What I Do

People often wonder what it is I do. Even my own daughter has asked me if I have a job. If I say branding, they think I just make logos. If I say marketing, they assume I make logos AND business cards. If I say designing, well, they just ask if I can make their business cards…for free.

quote_on-brand-storytelling_boxer-creative_uk-1I’m a professional storyteller. I have been since I was a kid. It’s actually part of my rich Native American heritage. I tell stories that build relationships. Stories that make an emotional impact. Stories that provoke change and movement. I tell stories that don’t always require words.

Branding is the soul, the essence, the narrative, the story of a person, product, or organization. That story is their brand. I tell their story. The process of telling the story is called marketing. Effectively telling that story through content creation, visual design, and strategy is what connects the brand with the desired audience. If the story is told well, the audience is moved emotionally and provoked to make a decision. If the audience connects with the story, they will want more.

The Magic of Branding

With over 6,400 books written on branding, the subject has gotten complex. Yet simplicity is where the power exists. This video was conceived, written and narrated by award-winning designer, branding specialist and Fast Company blogger David Brier to distill branding down to its basics answering that basic question “What is branding?” Written simply with equally minimalistic motion graphics, this video unveils the magic, the spark and the simplicity that is branding in its most fundamental form.

Are You Indispensable?

It’s been 5 years since Seth Godin’s first visit to Orange County. I went with a few colleagues not knowing what to expect. Since then, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? has become one of my favorite books and I’ve bought many copies to give out to friends. He left us with a charge to think differently about branding & marketing; to think differently about what we make. He told us to make art, give gifts, do work that matters, connect, lead, ship, and make a difference.

Brian Elliot of thegoodbrain.com, former Universal Home Entertainment exec with 15+ years in brand strategy, production, DVD and original content, hosted that evening’s keynote with Seth Godin. This morning, he FINALLY received permission from Godin to post his epic full-length keynote and emailed the link to a bunch of us who were there. There were about 900 people in attendance that day, back in 2010, at the the St. Regis Hotel to hear Seth LIVE. His message about being “indispensable” is even more relevant today.

If you don’t know Godin, he’s the godfather of modern marketing, bestselling author of more than a dozen biz books and has one of the most read blogs on the planet. I hope you enjoy this rare treat!

To a Worm in Horseradish, the World is Horseradish

Even though this TED video is almost 11 years old, it still holds significant weight. Shifting the perspective away from finding the one perfect thing and discovering the perfect things that a diverse society loves is key.

“Tipping Point” author Malcolm Gladwell gets inside the food industry’s pursuit of the perfect spaghetti sauce — and makes a larger argument about the nature of choice and happiness.

What If You Just Stopped

Great question. Seth Godin asked this question today on his blog and it got me thinking again about being irreplaceable. Providing something so unique and necessary that it would be missed if it stopped. What if you stopped today. Would you be missed? Would your service our product be missed? Or would people just move on.

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What would happen to your audience if you shut the doors tomorrow? (I know what would happen to you, that’s not my question… what would happen to them?)

What would happen to your customers and to your prospects if you stopped doing your work?

If you stopped showing up, if you stopped selling them something, would they miss you if you were gone?

If the airline went away, we’d just find another airline. If the cookie cutter politician went away, we’d just vote for someone else. If the typical life insurance agent…

Does it matter if it’s you doing the work?

Taking a Look Back

10846441_802324833165212_247751390290884644_nAs 2015 begins, I look back at some of the projects I’ve worked on and think ahead of what the new year brings. Here’s a handful of mini case studies from a few of the clients I’ve been blessed to work with.


Tim Storey

Rebranding and brand implementation for Author, Speaker, LifeAdvisor. Consulting, content creation, online perception and engagement. Tim often meets privately and speaks with high-profile leaders, such as world shakers like Robert Downey Jr., Kanye West, Smokey Robinson, Oprah Winfrey, Common, Duane “Dog” Champan, Quincy Jones, Lee Iacocca and so many more. He has visited 70 countries and speaks to crowds ranging from small intimate groups to large arenas.


Sacred Band of Thebes

Brand implementation and design. As this new graphic novel launches and attracts fans and buyers, a focus on establishing their brand was imminent. Creating an engaging strategy that is set to attract three diverse audiences, thus bringing them together for a unifying love of the story. Focusing on our reach from ComicCon to Cannes. Working with an experienced and talented team of writers, producers and illustrators, like Sid Jacobson, Ernie Colon, Bart Baker and Glenn Rabney.

Willie Murillo & Becky Martin

Design, Brand Storytelling and Implentantion. Focusing on implementation and design, Willie Murillo is a Grammy award winning musician, producer and writer. He has worked with the Brian Setzer Orchestra, and countless hundreds of today’s top musicians. Becky Martin is Jazz and Pop singer who has sung with greats like Arturo Sandoval.


InHouse Management

Brand implementation and design. As this new Entertainment and Sports Management company makes a presence in a very tight industry, a focus on restructuring their brand was imminent. Creating an engaging strategy that not only communicates the heart and vision of Michelle Tafoya (owner and legendary entertainment manager), but transforms itself into a viable foundation of knowledge and resources for entertainment and sport talent alike. Artist and sports manager, Michelle Tafoya, have worked with personalities such as Lionel Richie, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Jimmy Iovine, John Legend, Yanni and Kenny Lattimore.


Jamar Rogers

Brand consulting, implementation and design. Focusing on implementation and engagement, Jamar Rogers, a nationally recognized entertainer and finalist on NBC’s The Voice (Team Cee Lo Green), is restructuring his influence via in-house strategies, web engagement and strategic design. Working with Dream On Productions manager Sally Colón and Tommy Boy Entertainment president Rosie Lopez.


Starks Realty Group

Rebranding, design, and brand implementation. Realtor Laurel Starks of Starks Realty Group was expanding her company into a new area of their business, yet wanted to remain stable in their seasoned stream of business. Laurel Starks is one Southern Califronia’s leading Realtors in the Family Law sector.


Ask Two Irrational Questions to Persuade People to Do What You Want

There are times when the audience you are targeting is not as excited in your product, theory or personality as you wish them to be. Daniel Pink (one of my favorite authors) uses the parable of the child and the messy room to point out a simple but effective method for persuading people one step closer to the reaction you are desiring. It obviously doesn’t work 100% of time, however, it may be worth a shot for those who are the edge of your target audience. Part of its brilliance is getting someone to find their own motivation to move forward, not pushing your reasoning on them.

Watch the video and let me know your thoughts…

Be Irreplaceable

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 11.20.53 AMAs a branding/marketing specialist, I’m regularly asked to find creative ways to annihilate the competition, or least give them a run for their money. The easiest way to do this is to highlight what is uniquely yours, what makes you irreplaceable. Once you show up as a unique option in the sea of mundane mediocrity, you will be noticed. Not everyone will love that unique part of you, but the goal is not to get everyone to like you and follow you. The goal is the hunt down the consumers, the followers, the fans who will fall in love with your uniqueness and follow you to the ends of the earth. The ones who have been secretly wanting what you have to offer.

A Brand’s Narrative

Consumers are actively seeking out brands who tell stories. They want to believe in and be a part of something bigger than the brand. Here are some stats that illustrate the difference in traditional advertising vs. storytelling – from a consumer’s point of view.

StoryTelling

Infographic from PlayNetwork