Make Your Social Soar With These Laws of Brand Storytelling

Make Your Social Soar With These Laws of Brand Storytelling

Jessica Gioglio, co-author of The Laws of Brand Storytelling, joins the Social Pros Podcast to discuss the need for and evolution of brand storytelling.

In This Episode:

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Full Episode Details

Brand Storytelling Is About the People

It is not uncommon to hear the term “brand storytelling” used in discussions about social media and content marketing. Most businesses are coming to understand that storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to capture the attention of potential customers.

Telling interesting and original stories may feel daunting, especially if your business is a B2B company. Remember, though, that businesses are made up of people, and people have stories! Whether you are selling directly to customers or to other businesses, you are connecting people to people.

In the words of Jessica Gioglio, author of The Laws of Brand Storytelling, you have to approach this as a journalist. The most unique and interesting thing about your business is the people who comprise it. By tapping into their experiences, you can find truly special and inspiring stories that show your customers who you are and keep them engaged!

In This Episode

  • Why storytelling has become more than just advertising.
  • Why storytelling isn’t just for B2C.
  • How influencer marketing has affected the way businesses tell stories.
  • Why your strategy shouldn’t center around a single platform or channel.
  • Why your reactive and proactive social channels should be consistent.
  • How to balance your internal culture with the various cultures of your customers in storytelling.
  • How to adapt successful practices without copying other brands.

Quotes From This Episode

“Storytelling isn’t necessarily about projecting your desired image of your company or your products. It’s not about dropping overly branded stories into marketing campaigns. It’s really about bridging the gap between how you talk about your business and your customer experience.” — @savvybostonian

There are a lot of misconceptions around what truly is storytelling versus different elements of content that you tell. Click To Tweet

“As someone within your business, you need to adopt the mindset of a journalist.” — @savvybostonian


See you next week!

Influencer Marketing Mistakes Great Brands Don't Make

Influencer marketing is all the rage, but it’s also VERY EASY to botch the job. Based on our many B2B and B2C influencer campaigns, this tight eBook will save you from sadness.

