IoT Stories: The Good, the Bad and the Freaky

Open access

Abstract

Consumers’ perceptions of technology are less matters of product attributes and concrete statistical evidence and more of captivating stories and myths. Managers of IoT can instill consumer trust when they tell highly emotional stories about the technologically empowered self, home, family or society. The key benefit of this approach is that storytelling-based IoT marketing allows consumers to forge strong and enduring emotional bonds with IoT and, in many cases, to develop loyalty beyond belief. However, stories aren’t always positive. Negative stories and meanings about a technology that are circulated in popular culture can be dangerous and harmful to a brand or a new technology. Regardless of its source, marketers need to understand the nature of the doppelgänger images that may be circulating for their technologies. They can be regarded as diagnostic tools to better understand how consumers think about and experience their IoT solutions. Also, doppelgänger narratives are valuable raw ingredients from which marketers can cull new, more captivating IoT stories that nurture consumer adoption.