Archive for Sustainable Storytelling

Understand your personal brand story to grow your influence

20 People to Know in the Phoenix Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations Community On Friday, February 19, 2017, I was honored to be named by the Phoenix Business Journal as one of the 20 people to know in the local marketing community. If you missed it, here are my answers to their questions with links to resources you can use to get your personal brand story straight. Favorite way to spend time away from work: My favorite way to spend time away from…

7 habits of the highly effective story marketer

How to place story marketing at the core of your content strategy It was the summer of 2006. I was standing in the middle of the convention floor in Anaheim, CA, producing the product launch segment for the Forever Living Products annual Super Rally. More than 3,000 sales executives from over 130 countries speaking numerous languages surrounded me. Then the video introducing Forever’s new Multi-Maca product flickered to life on the ballroom screen. The gathering quieted as all eyes turned to the stage. I was…

Laugh and be happy as you kick the sh*t out of injustice

Composer Randy Newman has always been near and dear to me for his storytelling. As I was distressing over the the first seven days of Donald Trump’s presidency and the frightening lunacy that appears to be the hallmark of his administration, I woke up this Sunday morning with a resolute calmness about it. Then, one of my favorite Newman songs popped in my head. This song will be my anthem as long as The Donald and his henchmen are in the…

What is story marketing and how you can master it

The 3 acts of story marketing that’ll make your content king (or queen) When was the last time you retold a listicle to a friend? How many parties have you owned by sharing an infographic? Who have you regaled with a Tweet as of late? But hear a good story – or better yet, tell one – and you experience how stories bewitch humans. Business and brand storytelling is the ultimate marketing strategy, and story marketing is the trigger. It beckons your…

Why story spotting in the wild is critical to grow your leadership, sales and people

Stories are what make us human. We live from one to the next as our experiences are captured in a time and place through an event that gets anchored in an “aha” moment of clarity. But we are reluctant to use stories in our business communications. Which is odd. Because it is within story we find the emotional connection we need to move people to action. I’ve come to believe that if content is king, then storytelling is the kingdom’s sorcerer. It’s where the magic…

What you can learn from the Sock Club’s fashionable brand story marketing

I thought I’d do my family a favor and email them my Christmas list this year. Yep, one of the items was socks. I got my first pair yesterday from the Sock Club. And the added gift was the story that arrived with them. I knew it was smart story marketing when I dove into the accompanying letter. Welcome to 2017! This year, we aim to continue innovating, and as we designed our first sock of the year, we were…

The two hardest questions you’ll ever ask yourself about your brand story

On Tuesday, I was working with a dozen socialpreneurs at Seed Spot, a Phoenix-based incubator for cause-driven organizations. I took the group through these 10 quick questions to help them get their brand stories straight. The first two questions always throw them. How about you? What do you do better than anyone else? Who cares? Squash the competition One of the participants, James Dobson of Arizona Squash, told me that his organization helps disadvantaged youth prepare for college through engaging after-school…

How two young ladies used storytelling to save Bali from plastic bag pollution

Want to be more persuasive? Tell better stories. Just like Melati and Isabel did to save their island of Bali from plastic pollution. I’ve outlined the universal structure to story found in their TEDTalk presentation below. It’s important to note that these two young warriors did not specifically follow the Story Cycle process, (they don’t even know about it) and yet there it is. Plain as day. Image how you can connect with audiences and move them to action as you become an…

The 10 brand story elements of REI’s disruptive #OptOutside Black Friday campaign

  When I was a kid growing up North of Seattle, my dad would take us downtown to Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI). This was in the 1970’s, and REI was nothing more than a store in a dank basement with outdoor wear stacked in piles on folding tables. I remember an overhead water pipe leaking on a down jacket in the middle of the table, and nobody much cared. The character of the place was simply a reflection of the rugged…

Own your story to grow your brand, or suffer the consequences

I had my own ad agency for 20 years. We did some great work for brands from small Phoenix-based companies to behemoths like Coca-Cola. But, to be honest, I didn’t much enjoy my company for the past five years. It had taken on a life of its own, primarily because I didn’t personally own our brand story: the story that directed where I wanted to take the agency. And because of that, my people didn’t buy into it either. Not…

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