How to Integrate Story into Your Brand

In this episode of The Faces of Business, Jeff Bartsch, the Founder of Story Greenlight, sheds light on “How to Integrate Story into Your Brand” to foster deeper connections and drive meaningful impact.

In this episode of The Faces of Business, Jeff Bartsch, the Founder of Story Greenlight, sheds light on “How to Integrate Story into Your Brand” to foster deeper connections and drive meaningful impact.

Jeff delves into the essence of integrating story into your brand, sharing invaluable insights and actionable strategies to elevate your brand’s resonance, client engagement, and market impact. The storyteller shows how a well-crafted story can be your brand’s most potent asset in forging lasting relationships, scaling new heights of success, and connecting authentically with your audience.

Jeff Bartsch is a visionary storyteller, communication strategist, and the creative mind behind Story Greenlight. With a rich background spanning over 20 years in the entertainment industry and online business, Jeff has honed his storytelling craft amidst the bustling lights of Hollywood, working with eminent media giants like ABC, NBC, Universal, Disney, and Apple. His journey from editing rooms in Los Angeles to empowering experts and professional advisors globally is a story of passion, innovation, and an unyielding belief in the transformative power of narratives.

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Jeff’s career, encapsulated in his book “Edit Better: Hollywood-Tested Strategies for Powerful Video Editing,” and his widely acknowledged commentary on the entertainment industry, has garnered recognition in notable publications like Time Magazine, USA Today, and The Associated Press.

Through Story Greenlight, Jeff and his adept team have been the guiding light for experts and professional advisors across over 50 countries, helping them tell their stories, serve more clients, and expand their global impact.

Damon is supercharged to hear Jeff talk about integrating story into your brand. Damon and Jeff’s initial exchange of pleasantries transforms into deep discussion when the host asks the guest about the latter’s professional background.

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Jeff reveals that he has been working in Hollywood for the last twenty years. His career included working for renowned companies like NBC, Universal, Disney, and Apple. Despite his early success as a classical piano player, known as “Jeff the Piano Guy,” he realized there was more to communication than just playing the notes on a page.

His journey began at four when he started classical piano lessons, focusing on technical proficiency. However, an encounter with an older musician at church changed his perspective. This mentor advised him to learn how to play from the soul, a concept that initially seemed puzzling to him.

Over time, Jeff began to understand the power of infusing emotion and depth into his music. He noticed a shift in people’s responses from praising his technical skills to thanking him for playing songs that resonated with their hearts.

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This realization influenced his career in video production, radio, film school, and eventually twenty years of content shaping in Hollywood for notable media entities. Today, as a consultant and coach for business experts and leaders, Jeff helps them take their messages and brands to that extraordinary level.

While responding to Damon’s query, “What are some of the things that you learn by working with those companies,” Jeff reminds us that in the business world, it’s crucial to think about the big picture rather than just specific tasks. He introduces the concept he coined as “the thing under the thing,” which he first encountered during his tenure at NBC while working on “American Ninja Warrior.”

Jeff vividly illustrates this concept through the inspiring story of Kacy Catanzaro, a petite woman who defied expectations by conquering a formidable obstacle course, notably becoming the first woman to scale the iconic warped wall on the show.

Moreover, “The thing under the thing” represents many significant elements, from proving doubters wrong to displaying the capacity to overcome an obstacle. It symbolizes a metaphor for life itself, where the show’s physical hurdles resonate with viewers’ daily challenges.

The guest’s remarkable approach to understanding life wins Damon’s appreciation. Additionally, the host expresses his interest in storytelling and the emotions it evokes.

In response, Jeff says it’s easy to overlook the power of storytelling because we encounter stories in every aspect of our lives, from personal experiences to interactions with others. In business, multiple layers of stories are intertwined, and it’s crucial to ensure these stories align effectively.

Jeff stresses that strategic storytelling requires thoughtful planning and intent. It’s about shaping a public-facing brand and making people feel familiar.

Similarly, Jeff explains that everything should be crafted with the audience in mind in strategic storytelling, messaging, experiencing, and positioning. Knowing and understanding the audience is crucial, as all business efforts ultimately serve those who purchase products and services. He believes the audience’s desires, concerns, and emotions must be cared for to create strong emotional bonds with them.

The subsequent step for a story to be effective is the connection between the story and its purpose.

Damon asks Jeff about the most common mistake people make when attempting to tell a story effectively.

Jeff brings to light many common mistakes people make when telling stories. One of them is failing to establish a meaningful connection. Furthermore, they often struggle to link the story directly to the intended purpose or message.