Episode Transcript

Jessica Gioglio: Brands tend to tell two different types of stories, their macro stories and their micro stories. Macro stories are at the core of your organization's DNA. They highlight your company's story, your founding myth. These are the stories about, the story of your founders, what drove them to launch your business, kind of your why, and the foundation for everything that your company does. Really that's where you want to see a consistency with your brand's storytelling. However, micro stories are the lifeblood of your storytelling strategy. They are that always on approach to building on your macro story. Jay Baer: You'll hear more about brand stories and how they can tell them better in this episode of Social Pros. I'm Jay Baer from Convince & Convert, joined as always by Adam Brown from Salesforce Marketing Cloud, joined this week by Jessica Gioglio, who's the coauthor of a fantastic new book, The Laws of Brand Storytelling. Adam, what a show. Adam Brown: What a show. We're lucky, Jay, to have so many smart people on this show. Jessica is certainly one of them. Brand storytelling is a topic we talk about often here, but I think Jessica, like we just heard, made a great articulation between macro and micro types of stories, and some of the mistakes that brands make, and the opportunities that so many brands have when they bring more than just the marketing or the comms people into the storytelling effort. Jay Baer: Her new book is spectacular. As I mentioned in the show, I absolutely recommend it unconditionally for Social Pros listeners. If you listen to the show, you're going to love the book, The Laws of Brand Storytelling. Super relevant to the work that you do. You're going to enjoy this episode coming up, Jessica Gioglio, coauthor, The Laws of Brand Storytelling, this week on Social Pros. Jessica Gioglio, coauthor the extraordinary new book, The Laws of Brand Storytelling. Welcome to Social Pros. So great to have you here. Congratulations on another extraordinary book with your pal, Ekaterina Walter. This book is super practical, super useful, very timely. I got to tell you, if there's an audience in the world that needs this book, it is the listeners of Social Pros. It will be their Bible. They'll never take it off their desk. Welcome and congratulations. Jessica Gioglio: Thank you so much, Jay. That is just the best introduction. I'm so thrilled to be back on Social Pros, and excited to talk things all social media and brand storytelling with you today. Jay Baer: It's always great to have you. Jessica was also a long time contributor to the Convince & Convert website. Some of our most popular posts of all time were written by her, so thank you as always for your support and your friendship. She's joining us live from London Town. How long have you been in London now? Several years. Jessica Gioglio: I have been in London 3.5 years now. Can you believe it? Jay Baer: Wow. That is crazy. Jessica Gioglio: It feels like it's just flown by. Jay Baer: Despite the fact that her Twitter handle is still SavvyBostonian, because she started off as sort of like a Boston expert, and became such an expert, she moved to London. SavvyLondoner, really, should be your Twitter handle now, but I guess- Jessica Gioglio: I know, or JessicaGioglio or something like that, but you know what? I actually felt like my last name is so hard to spell- Jay Baer: It is. Jessica Gioglio: SavvyBostonian, you know what? I might not live in Boston anymore, but I am always going to be a Bostonian at heart, so it's part of my brand. Jay Baer: Fun fact, though- Jessica Gioglio: Yeah? Jay Baer: For a lot of people, savvy is also hard to spell, so I get it, but I'm just saying. Jessica Gioglio: Yeah. Jay Baer: Just going to throw that out there. Jessica Gioglio: I welcome the debate. I've been challenged so many times on it. You know what? Just sticking with it. Jay Baer: We should do a whole show on that, Adam, on people having Twitter handles now that aren't their name still, and just clinging to, "You know what? I refuse to change. I don't care. I'm going to keep on keeping on." Adam Brown: Steadfast with keeping it stable. Jay Baer: Yeah, I think it's great. Adam Brown: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Jessica Gioglio: Exactly. Jay Baer: Jessica, you've been doing this kind of work for a number of years. You have been a major contributor to the social media and digital marketing success of some of the world's most iconic brands. You know this as well as anybody. Why do brands need this book? What are they still doing wrong? Jessica Gioglio: A big inspiration for us in writing this book was that brand storytelling's changed. A lot of people seem to be taking the topic of storytelling and confusing it with content or content marketing. Really we believe brand storytelling used to be about this big product launch or polished commercial. We still think companies believe this to be true. We really wanted to write a book that laid down the law, that talks about how storytelling isn't necessarily about projecting your desired image of your company or your products. It's not about dropping overly branded stories into marketing campaigns. It's really about bridging the gap between how you talk about your business and your customer experience. Customers are more empowered than ever before, and your brand isn't necessarily what you say it is anymore. It's what consumers say it is. Really in the book, we talk about how you can leverage storytelling to capture customers' hearts and minds, and prioritize emotional connections with your customers, so to be in the moment, have those authentic conversations, and to share relevant, inspiring stories that move and motivate people to take action. Jay Baer: Does the rise of influencer marketing mean that brands have to focus less on their storytelling because other people are telling them, or do they need to focus on having a more consistent story, so that the fact that all these different people are telling the