The Power of Storytelling: Making Brands Come to Life

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Professor Jennifer Aaker and venture capitalist David Hornik explore the importance of stories in fueling growth and innovation in your company as well as the role of stories in shaping how others view your brand

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  • The key is sharing stories so compelling they can't be forgotten. Take a peek at the storytelling section in my book Defeating Stage Fright-The Path to Speaking Freedom. Wishing you great success!
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  • 10AM – Instructions "You will be asked to share a powerful, humorous or otherwise exciting story (which is at most 2 minutes long) about your company that has had an impact on you personally, and that you might share in other contexts.  Be warned that you will be sharing your story with your colleagues, and you will collectively be selecting the MOST powerful story among those told.  Prizes will be involved, as will bragging rights." 10:05 – Break into groups of 3 – 2 minute stories, 1 minute feedback 10:15 – Break into groups of 6 – 2 minutes stories, 1 minute feedback (person on L) 10:35 – Break into groups of 30 – Team A and Team B Start the streaming / record the stories (with permission) Teams alternate with their top 5 stories 10:55 – Teams vote on top contender from each 11 – Julia congratulates and thanks all participants, introduces Jennifer 11:05 – Jennifer takes the stage 11:55 – vote on the best story, award prize
  • Story begins when an event, either by human decision or accident in the universe, radically upsets the balance of forces in the protagonist's life, arousing in that character the need to restore the balance of life. To do so, that character will conceive of what is known as an "Object of Desire," that which they feel they need to put life back into balance. They will then go off into their world, into themselves, in the various dimensions of their existence, seeking that Object of Desire, trying to restore the balance of life, and they will struggle against forces of antagonism that will come from their own inner natures as human beings, their relationships with other human beings, their personal and/or social life, and the physical environment itself. They may or may not achieve that Object of Desire; they may or may not finally be able to restore their life to a satisfying balance. That, in the simplest possible way, defines the elements of story - an event that throws life out of balance, the need and desire to restore the balance, and the Object of Desire the character conceives of consciously or unconsciously that they can pursue against the forces of antagonism from all of the levels of their life that they may or may not achieve.
  • http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-secrets-of-storytelling
  • VCs and angels don’t invest in a particular technology; they invest in people who exude creative potential combined with an urgency to solve a hard problem with a new approach. Your pitch should demonstrate both.  Pitch potential investors with a short, cogent, and elegant solution. Reduce your idea to  four-words  or less. Make it repeatable and distinct.  For instance, a new startup trying to break into green power mini-auctions might think of itself as a mash-up of different models. Instead of saying “we’re the Napster of green power” which might or might not resonate with a potential investor—it might try:  “ Peer-to-peer green power auctions.” In Hollywood, this short-hand sentence is called the “ log line . ” The log line passes from writer to producer to studio exec as the initial step before anyone agrees to read the actual script. Your Tweet-length one-liner must stand in for your whole creative idea; a bad log line can sink a show.  Just like in Hollywood, your full idea won’t get reviewed until you’ve passed the glance test of a log line. Re-read “ Tell a four-word story ” to get an idea of how to write one for your startup.  Once you devise a good pitch, your job is not done. Next, your story needs to shift to help your internal team, press, and consumers understand the value of your efforts. 
  • 10AM – Instructions "You will be asked to share a powerful, humorous or otherwise exciting story (which is at most 2 minutes long) about your company that has had an impact on you personally, and that you might share in other contexts.  Be warned that you will be sharing your story with your colleagues, and you will collectively be selecting the MOST powerful story among those told.  Prizes will be involved, as will bragging rights." 10:05 – Break into groups of 3 – 2 minute stories, 1 minute feedback 10:15 – Break into groups of 6 – 2 minutes stories, 1 minute feedback (person on L) 10:35 – Break into groups of 30 – Team A and Team B Start the streaming / record the stories (with permission) Teams alternate with their top 5 stories 10:55 – Teams vote on top contender from each 11 – Julia congratulates and thanks all participants, introduces Jennifer 11:05 – Jennifer takes the stage 11:55 – vote on the best story, award prize
  • 10AM – Instructions "You will be asked to share a powerful, humorous or otherwise exciting story (which is at most 2 minutes long) about your company that has had an impact on you personally, and that you might share in other contexts.  Be warned that you will be sharing your story with your colleagues, and you will collectively be selecting the MOST powerful story among those told.  Prizes will be involved, as will bragging rights." 10:05 – Break into groups of 3 – 2 minute stories, 1 minute feedback 10:15 – Break into groups of 6 – 2 minutes stories, 1 minute feedback (person on L) 10:35 – Break into groups of 30 – Team A and Team B Start the streaming / record the stories (with permission) Teams alternate with their top 5 stories 10:55 – Teams vote on top contender from each 11 – Julia congratulates and thanks all participants, introduces Jennifer 11:05 – Jennifer takes the stage 11:55 – vote on the best story, award prize
