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6 ways to grow your business when you have your brand story straight

I have been in advertising for more than 30 years, and I remember when the introduction of the fax machine was a breathtaking technological leap forward for business. Seriously. It was easier to be a marketer back then. You had so few channels to work with: mostly broadcast, print, outdoor, direct mail, events and word of mouth marketing. Brands owned the influence of mass media. But now the masses are the media with a 24/7 global reach from their kitchen tables.…

#4 disruption

What B2B marketers can learn from the Doritos “Ultrasound” Super Bowl TV Spot

As all of you students in my Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership communications course know, a universal structure to storytelling pervades our lives. We see it in the movies we watch, the music we listen to, the plays we attend and the Super Bowl TV spots we laugh at. My hands down favorite from Sunday’s big game was Dorito’s “Ultrasound” spot. Let’s put it to the Story Cycle test For those of you new to the Story Cycle, it is a 10-step process, inspired…

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Why you should think like a screenwriter to humanize your B2B content marketing

I love this poster for Justin Trevor Winters’ new movie. It depicts Richard Dreyfuss’ character as a retired high school gym teacher willing to do whatever it takes to leave a legacy. Oh, the indignant desperation. This could also be a movie poster of a brand manager or content marketer ready to end it all. Do you know that feeling? You dutifully write content, publish blogs and produce videos for the B2B marketing of your professional services firm, but no…

REI is Closing

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

When I was a kid growing up on near 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 what seemed like 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…

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The 1 rule you must obey when crafting brand stories

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. Confucius told us that centuries ago. I learned this lesson, AGAIN, yesterday. I was teaching storytelling to 7th and 8th graders in a South Phoenix school. Talking about a tough room. My audience was 15 kids from a rough neighborhood. My pal, Marilyn Seymann, works with them after school three days a week, and asked if I would teach them something about story. The plan was to underscore the…

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