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Brand growth

It’s always something: Branding lessons from SNL

Whether you’re a creaky-jointed boomer or a fresh-faced millennial, it’s safe to say that Saturday Night Live has probably made an impression on you. The long-running sketch comedy show has spawned countless careers, franchises, and water-cooler conversations. It runs the gamut of comedy styles, from topical and observational humor to musical satire and prop gags,…

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Brand Stories

Storytelling is ours. Innovation doesn’t change that.

Nobody was more surprised than we were by the headline “Why the future of storytelling will be democratized.” The Fast Company article by Joe Berkowitz suggests that effective storytelling hinges on expensive high-tech whizbangs, and the “democratization” comes from Kickstarters and similar grassroots campaigns vs. big-name corporate sponsorship. Certainly, big-time brand and business storytelling does…

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Brand Stories

The future of storytelling is now

Brand storytelling that is vivid, compelling, well structured, and purposeful is timeless. The way that we share stories, however, constantly evolves. To complicate matters, old methods of sharing stories don’t disappear. Paperback books haven’t gone away; they’ve been supplemented with tablets and readers. Likewise, brand storytellers must embrace multiple platforms and channels, each with its…

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Effective communication Leadership

Lead thoughtfully in 2021

New year, new leaf. That’s how it typically goes. But no one can deny that we all have a bit of a 2020 hangover that isn’t likely to go away with a couple of aspirin. The concerns of 2020 are sticking with us, and as such, our business goals can’t ignore that trials of the…

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Brand Stories Content strategy

What 2020 can tell us about content in 2021

We’ve said before that the best way to greet 2021 is to plan, not predict, for the future. A key part of planning? Taking a good, hard look at the events of 2020 and how they affected consumer behaviors. Today, we’re looking at some particularly astute observations about brands and consumers and how these observations…

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Content strategy

How a content strategy helps build your brand and your bottom line

Most entrepreneurs and marketers understand what they need to do to increase their brand’s visibility. However, the why and how often get lost in the mix. An effective content strategy can help. Some commentators suggest that volume and frequency are the most important elements of successful content marketing. They overlook a number of crucial factors,…

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Brand Stories content marketing

For holiday messaging, cut the clichés

During the holidays, our holiday messaging overflows with familiar expressions based on tradition and pop culture influences. Most people know what we’re talking about when we refer to the Grinch, “Yes, Virginia,” “white stuff,” and the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. But these phrases and many others have become so ubiquitous and tiresome that the holidays…

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Brand Stories

Hitting you in the feels: Holiday brand storytelling

Regardless of your family traditions or religious background, the holiday season is loaded with meaning, and brands worldwide work overtime to capitalize on that. However, not every holiday-related brand storytelling campaign tugs on the proverbial heartstrings. Some disappear without a trace – or elicit jeers from the cheap seats. How can brands be real, compelling,…

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Brand Stories

Crises and crossroads: Brand stories that stick

Andrew Carnegie was born into poverty. In 2019, the charitable trust bearing his name awarded more than $150 million in grants. Jean Nidetch was a housewife with a sweet tooth. She founded Weight Watchers (now WW), which made her a millionaire and a celebrity. Apple, Amazon, and Google were launched in their founders’ garages. Walt…

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Brand growth Content strategy Leadership

Plan, don’t predict, your 2021 content strategy

The year 2020 is nearly over, and not a moment too soon. Experts are predicting another tumultuous year for brands and content marketing. These predictions reflect months of unease, as well as the rapid-by-necessity reframing of the sales funnel (and sometimes business models as a whole). But are they helpful when it comes to content…