  • 10AM – Instructions "You will be asked to share a powerful, humorous or otherwise exciting story (which is at most 2 minutes long) about your company that has had an impact on you personally, and that you might share in other contexts.  Be warned that you will be sharing your story with your colleagues, and you will collectively be selecting the MOST powerful story among those told.  Prizes will be involved, as will bragging rights." 10:05 – Break into groups of 3 – 2 minute stories, 1 minute feedback 10:15 – Break into groups of 6 – 2 minutes stories, 1 minute feedback (person on L) 10:35 – Break into groups of 30 – Team A and Team B Start the streaming / record the stories (with permission) Teams alternate with their top 5 stories 10:55 – Teams vote on top contender from each 11 – Julia congratulates and thanks all participants, introduces Jennifer 11:05 – Jennifer takes the stage 11:55 – vote on the best story, award prize
  • 10AM – Instructions "You will be asked to share a powerful, humorous or otherwise exciting story (which is at most 2 minutes long) about your company that has had an impact on you personally, and that you might share in other contexts.  Be warned that you will be sharing your story with your colleagues, and you will collectively be selecting the MOST powerful story among those told.  Prizes will be involved, as will bragging rights." 10:05 – Break into groups of 3 – 2 minute stories, 1 minute feedback 10:15 – Break into groups of 6 – 2 minutes stories, 1 minute feedback (person on L) 10:35 – Break into groups of 30 – Team A and Team B Start the streaming / record the stories (with permission) Teams alternate with their top 5 stories 10:55 – Teams vote on top contender from each 11 – Julia congratulates and thanks all participants, introduces Jennifer 11:05 – Jennifer takes the stage 11:55 – vote on the best story, award prize
  • 10AM – Instructions "You will be asked to share a powerful, humorous or otherwise exciting story (which is at most 2 minutes long) about your company that has had an impact on you personally, and that you might share in other contexts.  Be warned that you will be sharing your story with your colleagues, and you will collectively be selecting the MOST powerful story among those told.  Prizes will be involved, as will bragging rights." 10:05 – Break into groups of 3 – 2 minute stories, 1 minute feedback 10:15 – Break into groups of 6 – 2 minutes stories, 1 minute feedback (person on L) 10:35 – Break into groups of 30 – Team A and Team B Start the streaming / record the stories (with permission) Teams alternate with their top 5 stories 10:55 – Teams vote on top contender from each 11 – Julia congratulates and thanks all participants, introduces Jennifer 11:05 – Jennifer takes the stage 11:55 – vote on the best story, award prize
  • The Power of Storytelling: Making Brands Come to Life

    1. The Power of Storytelling: Making Brands Come to Life Welcome to: Today’s webinar will begin at 9 a.m. PT From the United States and Canada: Toll free: +1 (800) 868-1846 -- Participant code: 83916826 Outside the United States and Canada: Toll: +1 (404) 920-6361 -- Participant code: 83916826 Hosted by Jennifer Aaker
    2. New Course XINE217: The Power of Stories to Fuel Innovation Taught by Jennifer Aaker Learn more at: create.stanford.edu A big idea is not enough. You need people to create it and people to buy into it. Your big idea needs a story. Stories fuel innovation. They hold the power to transform listeners; to take listeners on a journey that changes how they think, feel or act. This interactive online course covers the variety of roles a narrative can play, and its potential to transform an organization or new venture. Explore why story is at the heart of effective innovation and how story can be used to transform culture. Featured Course: The Power of Stories to Fuel Innovation
    3. David Hornik has worked with technology startups throughout the software sector. In 2000, David joined August Capital to invest broadly in information technology companies, with a focus on enterprise application and infrastructure software, as well as consumer facing software and services. Jennifer Aaker is the General Atlantic Professor of Marketing and Ormond Family Faculty at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Her research spans time, money and happiness. She is widely published in the leading scholarly journals in psychology and marketing, and her work has been featured in a variety of media. The Power of Stories: Making Brands Come to Life Presenter and Special Guest
    4. See stories as an asset. A tool to emotionally connect your audience, influence culture, build a brand and spur innovation Goal
    5. TABLE OF CONTENTS WHY ARE STORIES IMPORTANT IN BUSINESS FOUR STORIES Q & A – SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS!
    6. STORIES IN BUSINESS
    7. A story is a connected series of events - with a beginning, middle and end. It is a journey that moves the listener. When the listener goes on that journey, they feel different, sometimes even transformed. Story
    8. Stories are all around us. Researchers found that personal stories and gossip make up 65% of our conversations. Some stories are small – 6 words or 140 characters; others long – a book or movie. Your best stories are told in multiple forms and lengths. Jeremey Hsu (2008) http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-secrets-of-storytelling
    9. What kind of effect can storytelling have for business?
    10. How can storytelling contribute to a successful pitch organizing your team connecting to your customer or closing a sale, spurring growth?