story, it actually makes sense across the board. Jessica Gioglio: I think that's a great question. We see a lot of brands are leveraging influencer marketing. They should be. I think there's a lot of value in influencer marketing. I think the key, though, is brands tend to tell two different types of stories, their macro stories and their micro stories. Macro stories are at the core of your organization's DNA. They highlight your company's story, your founding myth. These are the stories about, the story of your founders, what drove them to launch your business, kind of your why, and the foundation for everything that your company does. Really that's where you want to see a consistency with your brand's storytelling. However, micro stories are the lifeblood of your storytelling strategy. They are that always on approach to building on your macro story. That's where you can have a little bit more flexibility in the types of stories that you tell. When you think about influencers, I think it comes down to the goals that you have. Are you leveraging influencers around a specific campaign initiative or a specific area of your business that you want to highlight? Or are you really trying to, perhaps your brand isn't really perceived in a certain way, and you really want to speak to that core of your why, then I would leverage influencers in that capacity. To answer the question is a bit of flexibility. It really comes down to your goals. Are you looking for them to tell that macro story, or are you looking for them to tell those core elements of the micro stories that you tell as your business? Adam Brown: Jessica, one of the things you said earlier was, "laying down the law," in brand storytelling. The name of your book is The Laws of Brand Storytelling. Jay Baer: The law. Adam Brown: I like that device, but I'm curious, what is that biggest mistake that you find that marketing and communications folks make when they think they are storytelling, where in reality, they aren't. You mentioned the macro macro. We talked about influencer. When you come into an organization, what's the first thing you see, and you go, "This isn't brand storytelling." Jessica Gioglio: I think I mentioned before, a lot of times people mistake content with storytelling. I was just at Web Summit in Lisbon, which is this week long event, one of the biggest marketing events in Europe as well as startup and tech, but a lot of people were on stage from mega brands, just talking about, "We do storytelling around this." Then you go and actually look at what they're doing on social media or other channels, and you're like, "This isn't actually really storytelling. It's just content." I would say there's a lot of misconceptions there around what truly is storytelling versus what is purely different elements of content that you tell. I also think there's a misconception that brand storytelling is only a marketing function. I think we as marketers, and I'm guilty of this. I started my career in marketing and PR. We tend to naturally gravitate towards storytelling, but if you truly want storytelling to be ingrained in the customer experience that you provide as your business, you really need to look across all the different elements of your company from sales to human resources to customer support, and think about how even your employees or your suppliers or your partners can be ingrained in telling that consistent, cohesive story, and sharing that about your brand. I also think another misconception is around stories being boring. "I don't actually want to tell stories. I just want to do content and do marketing and do sales, because we don't have an exciting story to tell." I see that a lot as an excuse. I think the people who say that, or say, "My industry or my business isn't exciting," really aren't looking across their business to pull those stories and have that journalistic mindset to bring that out. Adam Brown: To that point, I think oftentimes, and I fall into this fault, we think of brand storytelling as being purely a B2C type thing. This is a consumer. Storytelling is around the consumer. But to your point, storytelling can be very much about that B2B side. It can be about embedding that story into the fabric of an organization throughout the organization. Jessica Gioglio: Oh my gosh, absolutely. I think that's one of my frustrations when people say, "I'm in B2B. My brand is not interesting. It's not something that I can tell stories around." I think some of the top brand storytellers out there are the ones in the B2B space. You have brands like GE, HubSpot that do great jobs. Cisco even has done some amazing efforts and brand storytelling. I actually, I think it's all about really coming down to knowing who you are, knowing your purpose, and really understanding what messages are going to resonate with the end buyer. At the end of the day, even if it's B2B, it's essentially human to human, so what are the stories that you can tell about your business in the B2B space to actually resonate with the end buyer. Jay Baer: I'm glad you mentioned Cisco. They do such a great job. Carmen Hill from Cisco, who runs their talent brand program, was a guest on Social Pros a few months ago, one of my favorite episodes of 2018. Go to or wherever you get your podcasts, and look for that episode. Carmen Hill at Cisco. You'll learn a lot about the ins and outs of their program. Jessica, I love what you talked about that content marketing and brand storytelling aren't the same thing. I think we get so concerned about platform now. We think, "Wow, what are we going to do on Instagram? Wow, what are we going to do ... Now we got to do stories all the time. Oh man, we got a podcast. [inaudible 00:10:34] podcast?" We tend to think about platform first, and then think about how we can wedge a story into that platform. I suspect that you and Ekaterina would advise people to think about the story first, and then worry about the platform, but how do people actually make that shift in the real world? How do you change your