Park Howell

#420: Backstory: How to Clarify Your Brand Story for Deliberate Growth

#420: Ch. 1, Backstory: How to Clarify Your Brand Story for Deliberate Growth

Three years ago, I published Brand Bewitchery: How to Wield the Story Cycle System™ to Craft Spellbinding Stories for Your Brand.

The Story Cycle System is our proprietary brand narrative creation process that has grown brands by as much as 600 percent.

The Story Cycle System™ is distilled from the timeless narrative structure of the ancients, inspired by the story artists of Hollywood, influenced by masters of persuasions, guided by trendspotters, and informed by how the human mind grapples for meaning.

Most authors immediately produce the audio version of their book to publish on sites like audible.com.

But I didn’t because I was so busy coaching with my Business of Story mastery course and keynoting.

Lately, many people have asked me for the audio version of Brand Bewtichery. So I knew it was time to produce it.

I also knew it would take many hours in the studio reading the 250-page textbook on how to craft a winning brand story strategy.

So I decided to roll it out in a series of episodes right here on the Business of Story podcast.

To kick off the series, I share with you the chapter on how to use this guidebook followed by Chapter 1 called Backstory: How to Clarify Your Brand Story for Deliberate Growth.

On today’s show, you’ll learn how to define your #1 position in the market, essentially your backstory.

I’ll show you examples of brands that have done an excellent job defining what makes them different and more distinctive from their competitors. And you’ll learn an exercise or two to help you define your backstory: Your #1 position

A quick note on the illustration: About ten years ago, when I wrote the first draft of Brand Bewitchery, I was looking for an animated character, I call him Edgar, that would help me tell the story.

I was fortunate because Russ Benson, one of our web developers at Park&Co, the ad agency I ran for 20 years, had a high school chum working as an animator at PIXAR.

He contacted her and she agreed to create Edgar for our project. The 10 stages of Edgar’s journey through the Story Cycle System are featured as the chapter artwork and I use him to differentiate the various episodes in this important brand development series.

Discussed in this episode:

  1. How to use Brand Bewitchery as a guidebook to craft your compelling brand story. 
  2. Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey and how it inspired the Story Cycle.
  3. Why it’s important to celebrate your differences.
  4. How to define your market category.
  5. Explore brand positioning from the Airloom™ case story.
  6. Two exercises to help you define your #1 position in the marketplace.


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