick at Intel’s UK Headquarters in Wiltshire in her capacity as brand storytelling champion within Intel’s Northern Europe Marketing operation.  Here at Hoot we are passionate advocates of brand storytelling for business, so we wanted to hear from Pippa why storytelling is so important to Intel’s business.

Pippa told us that storytelling within Intel is not a new pursuit and that their use of stories and their search for their own business stories has been a valuable part of their customer strategy for a number of years now.  Pippa explained that many of the interactions that Intel has with its end user is through a third party. For example the chip that’s in my laptop as I write is an Intel chip, but I didn’t interact with Intel when I bought my laptop.  And that’s another thing, consumers readily associate Intel with the processing chips that are locked away inside their advanced tech gadgets, but they are not aware of the many other things that Intel does to advance our world.  The values that Intel holds as a business include risk taking to support a sustainable world and to operate in the most ethical way possible within conflict hit parts of the globe such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Another fascinating brand story comes from their intentions to ensure that the minerals required for their own product development is sourced ethically.  Intel knows that many of the mineral components they use in their products are only available in areas of the world hindered by multiple conflicts and often ravaged by war lords and civil struggle.  To ensure they have a positive impact when they source these minerals they have changed their approach to how they source and buy, so that they are not in any way supporting violence and injustice in these regions.

Watch Intel’s video on their pursuit of Conflict Free Minerals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgQEDX-ywR8

Using stories as a way to tell Intel’s audiences about what they are doing allows the company to build an emotional connection with the people who buy their products, and also those people who unknowingly use their products every day.

Communicating through the power of stories is a core undertaking at Intel.  Pippa told us that technology can often be perceived as a dry subject, and that telling stories allows Intel to spread the passion that they have for technology in a way that is impactful, memorable, and easy for their audiences to engage with, understand and pass on.  That’s the definition of the power of a great story.

Our thanks to Pippa for her time and for sharing the passion she has for business storytelling.

“The reason we tell stories in business is because we can strategically place stories as pieces of communication that help you build emotional connections with your audience.  We don’t do that for the sake of it, but if you build an emotional connection with someone then your messages are more memorable, your recommendations are more likely to be heard, and ultimately your audiences are more likely to take action”.  Pippa Chick, Intel.

Watch Pippa’s 26 minute presentation on three of Intel’s most powerful stories at The Edge Digital Conference 2014: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZER93asYGU4