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Case Study

A Go-To-Market Strategy: Storystream Case Study

Storystream case study

Curating the curator

StoryStream is an online B2B scale-up with ambitious growth targets. Its proprietary AI tech curates millions of social media posts from customers, influencers and media for quality and establishes publishing rights, allowing marketers to repurpose them across their digital realms. In a content hungry world, these authentic stories provide new and unfolding ways to validate, engage and drive sales for a brand.

But, as you can see, it needs quite a bit of explaining. That’s not an easy start for an emerging brand – even for a B2B one –  to help get its message across.  So, StoryStream approached us to provide an outside perspective and help them to get their go-to-marketing positioning clear. Then, to roll up our sleeves and put that into marketing action.

Turning things around

To fully understand the challenge and opportunity, we facilitated a Spark workshop with key internal team, plus external stakeholder Spot Sparks, to learn what was working, what was not, and to review the competition. 

We learnt that they’d successful established partnerships in the automotive industry, where impressive consumer engagement results were being achieved.  But, with this now at near exclusion they’d started to look to adjacent markets in the retail sector, and finding it harder to cut through. 

So, we turned to our network in the marketing world for feedback. Here CMOs told us that they knew social and customer content was important, but that it was hard to quantify and therefore assign budget against. Critically we were hearing that they were unclear on the benefits, feeling it may fragment channels and affect the integrity of the brand narrative.

It validated our initial observation that, like many tech start-ups,  StoryStream had focussed on the technical and rational benefits of their product. They’d not called out the end-benefit to their customer. Although we understood technology was a critical enabler to the outcome, we felt they needed to shift the narrative so that the CMOs and eCommerce Directors were presented with a proposition that spoke to their ‘needs’. We wanted to make the product a no-brainer rather than a brain-teaser.   

So, for our strategic leap we looked at the bigger picture and asked, not just what made the functional proposition different but the difference they made for their customer.

The Sparking process revealed some core thoughts: ease, authenticity, affirmation and trust. The curated content was ‘real’ yet the tech seamlessly  kept it true to the brand standard.  A nd by celebrating consumers in the brand narrative the brand was validated by consumers celebrating their products. Ultimately, it helped to build trust, drive engagement and grow sales.

This set the foundation for a strong purpose – their why – “to seamlessly deliver the greatest content curation platform for brands selling in the digital age” 

We then underpinned it all into an essence of Content Curation That Sells.  Deliberately plain speaking, this put the customer point of view and need front and centre.

Brand pillars were then built around the differentiated themes of Seamless Process, Seamless Quality and Seamless Sales, and given supporting reasons to believe (proof points), to complete the brand positioning process. 


Real humans

At the time, the StoryStream team did not have an in-house marketing team. In the midst of the Covid-19 lockdowns and online retail gaining momentum, they knew it was an opportunity to grow.  So, our marketing team was ready and able to help them make that happen.

We agreed that most value would come from creating content to demonstrate their customers’ positive experience. This would focus on highlighting the benefits of the collaborative nature of the service and demonstrate the capability of the technology.   StoryStream could also reinforce its core belief in the power of authentic content by demonstrating it in action themselves. 

“Flintlock were a great agency that had combination of experience and understanding of commerce and retail customers. The Spark Workshop process involved and challenged us to think about the language in terms of our customers rather than describe our technology. It changed our approach on how to build the brand’s success.”

Cameron Franks, COO, StoryStream

So, we designed a strategic content calendar, set against the themes of the brand pillars, and began a programme of customer case studies and insight articles.  This involved our copywriters interviewing the CMOS and eCommerce directors across the automotive and retail customer base – Boden, Blackwells, Cupra, Vauxhall, Sweaty Betty  – to provide genuine industry insight and create more human interest reading. 

Targeted channels were used to distribute content organically on LinkedIn and via newsletters. Plus, some paid Google and PPC campaigns commissioned to raise awareness and ran SEO to help improve performance of the content. The sales team also re-purposed the brand strategy into more strategic and storytelling style sales decks.

Weekly calls kept our conversations current and identified opportunities to talk to market trends and customer developments. This resulted in a decision to host an in-person industry event (when lockdowns finished), for a panel discussion on ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ with speakers from Boden, Sweaty Betty, Vauxhall and , and the CEO of StoryStream chairing. 

Clear growth

From strategy through to action, the StoryStream brand story has evolved to be clearer, bolder and much more human.

They’re growing fast and now have in place an in-house marketing team who continue to implement our brand strategy. It’s given the team a clear, consistent and single minded proposition and a differentiated positioning that has helped them to attract more brands in new global markets. Plus, keep on track to deliver to their growth targets, whilst keeping things ‘real’.


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