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Storytelling is not: “Our product does X, and you should buy it because Y.” Storytelling is a much more powerful way to help people understand what you’re all about other than simply explaining "this is what we do, here's why you should buy." As consumers expect more from the companies with whom they do business, storytelling is the key to getting through to them. At Spencer Brenneman, LLC, we are helping a European company introduce its product to the U.S. market. Storytelling will play a central part in how we position the offering in a way that is relevant and competitively differentiated from the other choices consumers have. [tweetshare tweet= "Storytelling is not: “Our product does X, and you should

Recently, a client asked me to speak to a group of professionals re-entering the marketing workforce after a few years out. Specifically, the focus was what’s changed in modern marketing. How much time do you have? I started our discussion with “Things that are no longer a thing*.” The asterisk points to this caveat: “Or, at least not as a big a thing as they used to be.” This month, I thought I would share my list: Hardcore hierarchy and tenure as a trump card “Life-short” learning Sales and marketing divide Collateral-based sales support Email (on so many levels) Build it, and they will come Granted, at some companies and in some markets the degrees to which these statements apply vary. However, I

A colleague recently shared with me that her company is facing an acquisition. Although she remains positive, there is always a certain amount of trepidation that comes along when merging brands. I know! I’ve been there, and helping companies face the branding challenges inherent to mergers and acquisitions is one of the reasons we’re in business. Although it’s never too late to update a brand strategy, most of the time people do think about it too late, especially in the context of mergers and acquisitions. Here are my top five reasons -- there are more! -- why any merger or acquisition must keep the brand strategy front and center from the very beginning.   Why merging brands must think ahead about their strategy It’s

CMO branding! Like everything, the role of the modern Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) keeps changing. From a greater responsibility for impacting sales to higher expectations around ROI, CMOs have a lot going on -- particularly those at small- to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) who usually have to do more with less (that hasn’t changed). The good news is that SMB CMOs can leverage the brand strategy to meet those challenges, even when capital and human resources may be limited. How? Use the brand strategy to give the entire company what they need to contribute to meeting the marketing agenda. Engagement. When employees rally around a brand, everything improves for the better: the work ethic (people work harder), customer service (renewals get easier), territorial