process or your thinking to not get seduced by, "LinkedIn is our strategy," and it's not a strategy, it's just a platform? Jessica Gioglio: You know Jay, it's not an easy question to answer. This is something pretty much every company struggles with. It's all about, "We think we want to run a contest on Instagram. We want to do this tactical campaign." I think that's the key right there is you have to get out of this tactical mentality and really start with the strategy. We have a goal. We have a new product coming out. We want to tell an employee driven story about how we're a great place to work. You need to start with the objective is what are we trying to achieve. What is the story that we want to tell? Then you have to drive down a bit deeper and say, "Okay, well, what are the right channels that we can actually pull in to do this?" I think, for me, a great example came from Oreo actually in the UK. I might have even covered this for Convince & Convert. I have to ... I think I might have. But Oreo actually, there was a solar eclipse happening in the UK, and Oreo said, "You know what? If you think about it, the Oreo cookie actually looks a lot like an eclipse, right?" If you think about what the Oreo cookie could be covering essentially the eclipse, the moon covering the sun. They actually ran a storytelling driven campaign using a bunch of different channels, including out of home billboards in Piccadilly Circus, where really showing, they wanted to tell this story of what was happening in the eclipse, basically using the Oreo cookie as the eclipse star of the show. I thought they did such a great job, because they paired out of home in Piccadilly Circus with this kind of virtual billboard. They actually also eclipsed The Sun newspaper. There's actually a newspaper in the UK called The Sun. They did a translucent cover with actually the Oreo cookie eclipsing the sun, which I thought was incredibly ... Whoever came up with that idea really deserves a raise, because that was incredibly clever. Just makes me smile as a marketer. Then what they did is they leveraged other social media channels to really pulse out unique content and creative, talking about what's happening with the eclipse in real time. The reason why it actually worked really well in the UK, in addition to being creative, is it was actually an overcast day in the UK, so nobody could actually see the eclipse happening. Oreo had done all of this planning, and people actually tuned in to watch the billboards in Times Square and their social media channels, to actually learn what was happening with the eclipse, where the sun was in relation to the moon, and how this was happening. Just the whole idea of taking into Oreo is kind of wonder filled and kind of creative piece to their kind of storytelling, it worked incredibly well. I think that's a great example of how you took the initiative of there's going to be this major event happening, how can we tell a story using our products that don't necessarily make it feel like we're hitting people over the head with our products, and we're doing it in a way that actually adds value. I think that's actually quite a clever way to take a real time event and tell a brand story around it. Adam Brown: Jessica, I also think that's a great example of the make lemonade out of lemons, where you have a situation here where you're likely going to have a lot of chatter that is negative around, "Hey, we can't even see the frickin' moon, frickin' sun," type things. I think that brings me to a question I have. I think too oftentimes, I think a lot of people think that social is a great platform for brand storytelling because you have that interaction and engagement, but you also have the challenge with it of interruptions. Storytelling is typically one person telling a story to many people, but when you get interrupted, and you get distracted, it can create some challenges. How do you work with your clients, and how do you consult your clients to be able to accept that and to think ahead, much like Oreo did in your perfect example? Jessica Gioglio: I really talk to them about prioritizing your channel mix, and really thinking across every channel. The irony is I do specialize in social media, but I think businesses today need to think across all of their online and offline channels, because the thing is, social media channels, in a way, could be rented land. You, at any time, could see Instagram or Facebook or Twitter could change their algorithm or the way the channels work, and that could have a big impact on your business. It just happened with Instagram where we're actually starting to see they're cracking down on bots and fake likes, which I think is a positive thing, but brands are probably seeing their engagement levels on the platform changing. I know personally, with my couple channels that I have, I've seen the engagement change a bit, which isn't necessarily a bad thing in this context, but if you put all your eggs into one basket, you do run the risk of diminishing the success of your efforts. I really talk a lot to my clients about diversification, prioritizing that channel mix. What's the right kind of channel mix really based on the demographics of people that follow you on different channels? This is where maybe owned channels, like your website, your blog, as well as looking at social media channels, perhaps looking at other ... In the book, we talk a lot about well what other kind of real estate do you have, from email to perhaps even what's happening in your stores, to what's printed on your products, as well as looking at different things like podcasting, or audio skills. What types of things could you be investing in to actually tell stories on? I think that's where businesses really need to look forward as is the future, because what you do is you really test and learn across all of those channels. You see what's resonating. You see maybe the connectivity between them as well, because for example you might see a lot of retailers, maybe they want to run