    11. CHAPTER 1: A STORY THAT SEALS THE DEAL VCS AND ANGELS DON’T INVEST IN TECHNOLOGY. THEY INVEST IN PEOPLE WHO EXUDE CREATIVE POTENTIAL COMBINED WITH URGENCY TO SOLVE DAUTING PROBLEM. WITH NEW APPROACH. YOUR PITCH SHOULD DEMONSTRATE BOTH. REDUCE IDEA TO 4 WORDS OR LESS EXAMPLE; GOOGLE: ORGANIZES WORLDS INFORMATION MAKE IT COGENT, ELEGANT James Buckhouse: https://medium.com/design-story/375bf9674cac
    12. CHAPTER 2: THE WIKI OF YOUR ORGANIZATION A STORY THAT WORKS AS INTERNAL FULCRUM AND WHICH YOUR TEAM CAN STRESS TEST BUSINESS DECISIONS. INFORMS YOUR ROLE, TEAM’S ROLE, AND COMPANY’S ROLE EXAMPLE: PEER TO PEER GREEN POWER FOUR WORD STORY: GREEN POWER FOR EVERYONE DESIGN TEAM: INSTANT INFORMATION, BETTER DECISIONS TEAM MEMBER: BETTER DEMAND, METER ALERTS MAKE IT CLEAR James Buckhouse: https://medium.com/design-story/375bf9674cac
    13. CHAPTER 3: STORIES OF YOUR CUSTOMERS YOU ARE RARELY THE HERO; YOUR CUSTOMER IS HOW DID YOUR PRODUCT OR BRAND GET USED BY A CUSTOMER TO ATTAIN THEIR GOALS AND TRANSFORM THEIR LIFE EXAMPLE; JARED (SUBWAY) MAKE IT FOCUSED ON THE PROTOGANIST
    14. CHAPTER 4: REASON WHY IT IS HUGE WHY SHOULD WE CARE? WHY SHOULD BE BELIEVE IN GROWTH? HOW DOES YOUR PRODUCT MAKE PEOPLE’S LIVES BETTER, AND CHANGE THE WORLD IN WHICH WE LIVE? EXAMPLE: SQUARE MAKE IT HUMAN-CENTERED AND INSPIRED.
    15. How is using stories important internally – within a company? How can storytelling play a role in a turnaround? What elements does a story need to be compelling? Are stories proven to spur action in consumers?
    16. Shradha Sharma, Founder, YourStory, realized the power of storytelling while interacting with hundreds of small business owners from all across India. An entrepreneur’s story is always unique and has the power to meaningfully connect with his/her stakeholders. Their stories are filled with grit, passion and perseverance, but more often than not these stories are lost and not captured. Historically for media the emphasis has been on news rather then capturing the essence of a venture through stories - that realization was the genesis of Shradha’s story with YourStory! Emphasis on the "you" aspect of the story played a key role in the growth of the platform, with “you” it was easier to build a loyal community (as opposed to I and my approach) Today YourStory is India’s largest storyteller with stories of over 12,000 entrepreneurs captured. Guiding Principle – Stories Stay! A BUSINESS STORY:
    17. THE END
    18. Q & A
    19. Tips
    20. STORYTELLING TIPS You don’t need to have an exotic story; just one that has most of the components that will be further developed. INTRO STORY FLOW AUDIENCE AUTHENTICITY FINALE Make sure your story flows. It doesn’t have to be linear, just clear. Focus on answering the questions on people’s minds. You’ll likely iterate on flow/structure 5 times. Involve your audience: Provide details they can relate to. It makes the audience feel closer to you. Be authentic. It shows. Don’t try to pretend something that you’re not. The audience really appreciate this. Stop the story when you have said enough to keep people interested. Don’t answer all the questions at the beginning. Leave them asking for more. Adrianna, 2010
    21. Appendix
    22. How to tell a STORY
    23. HOW TO BUILD A STORY Begin with a description of a place, circumstance, or premise that everyone understands Understand the protagonist’s desires Personalize the protagonist so the audience feels a personal stake 1Get the audience’s attention fast! 3Focus on the protagonist or character 2 Hone in on the obstacles keeping the protagonist from his desires The people in your story have to want something
    24. Audience compelled to take action Audience has a personal stake in finding a solution 3 to 5 minutes each 4Know what you want the audience to do Answer in a few sentences 6Keep stories short 5 Ensure the audience knows the point of the story HOW TO BUILD A STORY

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