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Business of Story

May 28, 2017

There are dozens of crucial factors to think about when talking to your audience. Anything and everything in your message should be carefully considered.

However, almost nothing in the world of story branding is more important, and more overlooked than genuine connection. This fact is nowhere as clear as in the case of Pepsi’s infamous ad. Millions of dollars invested, a world-famous star, a positive call to action, great music, bold cinematography; all gone to waste. Where did they go wrong? All the right stuff was there, what happened?

The answer lies in the authenticity of the story they told. This expensive, carefully manufactured, artificial story pales in comparison to the real thing. If a company hopes to share their message with customers, it must be a real connection, based on real events. These real stories are the focus of our conversation today. 

Our guest is Jordan Bower, strategic storytelling consultant, brand marketing professional, and an expert in what makes a story real. His tale began when he walked along the entire West Coast of the United States, meeting thousands of people along the way. These brief views into the lives of so many different people painted a clear picture for Jordan. He realized that the connectivity of social media is nowhere near as important as a face-to-face human interaction. 

From these experiences, he could pinpoint the key aspects that make a story authentic. Jordan’s Four Pillars of Storytelling are a vital knowledge for content marketing. His personal stories, tips, and advice on authenticity and connectivity are integral for making your story work in today’s world of story branding.

Story Marketer of the Week

Our Story Marketer of the Week Award goes to Heineken, for their World's Apart advertisement. This brief TV advertisement features the interactions of two people with opposite opinions on highly polarized issues; climate change, transgender people, and feminism. Heineken, however, added a twist. They didn’t know the other’s stance on these issues. The two individuals are given tasks to complete, and in the process, find common ground. When the secret is finally revealed, they are given a choice. They can leave, or stay, and talk about their differences over a cold beer. This social experiment not only calls for the viewers to open their minds and hearts but also humanizes those on the opposite spectrum of an issue. For helping those of different beliefs empathize with each other over a beer, Heineken is the Story Marketer of the Week.

In This Show, You’ll Learn:

  • How does social media connection leave us disconnected?
  • What is the importance of authenticity in telling your story?
  • Jordan’s Four Pillars of Storytelling

Key Quotes

  • “A story isn’t just the content we communicate, it's also the connection.” – Jordan Bower
  • “We can be connected on social media, but that doesn’t actually represent what a true human connection is actually like.” – Jordan Bower
  • “What’s important to remember is that what you’re saying isn’t nearly as important as how you’re saying it.” – Jordan Bower
  • “Business people are people too.” – Jordan Bower
  • “The more we’re connected, the more we’re actually disconnected.” – Park Howell
  • “Data brings you no emotion.” – Park Howell

Mentioned in this episode