a storytelling kind of driven campaign, but they maybe want to print something on a mirror in a fitting room in a clothing store, where share your story about how you're getting ready for work using this hashtag. Maybe they measure the success of can they actually generate user generated stories from customers through leveraging that real estate in store. You really measure what's being successful. That's where you can actually double down a bit maybe on specific channels, but you need to have some of that experimentation first, before you can really go there. Jay Baer: Jessica, I love the book because it is so practical. It is set up in such a way that you can get so much value out of it. There's all these examples. I just really like it. I've written lot of books. I've read a lot of books. I just really like the way it's put together. The Laws of Brand Storytelling is an absolute must read for Social Pros listeners. You break it up into a series of sort of batches of laws per the thesis, per the title. One of my favorite sections of the book is the discovery laws. I think it's such a great point, because I find that a lot of times brands and businesses have a story, it's just they don't think it's a story because they're too close to it. Can you talk a little bit about some of those laws, and how because people say, "I don't, we don't have a story." No, you do. It just doesn't seem like a story to you. Jessica Gioglio: Yes. That's the thing is the first question I get, especially when I'm speaking or consulting around storytelling, is, "Well, where do we find great stories?" You, as someone within your business, really needs to adopt the mindset of a journalist. You need to be observing what's happening around you. You need to get to know everyone within your company. You need to do a lot of networking, and one to one meetings, and ask for advice. I remember when I first started at Dunkin' Donuts, my boss at the time, she asked me to do coffee breaks. I mean the irony of working for a coffee company, but she's like, "Do coffee meetings with these 20 people across the company." She really set me up for success there, because she had me immediately start to meet with them. I got to get to know them. I learned about what they were doing. I started hearing all these amazing stories coming out. What if you could take that inspiration and start to meet people across your company, people that are doing very different things and interesting things? I guarantee you, would find tons of interesting stories. You also want to think beyond just the walls of your organization. Obviously there are huge organizations with offices around the world, but also think about, go speak to your employees, but also think about what are your customer case studies. Study stories from your partners, other industry peers, influencers that love your products. Why are you doing specific things that you're doing? What nonprofits are you donating for? What causes do you stand for? All of those things could actually result in remarkable stories. That's what's really sparked me, and especially when I was at Dunkin' Donuts. I guess now we should say Dunkin'. Once we started creating that culture internally of ... I was running the blog, and I started getting a lot of proactive suggestions saying, "Hey, there's this amazing crew member in this store in Massachusetts that's been there for 25 years, and she's noticed this really interesting trend, and you should really talk to her." The field marketing managers and the operations managers were the ones that started feeding these stories to me, because I created the culture of getting to know them. That's really the advice I give to people. It's easier said than done, but you have to start somewhere. The more that people start seeing these stories being told, the more people will want to volunteer them. Jay Baer: Yeah, when they realize that this is actually a safe space, and that those stories are treasured and welcomed, it's amazing. They start coming out of the woodwork. One of the things that Adam and I wanted to talk to you about is, because you've now been in the UK for 3.5 years, if you have observed any storytelling differences between US brands and brands in Britain or EMEA at large. Jessica Gioglio: Absolutely, sure. We've put a ton of examples from the UK in our book. I think, selfishly, when you're living somewhere, of course you're kind of immersed in the local media culture. You know, what I would say? After living in the UK for 3.5 years, the Brits definitely have a very distinct sense of humor and ways of communicating. If you ever want to get a little bit of a fun insight into British culture, there's a Twitter account called So Very British Problems. It is a very self-deprecating look at maybe some things you might not necessarily realize about British culture. People maybe are a bit shyer in some ways, and have different kind of self-deprecating, or a bit kind of a sharp and fun sense of humor. You just have to understand some of those quirks. That's where maybe you see some of that playfulness coming through in the campaign. I think I mentioned it, with the Oreo one, they really focused on a timely event in the UK. You actually, with that eclipse, you actually couldn't see that in the US. There was one that we highlighted in the book that came from Tesco. Jay, I think you're going to love this example. I think I actually covered this for Convince & Convert as well. Jay Baer: You did. Jessica Gioglio: Tesco has the most brilliant customer service strategy. They're very used to responding to very cheeky and funny customer complaints on their Facebook page. So much so, they've actually created this culture where now customers actually want to be a bit cheekier in how they talk about their customer service complaints. One that I absolutely loved was there was this man that found a worm in his cucumber. He actually named it William, and decided to have this entire worm funeral for William the worm. Tesco was so touched by it that they