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Ignite your brand with the power of storytelling
Marketing Powerup #53: Kevan Lee and Shannon Deep share their 3-step brand storytelling framework.
Hello, and welcome to Marketing Powerups! 👋🏽
I just got back from a vacation trip to London and Paris. My 14-month-old toddler enjoyed running around, chasing sheep at Stonehenge, and making friends at the Louvre!
I’m glad to be back to share today’s powerups, which include:
Transform screenshots into searchable content.
Hiten Shah’s AI workflow for learning new things fast.
Kevan Lee and Shannon Deep’s brand storytelling framework.
Ready? Let's go! ⭐️
🎖 Build a high-efficiency growth engine
B2B demand and sales these days have been sloooooow.
But smart marketers from companies like ProfitWell, Teamwork, and Hubdoc aren’t panicking! It’s because they’ve doubled down on sustainable growth, all thanks to 42/Agency (the sponsor of today's newsletter).
They've built a demand gen playbook for generating leads and closed deals for B2B SaaS companies—even during economic uncertainty!
⭐️ The brand storytelling framework
The companies that tell the most compelling stories are the ones that customers gravitate towards, whether in a B2C context or B2B. And it’s marketing’s job to help bring those stories to life.
To do that, Kevan Lee and Shannon Deep (co-founders of Bonfire) use a 3-step process:
Step 1: Know your brand purpose. 🏆
"Brand purpose is the intersection between a tension out in the culture and the best version of your brand self. Essentially brand purpose is like the why you exist in a way."
— Kevan Lee
Define a clear belief that connects your company mission to a cultural problem you aim to solve. This becomes the "why" your brand exists, which should help you fill in the blanks in the following statement:
[Your company] believes the world would be a better place if _____________.
For example …
Buffer believes the world would be a better place if social media was rewarding, uplifting, and impactful.
Wistia believes the world would be a better place if marketers could do creative, empowering work.
Step 2: Craft your stories. 🦄
"At Oyster, we wanted to be deliberate about which stories we are choosing to have a point of view on and to create conversation around within the market. So, as an example, we had a category story, where we had a storyline of how our software was solving a problem that used to be done in a manual way."
— Shannon Deep
Choose three to five specific brand narratives based on your purpose and business priorities, such as a category story, persona story, and social impact story. At Oyster, they also had a founder story, which shares how Oyster's founders identified a gap in the market and created a software solution for it.
Kevan explains that once you have your brand purpose and story structures, you'll have a setup like the one below:
Some example stories Kevan used at Buffer include:
Paid social is fleeting. Lasting brands are built organically.
Engagement matters more than ever before.
Social media marketers have more influence than you know.
Step 3: Build your structures. 🏗️
"One you have three to five of those stories, then the actual structures is like, how do you get those stories out to market? And that becomes touch points, it becomes channels and it becomes people."
— Kevan Lee
Decide key marketing channels, touchpoints, and spokespeople to focus on each story. This brings your framework to life across the customer journey.
Kevan maps all three steps in a matrix to assess which stories make sense to tell in which places, at which times, and to which audiences.
At Oyster, Kevan and Shannon were building structures that aligned with their various ambassadors so that certain ambassadors would tell certain stories. And they thought about Story Structures for their different types of media (e.g., podcasts, videos, co-marketing, press, etc.).
Free powerups cheatsheet 🔖
I’ve created a powerups cheatsheet exclusively for Marketing Powerups subscribers to apply Kevan and Shannon’s brand storytelling framework.
→ Download and make a copy of it here (a direct link with no email required).
In the latest Marketing Powerups episode, Kevan and Shannon further explain their brand storytelling framework.
I’d also encourage you to subscribe to Kevan and Shannon’s newsletteron Substack if you’re interested in brand, storytelling, and marketing.
✨ Mini powerups
Fun-sized tools, links, and blurbs to boost your marketing.
📸 Transform screenshots into searchable content using AI (tool): Take a screenshot of a slide or an image from a book, share it with Trickle, and it’ll summarize the insights for you. You can even chat with AI to retrieve information and search your saved images. It’s helpful if you’re doing research for a book, blog, or presentation.
💌 Send the right message to the right person at the perfect time (sponsored): You can increase conversions and close more deals if you send highly targeted and personalized messages. That’s where Inflection.io can help you take your user engagement data to power up your marketing.
📝 E-E-A-T: Making experience and expertise your content advantage (article): Nicola Agius shares the fundamentals of E-E-A-T, YMYL, and other factors you need to know to beat your SEO competitors and deliver a world-class experience for your audience. She also shares 5 things you must do to make your content relevant for the “SEO Apocalypse.”
🧠 Hiten Shah’s AI workflow for learning dangerously fast (tweet): Hiten Shah, co-founders of KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg, shares his 5-step process for learning anything fast from a podcast or video content using two AI tools. I love this! I’ve tried it myself, and it works.
If you enjoyed this, you’d love this Marketing Powerups issue from the archives featuringabout how brand can fuel your growth flywheel.
That’s all for now, friends!
Have a powered-up day,
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