The Business of Story Podcast with Host Park Howell

Feedspot.com just named the Business of Story the #1 business storytelling podcast for 2022.

Hosted by Park Howell, known as the world’s most industrious storyteller, the Business of Story is ranked among the top 10% of downloaded podcasts internationally.

The goal of the show is to help sales and marketing leaders excel through the stories they tell.  Each episode brings you the brightest storytelling content creators, advertising creatives, authors, screenwriters, makers, marketers, and brand raconteurs that show you how to craft and tell compelling stories that sell. #StoryOn!

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Park Howell

#433: Ch. 10, Ritual: How to Build Repeat Business to Simplify Your Life

#433: Ch. 10, Ritual: How to Build Repeat Business to Simplify Your Life

Great stories scale, meaning they are easily and readily shared.

That’s what Chapter 10 of Brand Bewitchery is all about. Now that you’ve crafted your brand story through the previous nine steps of the proven Story Cycle System,™ how do you best spread it throughout the world?

Your goal is to dramatically increase revenue through new and repeat business through your brand storytelling.

Plus, now you can arm your customers with stories that they can share with their world creating for you the most powerful form of advertising there is: FREE word-of-mouth marketing.

In our last episode of Chapter 9, Victory, I shared one of the learning moments from my mastery course when I showed you the difference between Bill Gates’s and Steve Jobs’s communication styles and how Jobs owned Gates with his storytelling.

Since then, I listened to the famed biographer Walter Isaacson on Lex Fridman’s incredible podcast episode #395 sharing his views on great storytelling. Isaacson has written best-selling biographies on Leonardo Da Vinci, Ben Franklin, Jennifer Doudna, and Steve Jobs. His latest book is called Elon telling Elon Musk’s story.

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Park Howell

#432: Ch. 9, Moral: How to Declare Your Brand’s Purpose to Amplify Your Impact

#432: Ch. 9, Moral: How to Declare Your Brand’s Purpose to Amplify Your Impact

In a Fast Company article, Adele Peters wrote, “Two-thirds (of consumers) said they’d consider the company’s purpose when deciding what to buy, and 71% said they’d buy from a purpose-driven company over the alternative if cost and quality were equal. Sixty-two percent said that they thought it was important to consider purpose even when making an impulse buy.”

But most companies aren’t connecting with caring consumers because they haven’t developed and articulated what their brand stands for that is greater than just making money.

In Jim Stengle’s 2011 book, Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s Greatest Companies, he examines 50 purpose-driven brands that outperformed the S&P 500 by 400 percent during the global recession precisely because they understood their guiding ideal.

In Chapter 9 of Brand Bewitchery called Moral, we use all of the elements of the previous eight steps of the Story Cycle System™ to help you reveal and articular your brand purpose.

Let’s reexamine the brand purposes of the companies that you have been introduced to through this guidebook:

  • Airloom is an all-natural allergy supplement, but its greater purpose is to help people inhale a healthy dose of life. Let’s take it a step further. The purpose of Oasis LLC, the makers of Airloom, is to ameliorate human suffering.
  • Ecodriving Solutions provides fleet driver training programs to fulfill its purpose of helping people arrive healthy, happy, and safe.
  • While most people think of Goodwill Industries as running thrift stores that fund their workforce development programs, they truly exist to help people realize the treasure of a good job.
  • Adelante Healthcare is a community health center fulfilling its purpose of providing sustainable healthcare for all.
  • Global Water is a water utility, but it exists to help people access the renewable resource of water so they can flourish.
  • Red Bull exists to give wings to people and ideas.
  • Airbnb exists to help people feel like they belong anywhere.
  • Prêt, Auto, Partez sells used cars to at-risk buyers. But this is just the brand’s vehicle to serve its purpose of helping people get back on the road to financial freedom.
  • Crystal Head Vodka exists to help people enlighten their creative spirit.

From the list above, which is more intoxicating to you: the product or the purpose?

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Ann Handley

#431: Everyone Is a Storyteller Including AI Bots. So Now What?

#431: Everyone Is a Storyteller Including AI Bots. So Now What?

I was never a huge Star Trek fan but I can appreciate the impact it has had on science fiction, TV viewing and storytelling.

It might have been the corny visual effects. I swear I saw drywall fall from the ceiling of the bridge during a Klingon attack as Scotty pleaded, “I’m giving her all she’s got, captain.”

Or maybe it was the planetary sets that looked like something our high school theater troupe would create.

But one thing that always tickled my fancy was the left-brain/right-brain give-and-take of the calculated, logic-driven Spock communicating with the emotion-laden Captain Kirk.