actually sent him a sympathy card with a poem on it. Then another example from Tesco as well is, a woman ... I mean how great is that though? When you actually start telling little ... Brands could look at customer service issues as a negative. We want to immediately take this offline. We don't want to shine a spotlight on this. We just want to solve the issue and move on to the next. I think what was so brilliant about that is, if you actually look at the engagement of every single back and forth between the customer and Tesco about this, they were getting thousands and thousands of likes and subsequent comments. It was almost As The Page Turns, where people were like, "How is Tesco going to respond next?" "How is the customer going to respond next?" Then they start seeing pictures of the little backyard burial they had for William the worm, and the cucumber, the sympathy card with the poem that Tesco sent. It became this wonderful storytelling endeavor based off of a customer service inquiry. I think, at the end of the day, if you are a grocery store ... For people who are wondering, "What is Tesco?" "Why is there a worm in the cucumber?" They are a grocery store, very much like a Stop & Shop or something, 7-Eleven, maybe 7-Eleven, Stop & Shop hybrid in the US. Customer service complaints are going to happen. When you have that many customers shopping at you each and every day, it really comes down to how you handle it. I love that they've created this culture where they write poems back to customers. They say, "I'm so sorry about this," and they answer in a very clever way. There was another one where there is this delicacy in the UK where there's this thing called a Scotch egg. It is literally a- Jay Baer: I know the Scotch egg, mm-hmm (affirmative). Jessica Gioglio: They are actually delicious. Jay Baer: Yes. Jessica Gioglio: I was very skeptical at first, but I think if you come to the UK, you have to try one. Jay Baer: Breaded, fried egg, with sausage in the middle. Jessica Gioglio: Yes, and tweet Jay and I when you've tried one, with your picture of you trying one. [crosstalk 00:24:17] Yes, it's an egg, breaded and fried. They can be just with the egg, or they can also have sausage inside of them with the egg, also surprisingly delicious. Adam Brown: Delicious. Jessica Gioglio: A customer actually got a hollow Scotch egg, and she was actually sharing this picture where she was like, "Tesco, it looks like it is mocking me." Basically almost like the O, that kind of shocked emoji with the O face. "Like it is mocking me." They're like, "No, we actually think it's screaming at you, 'Where is my egg?'" They wrote this entire Shakespearean poem back to her, which I actually had to read out loud when we were filming our audiobook. It's like, "O egg, o egg, wherefore art thou egg? Deny thy bread crumbs," and it goes on. Imagine me recording the audio book for our book, with Ekaterina next to me, trying not to giggle as we get through an entire Shakespearean poem about a hollow Scotch egg. I love that. I think the one thing I will say though, is I did actually give some constructive criticism to Tesco in the book, because their customer service strategy is so on point, and they tell these amazing stories around customer service complaints, but then you go on their social media channels, and honestly, the content's not bad, but it's a bit dry. It's just all about recipes and food and celebrating food. It's like if some of these things are getting tens of thousands of likes, and there's articles in the newspaper in the UK being generated about somebody's hollow Scotch egg, wouldn't you want to maximize that a bit, and maybe bring some of that spirit into your content strategy? Jay Baer: Yeah. Jessica Gioglio: That's why I've actually dug into them a bit, because I think we almost get a bit too rigid in our ways as companies. If we see that there's these amazing copywriters and creative spirits on the customer service team, what else could they do for us? How can we bring them into the fold, and bring that spirit into other things that we do. Jay Baer: Sometimes peoples' reactive social feels a lot different than their proactive social. That's because in some cases, as listeners know, it's a different team. It's literally a different team, maybe even in a different location, with a different DNA, and a different leadership style, and things like that. From the consumer's perspective, they're like, "Wow, this feels a little strange," because this actually feels like two different companies, which is not really the ideal set of circumstances. Jessica Gioglio: No, not at all. Adam Brown: I think you've brought up something, Jessica, that's very interesting, and I think your book that you and Ekaterina wrote, kind of articulates that. That is, so much of this is that culture, it is about instilling that culture in an organization whereas, whether it's the customer service people, whether it's the marketing people, whether it's the other front line employees, they can be cheeky. They can be appropriate. I want to ask you how, when you work with organizations, you create, or try to facilitate that spirit of culture? We've talked about two things here. We've talked about getting all these different parts of the organization to do this, but also to the point that Jay brought up earlier, when you're dealing with a multi-region, multi-national company, everybody kind of sees sarcasm, everybody sees humor a little bit differently. How do you reconcile and bring all that together? Jessica Gioglio: A lot of what we talk about in the book is, you actually can look to the culture of your organization to inspire your storytelling, because the culture you create internally will have such an impact on your company's reputation externally. We highlight companies like Zappos and HubSpot, that have these amazing, focus-on-the-company culture, and that becomes kind of a core value and a story that they live, right? Zappos, all of their brand's storytelling is around their culture and how they