AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

One-Minute MarketerIs Your Organizational Story Engaging?

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Is Your Organizational Story Engaging?

Most organizations tell their brand story like this: “Once upon a time there was a company and it did everything right. The end.”

That is not interesting, but every company continues to tell it again and again. Thank goodness our movies and books are not told by marketing directors or CEOs. I’m a big fan of Donald Miller and his book, “Building a Story Brand.” I’ve not attended one of his seminars, but I’ve read his book and listened to his podcast enough to declare myself an evangelist of his thinking. 20180421_104543

His premise is based on the fact that the company or organization is not the hero of the story. You are the guide who helps the hero (the customer) overcome external, internal and philosophical antagonists. That is underselling his teachings, but you’re getting a 1-minute marketer look.

Here’s a nice example of following the story brand idea to tell a simple story on a banner. Starbucks utilizes storytelling in all its branding, but this one really surprised me. Who is the hero? You, because you get a new drink. Who is the antagonist? The company’s 43-year stubborn thinking, believing there was only one kind of espresso. And now, here is a new choice. You win. Blonde Espresso. Everything is right with the world.

A much better story than, “Now introducing Blonde Espresso.” As humans, we love and need the story to connect with the brand. What’s your story?

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.