Think about it, wasn’t Star Trek prescient on how we find ourselves communicating today: High-tech AI vs high-touch human-centric storytelling.

That’s why I’m so excited to have Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs, join us today to explore the collision of these two worlds and what it means to us as storytellers.

Ann recently published the second edition of Everybody Writes: Your New and Improved Go-To-Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content.

Park Howell

#430: Ch. 8, Victory: How to Celebrate Wins on the Customer Journey From Brand Awareness to Appreciation

#430: Ch. 8, Victory: How to Celebrate Wins on the Customer Journey From Brand Awareness to Appreciation

When I teach the Story Cycle System™ through my Business of Story mastery course, I ask my participants to define their ideal outcome from a sale presentation, ad campaign, social post, podcast, etc.

Their answers are always the same. They want to hit home runs in the form of a signed purchase order, new customer, viral engagement, etc.

I agree. These are awesome outcomes.

But not realistic most of the time because people are often not ready to buy immediately unless you show up selling a fire extinguisher to a driver whose RV is on fire alongside the road.

My recommendation is to focus on the singles; those small victories that you can celebrate with your prospect along the customer journey of…

  1. Brand Awareness
  2. Brand Adoption
  3. Brand Appreciation

In our last show, Chapter 7 of Brand Bewitchery called “Journey,” you learned how to use our AAA (Awareness, Adoption, Appreciation) customer journey map and more importantly, what stories to tell in each act based on your nine one-word descriptors from Chapter 6 called “Mentor”.

Now, how do you design in small milestones of success along your audience’s journey so that you can celebrate these small victories with them along the way?

It’s important because this is where true trust is built and brand bonding truly takes off.

In this episode on Chapter 8, Victory, will show you how to design customer victories to payoff your stories big time.

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Park Howell

#429: Ch. 7, Journey: How to Increase Customer Engagement Through the Stories You Tell

#429: Ch. 7, Journey: How to Increase Customer Engagement Through the Stories You Tell

You can find a number of customer journey maps that outline several important steps to help you turn prospects into life-long customers.

It’s critical to understand what stories to tell at each of the common customer journey steps including awareness, consideration, decision, purchase, retention, advocacy, etc.

But it’s complicated because there are many chapters to consider as your customer buys into your brand narrative and becomes part of your story. And every step requires its own story strategy.

We’ve made it easy by breaking your customer journey down to just three acts (you know, like a story).

  1. Brand Awareness
  2. Brand Adoption
  3. Brand Appreciation

We felt the need to simplify a truly effective customer journey strategy.

In Chapter 7 of Brand Bewitchery called “Journey,” you’ll learn how to use our AAA (Awareness, Adoption, Appreciation) customer journey map and more importantly, what stories to tell in each act based on your nine one-word descriptors from Chapter 6 called “Mentor”.

What stories do you tell when your prospect is just learning about your brand offering to invite them into experiencing your brand?

Or what stories do you tell to help them overcome the stories they are already telling themselves about your brand, your industry, or your competition? These may be anti-stories that you will have to overcome with a better story.

Jef Bezos is famous for saying your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.

To be more specific, I believe that your brand is the story people tell about you when you’re not in the room.

What stories do you tell and invite them into once they are in ACT II of Brand Adoption?

They are now active participants in your brand story. You want to be certain that you are not only delivering on the promises you make with your stories but also helping them recognize the progress they are making by investing time, money and effort in your offering.

A great story is always shareable and scaleable. So what stories do you tell in ACT III of Brand Appreciation that encourages your customers to share your story with their world?

This, of course, leads to the most powerful form of advertising: FREE word-of-mouth marketing.

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Emmanuel Probst

#428: How to Use Storytelling to Assemble Your Transformative Brand

#428: How to Use Storytelling to Assemble Your Transformative Brand

Your brand and its story are an assemblage of what you value, believe and do.

But if you don’t pay close attention to how you assemble and communicate the meaning behind your brand then you stand to lose in the marketplace because you will blend in amid a myriad of competitors.

After all, we live in a land of abundance. Everyone including you has innumerable options when buying just about anything.

So how do you assemble your brand story that truly helps you stand out in the crowd?

Emmanuel Probst has a plan.

He is the Global Lead of brand thought leadership at Ipsos, an adjunct professor at the University of California at Los Angeles and a Wall Street Journal and USA Today best-selling author of Brand Hacks and his new book Assemblage.

He believes that brands can no longer force-feed us a plethora of products we don’t need. To succeed brands must transform us and the world we live in by creating transformative brands that combine personal, social and cultural attributes.

