Episode 44: Messaging & Story Telling That Sells With Siena Dexter.

Story Selling That Sells Products

Everyone is trying to save time. So the faster your product on the shelf can 'speak' to consumers, the more money you will make. This is why a lot of groundwork has to be done to understand your ideal customer demographics and behaviors and tailor your branding and messaging accordingly.

In this episode, we have Siena Dexter, who is well-placed to speak on the subject. She is the director of brand strategy and associate partner at SmashBrand, where she helps consumer packaged goods and brands win on the shelf through quantified consumer metrics. Siena's primary interest is behavioral economics and quantifiable ways to predict human behavior, which she does best at SmashBrand.

For your brand to harness messaging and connect with your consumer, Siena explains that you need to communicate with clarity:

  1. Who you are and what your brand stands for.
  2. What the product is.
  3. What the product does and why the consumer should buy it.

She emphasizes simplicity and straightforwardness in getting these across.

In this episode, you will gain insights into predicting and understanding consumer behavior. You will appreciate the people-first approach to solving consumers' problems and why you need to focus on connecting with your customer more than selling them your product. In addition, you will understand how data helps drive better design and, more importantly, how vital messaging is to the purchasing process of any brand you are trying to sell.

Here's a sneak peek…

[1:03] Siena's backstory and journey into branding.

 [2:10] Understanding the people-first approach and why understanding the customer must be your focus.

 [9:32] Connecting eats selling for breakfast when it comes to messaging.

 [12:22] The need to keep messaging and branding simple.

 [16:26] Ways to collect data and how data drives brand strategy and packaging design.

 [16:47] Understanding consumer demographics and behaviors is essential. How to leverage tools like trend reports, for example, Mintel and Euromonitor.

 [18:18] The value of consumer testing.

 [22:27] Current trends impacting consumer behavior:

  • Consumers want more control over their lives in the following ways:
    • The do-it-yourself culture.
    • The need for transparency.
  • Self-education. Consumers are interested in where the packs have come from, the supply chain, making sure there's nothing shady in that product, and understanding on a higher level than before. So there's a lot of mistrust towards brands.
  • Focus on healthy living and routine.
  • People want to go back to simpler times when things were easy and light, before pandemics, HD. So there are trends toward digital detox and keeping things simple. 
  • A move to diversity, an inclusive way of speaking, and a gender-inclusive way of communicating.

 [29:12] Parting advice on consumer behavior, messaging, and branding:

  • Trust your intuition
  • Take time to understand what is driving people and why. 
    • Create a fictional character and map out their routine.
    • Carry out community surveys.
  • Ask, 'So what?' of your brand values.


"Where we need to come at it is not what you need to sell but how you want to connect. It's a switch in mindset."

"Your copywriting on the pack has the power to connect with your audience in a verbal way." 

"When you have super functional messaging or messaging that's confusing, or I don't really know what I'm reading, then that might stop a customer from connecting with a product that could be great for them. They stop at the copy because maybe there's just a little much to read."

"If you are saying everything, you're saying nothing."

"If you can say it in one simple line and make that easy to understand, that's how you're going to be winning on the shelf."

"It's important for them (brand owners) to think about their own brand and not follow what everyone else is doing. We work with female-led brands who believe that they want to say that this is a product for women, and that is a hundred percent okay."

Links & Resources

Siena Dexter LinkedIn

SmashBrand Website

Find out more!

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