Tag Archives: Story


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What happens when you don’t own your brand story?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjCshHV4z70 I showed this one-minute video in one of our storytelling workshops and asked the room what they saw. The woman sitting directly to my left turned to the other 12 workshop participants and said, "Obviously, it's Romeo and Juliet." Everyone looked at each other and shrugged. I turned next to the gentlemen sitting to her left and asked him what he saw. He matter-of-factly said, "I saw a sperm trying to impregnate an egg." The room erupted in half laughter and half "I can't ...

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How storytelling helps brands bond with customers for life

I woke up this morning thinking about the brand rituals I follow so I could share them in this post. But I was at a loss. Do I have any brand rituals? I climbed into the shower, and while I washed my hair I gave it more thought. Nothing. So I rinsed and repeated. Stumped, I walked out to my driveway, picked up my Arizona Republic newspaper and settled into my easy chair in our sunroom like I do every morning. I guess I’m ...

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How our survival (and your success at a party) is based on three-act stories

In her excellent book, Wired for Story, Lisa Cron describes how we can go weeks without food, days without drinking, but only about 35 seconds without finding meaning in something. We do this for one reason: survival. We are biologically programmed to learn through three-act stories: Set-up, conflict, resolution. This three-part story structure is our default problem solving setting. It is how our brain auto-navigates our surroundings to transform ambiguity into meaning. Beginning, Middle and End Aristotle described story structure as set-up, confrontation ...

Are you this sanctimonious sustainability jerk?

Modern Family guest star, Jesse Eisenberg, portrayed one of the most hilarious over-the-top environmentalist that I have seen. If you're a passionate chief sustainability officer, please remember to tell stories about your corporate social responsibility initiatives from the worldview of your audience. Otherwise, your well-intentioned actions might come off as being self-righteous. And there is little sustainability in sanctimony.

How UPS’ viral story has our brains hopped-up on oxytocin and why it matters to marketers

I have been studying neuroeconomist Paul Zak's work on storytelling and how it actually changes the chemistry in our brain. When we're seduced by a good story, we produce cortisol, dopamine and oxytocin, depending on what's happening in the story, Introduce us to tension and urgency, and the steroid hormone cortisol floods our system creating within us anxiety and focus. Lead us through trouble and show us success in the story and the neurotransmitter dopamine fires-up our reward system triggering optimism ...