As I’ve often said, “The brand narrative that illustrates what you stand for is the platform your storytelling culture is built on to make you stand out.”

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Park Howell

#427: Ch. 6, Mentor: How to Humanize Your Brand With its Promise, Gift and Personality

#427: Ch. 6, Mentor: How to Humanize Your Brand With its Promise, Gift, and Personality

As founders/co-creators/owners of our brand, we love to share stories about the wonders of our product or service offering.

It’s understandable.

We created an offering that solves a real problem our customers care about so why not show our provide to the world?

They only care about the outcome: what’s in it for them!

That’s why the first five chapters of the 10-step Story Cycle System™ are pretty much all about your audience.

Sure, you focused on your core brand story in Chapter 1 called “Backstory,” when you determined your #1 position in the marketplace: what you do differently and more distinctively than your competition.

But this is written from your audience’s perspective. Again, what’s in it for them?

In chapters 2 through 5 you prioritized your top three audiences. Clarified their emotional “wishes” and physical “wants” that fulfill their wishes.

You crafted your unique value proposition that connects with their view of the world.

You determined what is disrupting their world that shakes them out of the status quo, and how you answer that disruption to make you the most timely, relevant and urgent offering to help them get what they want.

And you increased the brand story tension by embracing the obstacles and antagonists in the forms of villains, fog and crevasses using the energy of these competitive forces to propel your brand forward to faster success.

Now, in chapter 6 of Brand Bewitchery called “Mentor,”  it is ALL about you. This is where you formulate your brand personality, the themes of your brand storytelling, and essentially the character of your mentor/guide character that your customers will seek out to help them on their journey.

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Park Howell

#426: Ch. 5, Antagonists: How to Capitalize on Competitive Forces

#426: Ch. 5, Antagonists: How to Capitalize on Competitive Forces

You know what it’s like.

When you want something, the universe tends to punch you in the nose just to see how badly you really want it.

You can fear and flee the antagonistic forces that are out to thwart your brand, like aggressive competition, your blind spots, and gaps in your performance.

I call these your villains, fog and crevasses.

In chapter 5 of Brand Bewitchery, we put your unique value proposition to the test by showing you how to embrace your obstacles and antagonists and turn their energy in your favor.

You will not only identify these competitive forces that you help your customers overcome but you will also apply the same outing process to the villains, fog and crevasses that confront you personally and your brand professionally.

I’ll show you how…

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Grace Emmons

#425: What Reiki Energy Healing and Leadership Storytelling Have in Common

#425: What Reiki Energy Healing and Leadership Storytelling Have in Common

Being embodied in her highest calling as an energy healer and guide was not always Grace’s reality.

Years ago, Grace was at her lowest point – burnt out in her career, trapped in a toxic relationship, and facing anxiety and chronic shoulder pain. Energy healing allowed her, as she says, “to take a deep breath of fresh air after being suffocated.”

As she healed herself, she left her job and toxic relationship, called in her soulmate, and followed her highest calling to treat individuals through Reiki and transformational energy healing.

Grace is the founder of Forward With Grace, the first spiritual consultancy of its kind facilitating transformations for CEOs, celebrities, and high-powered individuals from Silicon Beach to Malibu along with leading companies such as the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, Toms, Talkspace, Revolve, Dermalogica, and LiquidIV.

Her Reiki process focuses on self-reflection and helps you uncover the core moments and values that have shaped your journey.

Through storytelling techniques like crafting compelling narratives and using emotion and vivid imagery, Grace can make your stories memorable and impactful. Additionally, she emphasizes the importance of simplicity, distilling complex ideas into clear and concise messages.

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Park Howell

#424: Ch. 4, Disruption: How Your Unique Value Proposition Will Win the Day

#424: Ch. 4, Disruption: How Your Unique Value Proposition Will Win the Day

In the first three episodes of the Brand Bewitchery series, we covered what is essentially Act 1 of the 10-step Story Cycle System.

In Chapter 1 called “Backstory,” you declared your #1 position in the marketplace: what you do differently and more distinctively than your competition.

In Chapter 2, Heroes, you prioritized your top three audiences and focused on your #1 customer as the central character or hero in your brand story.

In Chapter 3, you identified what’s at stake for your prospects and customers; what they emotionally wish to achieve, and what they physically want to invest in to fulfill their wish.

In today’s episode, we transition into ACT 2 starting in chapter four called Disruption.

You will identify what is changing in your customer’s world and how you are the most timely, relevant and urgent offering to help them navigate that change.

You will learn how to craft your unique value proposition (UVP) to find a clear theme for your brand narrative.

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