create their employees. However, for other companies, it might actually be a bit different. We actually have, in the second chapter of our book, we have kind of the storytelling framework. We talk a lot about kind of codes of culture as well, and looking at how you can tap into pop culture, and things that are happening in the world, and really the right way to do that, and how to kind of really look at the customer insights around your business, your products, what's going on in the world, as the right way to kind of shape how you go in a direction with storytelling. Because, I think there needs to be a happy medium between the two, because the culture you have internally, plus what's happening in the world and how customers are perceiving you, all needs to be taken into account before you can really tell stories that resonate, if that makes sense. We spotlight a few examples in the book of companies that really go too far down the path between projecting a specific image. I don't know if you guys remember Radio Shack, when they decided they were going to rebrand themselves as The Shack. They were like, "This is a nickname that our customers call us." And customers were like, "No, we don't. We don't actually call you that. Nobody says that." Jay Baer: No. Nobody says that. Adam Brown: And how'd that work out, by the way? Jessica Gioglio: And The Shack takes us to this deep, dark place where bad things happen. So, it completely just kind of crashed and burned on them. So, I think you need to have [inaudible 00:29:09]- Jay Baer: Do you think, okay, do customers call Dunkin Donuts "Dunkin"? Or is that the same situation? Jessica Gioglio: Actually, I will tell you they do. So, it's tough for me. I have to be careful because I'm not employed by them anymore. But, when I was there running social media- Adam Brown: Which means you don't have to be careful. Jessica Gioglio: Yeah. I can just see the article now, "Former social media manager says blank." But, no, actually when I was working there, customers do call them "Dunkin." They call them "Dunkin," they call them, "DD." You know, "I have to go to Dunkin today." "I'm going on my Dunkin run." It very much is ingrained in the culture. I would say that when I saw that they made that announcement, I wasn't really surprised. I think actually, if you think about brand positioning internationally, as well, when you have a brand name like Dunkin Donuts and you have donuts in your name, when you go to markets where your brand equity isn't kind of, as strong as say in the United States, they just think, "Oh, you're a donut shop." But, actually, they do make amazing donuts, and they're always going to make amazing donuts, but we actually have amazing coffee, we have amazing breakfast sandwiches. So, I think it does actually help when you go into new markets where the brand's not known as well. It allows you to kind of start that story with more of a blank canvas, I would say. Jay Baer: One of the things you talked about in the book that I found a little bit surprising, is that you say, when you're working on your stories and your social media, that you shouldn't benchmark against industry peers. And that is sort of a fundamental kind of piece of the social media audit and analysis program, typically as, all right, how are we doing versus other people who sell donuts, or other grocery stores, or other auto dealers, what have you. And you say, "Don't worry about that so much." Why do you say that? Jessica Gioglio: You know, we say that because we want you to be true to your business, and drive innovation in the spirit of who you are, what's your purpose, what's your culture, and how do you want to tell the story of what makes your organization thrive. I think, on a high level, especially when you're at a large company, there's always going to be an element of that benchmark measuring. You know, how do we stack up compared to our competitors and our peers? But when you think about telling great stories, if you're only kind of measuring yourself against your competitors and not really thinking out of the box, I think you're missing the mark, and you're missing an opportunity to really take it to the next level. Jay Baer: Well, and certainly you can't copy somebody else's story, [crosstalk 00:31:34], right? I mean, you might be able to copy some of their tactics or approaches, but you can't be like, "Yeah, even though I don't sell cookies, I'm going to use this Oreo strategy." That doesn't really make sense. Jessica Gioglio: Well, and right, but how much did that happen, right, because the minute Oreo did "the dunk in the dark," every other business out there was like, "What is my dunk in the dark moment going to be?" It's tough, because we speak at conferences, we write books, we're sharing kind of the best practices of other businesses, and I always think about the idea of borrowing brilliance. How can you take a great idea and make it your own? And not necessarily say, "Okay, well, we're just going to try and news jack everything. We're going to replicate what Oreo did. We're going to have 365 days of Ford, and the car painted as a different thing- Adam Brown: Of Dr. Scholl's. Jessica Gioglio: Yeah, or, donuts, you know ... You could do that with basically, many consumer products or brands, right? But it's not going to resonate, right? And you have to to remember, consumers are faced with more messages across more channels than ever before. If you truly want to differentiate yourself, you have to be unique. You have to be special. And that's why we're really trying to lay down the law in this book, and push businesses to step out of their comfort zones a bit, and really think about what are those once-in-a-lifetime stories that are unique to my business? What makes me special? What makes me different? What's my unique value proposition that I'm not just trying to copy competitor X, Y, or Z, and basically kind of respond back to them. You do see some businesses, like Wendy's out there trolling other brands, and that's been a really