Is your brand a Minimalist, a Storyteller or a Pioneer? If you understand your brand’s digital engagement pattern, you’ll know what to prioritise and what not to. You’ll also have a clearer sense of what it takes to drive positive outcomes for your company or organisation.

Digital has opened dizzying possibilities for brands to engage with people. And communication professionals have their hands full. Web and email? Check. Search and social? Check. Organic and paid? Check. Before you know it, you’re managing ad hoc activities with conflicting goals, subpar results and no clue of how to improve.  

Leidar’s Digital Pulse study reveals three patterns of behaviour or “archetypes” that explain how companies and organisations use digital communications to engage with people. If you understand your brand’s digital archetype, you’ll know what to prioritise and what not to. You’ll also have a clearer sense of what it takes to drive positive outcomes for your company or organisation.

The Three Patterns of Digital Engagement:

  1. The Minimalist. Companies and organisations representing the Minimalist archetype tend to have fewer than 500 employees. They focus on the essentials — communicating about their own brand using short-form storytelling and standard visuals. LinkedIn is home to their largest community and Twitter is home to their most engaged community. They also take a pragmatic approach to innovation. They use chatbots without artificial intelligence and offer mobile apps without extended reality. Companies representing this archetype promote their products on third-party ecommerce platforms rather than on their own websites.

    Advice: Improve brand awareness using a consistent voice and visual style. Repurpose existing content into new formats, such as videos and infographics. Equip and empower employees to share brand messages on their personal channels.
  2. The Storyteller. The Storyteller archetype is represented by companies and organisations of varying sizes. They are creative content producers that excel at social media engagement. And they do not shy away from investing in infographics and podcasts. Their largest online community is on Facebook and their most engaged community is on YouTube. Although they tend to ignore chatbots and content hubs, they offer utility and productivity apps to help people solve problems quickly. Companies that exhibit this archetype communicate actively about CSR and sustainability.

    Advice: Collaborate with topic specialists to reach niche target audiences. Optimise web, email and mobile experiences so that when people are shown how to take the next step, they land on a page that is relevant to them. Recapture people’s attention using retargeting campaigns on search and social.
  3. The Pioneer. Companies and organisations representing the Pioneer archetype tend to have more than 500 employees. They stand out for their strong online presence and big picture thinking. They are quick to share the spotlight with partners and go furthest in tracking their own contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals. They are also early adopters of digital innovation. They leverage chatbots, social shopping and extended reality apps to build positive brand experiences. They also gamify their mobile apps with elements, such as quizzes, levels and rewards.

    Advice: Break down silos by evaluating communications activities across paid, owned, shared and earned media. Perform deep social listening to inform the development of your campaigns and content. Invest in an employee engagement program to position leaders as experts and help build brand trust.

Identifying your brand’s digital archetype will help you understand what you should start, keep and stop. But the most successful leaders won’t treat this as yet another exercise in box-ticking. Seize this opportunity to deepen customer relationships or improve your brand reputation. Use digital communications to spark sales or inspire social change.

Discover the full study here. If you’d like a digital communications “health check”, please get in touch with me at
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