kind of clever endeavor. But again, if every business just starts trolling each other, we're just going to be fighting all day on social, and no one's going to really care anymore. It's working really well for them because they're first to market. I think you have to really go back to the drawing board and think about what's unique to you, and that's what we're really trying to do with this book. Jay Baer: I love. I don't know everything, but I do know this, same is lame, as we talked about [crosstalk 00:33:27]. Figures- Jessica Gioglio: I love that. I might steal you, [crosstalk 00:33:30], and steal that and quote you on that one. Jay Baer: Feel free. Adam Brown: New title, ladies and gentleman. Jay Baer: Jessica Gioglio, who is the extraordinary co-author of The Laws of Brand Storytelling, a book that I cannot recommend to you enough, Social Pros listeners. I guarantee you're going to love it. You're going to keep it on your desk, highlight it, mark all the pages that apply to your brand. You're going to love it. Go get it right now. It's available all the places and ways that books are available, including in audio read by Jess and her co-author, Ekaterina Walter. Last two questions, the questions that we ask everybody on the show. Jessica, first one, what one tip would you give somebody looking to become a social pro? Jessica Gioglio: I would give them the tip of, oh this is such a tough one. I feel like I have like 10 in my mind right now and I have to narrow it down, but you know what I would say, I think you really need to stay true to yourself. I think the biggest differentiator in my career if, my whole story is I actually started out by running a lifestyle blog called The Savvy Bostonian. I became a micro-influencer in Boston before that was actually a thing in social media. And, you know what, I did that because I was always very creative. I loved writing, I love storytelling. I loved kind of sharing content that I felt added value to people's lives. That to me was always my North star. I think if you're an aspiring social pro, I think you need to really think about why you want to get into the business. Why do you love social media? What gets you excited about social media, and how can you really specialize in that area that excites you about social media? You know, as you advance in your career, you really do need to be well-rounded, but I think when you're starting out, you know, I'll give an example. When I was at Dunkin, I had an intern who was incredibly creative with video. He actually helped us launch our Snapchat and our Vine, because he was so amazing and saw video in a different way. So, I think if you can specialize in that way, it's going to really help you advance in your career, and really kind of showcase to an employer what differentiates you and allow you to make your unique mark on a business. So, that's the best tip I can give you is, start there and then really invest in learning in the rest of the business and become well-rounded from that kind of USP that you have at the start. Jay Baer: I love it. Adam Brown: Last question, Jessica Gioglio, Laws of Brand Storytelling, go get it, is, if you could do a video call with any living person, who would it be and why? Jessica Gioglio: Gosh, you know what, I'm struggling with this one, and I'm sure I could come up with a better answer, but you know, I think I said this the last time I was on Social Pros, but I still stick by it, and it's Oprah. Because I just think she was one of the first great storytellers, and just the charisma, and the way that you feel like you know her, and you're a friend of hers, and she just has this warm kind of way of telling stories and speaking with credibility and authenticity, that I think we can all learn from and mirror kind of in our lives and in our work. Jay Baer: The most influential celebrity by far, according to the research that we did in the book Talk Triggers, wasn't even close. It was Oprah, and then a big, giant gap. So, well said, yes. We need Oprah on the show. Adam, surely Marc Benioff knows Oprah, and you could just call your boss's boss, and say, "We need Oprah on the show." Adam Brown: We need Oprah. I remember Oprah when she was a reporter at WSM-TV in Nashville, where I grew up. Jay Baer: Man. If you could've [crosstalk 00:36:47]. Adam Brown: She was in the field, Pat Sajak was on weather, and John Tesh on sports. Jay Baer: Wow, [crosstalk 00:36:53]. That's a powerhouse line-up, man. That is like, an unbelievable crew. Adam Brown: Late '70s, Nashville, Tennessee. Jay Baer: Wow. That is impressive. You're moments away from greatness, Adam. Adam Brown: Yeah, yeah. I watched the programming, therefore I am, [crosstalk 00:37:07], I'm great, too. Jay Baer: Close enough. Jessica, congratulations on a terrific book. Fantastic to have you back on the show. Again everybody, go grab The Laws of Brand Storytelling. Anything else you want people to know about the book, or where to get it, or anything like that, before we let you go? Jessica Gioglio: Sure. The book is available on Amazon and in select retailers in the U.S., so go out and find it. If you have any questions at all, Ekaterina and I welcome kind of feedback on social media, your questions, so please keep 'em coming to us. Jay Baer: Fantastic. Go get it, ladies and gentleman. Thanks so much for being here. We have another fantastic guest next week on Social Pros. Don't forget, go to to listen to every single episode going back forever and ever and ever, including I mentioned, [Carmen Hill 00:37:49] from Cisco. You can go grab that episode as well as tons of other ones. As I mentioned recently, we are going to very soon start doing this show on video on YouTube, so you'll be able to see our guests and Adam and myself, so look for that coming up shortly. Until then, I am Jay Baer from Convince and Convert, he is Adam Brown from Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and this has been Social Pros. PART 3 OF 3 ENDS [00:38:13]  
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