Jeff then reveals his reason for sharing his “play from your soul” story at the beginning of conversations like the current one. He uses it to convey a pivotal moment from his life that represents his 40-year journey and the realization that a “whole other level is available for” him.

Likewise, the storyteller cautions against telling stories that come across as self-centered and disconnected from the audience’s interests. “A lot of people get that wrong,” says Jeff.

The multifaceted aspects of storytelling amaze Damon.

The discussion then turns to the science of storytelling. Jeff mentions recent scientific research, particularly in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology, in understanding the science behind storytelling. He says that fMRI machines have allowed scientists to observe brain activity in individuals as “they start thinking about” stories and ideas. He encourages further exploration of this research by searching for terms like “storytelling, narrative transportation, fMRI, and story science” on Google.

Jeff maintains that a proven track record is a significant factor in securing B2B contracts, especially for businesses selling larger system components. Clients, such as Lockheed and Boeing, need to know that the company is capable and trustworthy.

Agreeing with the guest, Damon states that in B2B and manufacturing, building and demonstrating trust is the fundamental goal. It ensures that clients can rely on what is promised to happen.

Yasmin, one of the attendees, asks how to merge the brand promise through new and existing platforms, indicating interest in the discussion about storytelling and brand integration.

Jeff responds with Apple’s innovative approach to marketing that focused on the launch of the iPod and its transformation of physical media into digital content. He also mentions Dove’s True Beauty campaign, which challenges societal pressures to be more than one is and instead affirms people’s natural beauty.

While talking about the power of strategic storytelling, Jeff addresses the common concern that builds a track record and prior experience. He notes that different stories trigger the release of various chemicals in the bloodstream.

For instance, thrilling stories release cortisol, while stories that evoke empathy lead to the release of oxytocin, the “human bonding chemical.” Jeff believes through strategic storytelling, we can change the brain chemistry of our audience, which increases their engagement and receptivity to your message and creates a powerful link.

Damon concludes the discussion with the valuable lesson that some of the best brands and products have forged through failures and setbacks. SpaceX, for instance, encountered numerous challenges in its development. Despite these challenges, brands earned trust that built a history of overcoming failures and challenges, giving customers confidence in the brand’s reliability and commitment to excellence.

The host thanks Jeff for his good time. In the same breath, he thanks the audience for dropping some valuable comments.

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Damon Pistulka, Jeff Bartsch

Damon Pistulka 00:02
All right, everyone, welcome once again to the faces of business. I’m your host, Damon Pistulka. And I am excited today because I have Jeff Bart’s with me today from story Greenlight. We’re going to be talking about how to integrate story into your brand from a master storyteller himself. Jeff, welcome.

Jeff Bartsch 00:26
Awesome, man. Looking forward to this gonna be good.

Damon Pistulka 00:29
Yes, yes, it will. Well, Jeff, we were just talking about the the lovely Cleveland, Ohio, where you live now and that we shared the state where he grew up in South Dakota, which, you know, there’s not many people that come from there. So it’s kind of interesting.

Jeff Bartsch 00:46
And not only not only is it South Dakota, it’s here on South Dakota, home of not only the South Dakota State Fair, but also the world’s largest pheasant. On top of a liquor store on the west side of town. It is epic.

Damon Pistulka 01:01
I forgot about the liquor store with a pheasant on it. But uh, you are right. I have seen that. Oh, and I’m sure people that are listening today are going to see that next summer.

Jeff Bartsch 01:12
Oh, you know, yeah. If you’re into fiberglass animals made of fiberglass. It’s a canvas.

Damon Pistulka 01:19
Yeah. It’s this camp, Miss cat mess? Well, Jeff, so we always like to start out with learning a little bit more about you. And really, I mean, you’ve worked with some big brands, you’ve helped a lot of people do what helped really tell their story. How did you get into this? What’s your background? How did this really come to be? And you find that I want to help people tell the story a different way.

Jeff Bartsch 01:48
Sure. Well, when people look me up online, most likely, they’re going to see that I spent 20 years in Hollywood, working for NBC and universal and Disney and apple and all these folks, which is true. And you think well, that’s where you learned about storytelling and communication. But the fact is, the things that drive communication, go way deeper than what one might think. And I first started learning about that stuff when I was a kid. And I started taking classical piano lessons at the age of four. And for the next 20 years, I was known as Jeff the piano guy, and I got really good at this. And I was all about head smarts. I was the bookworm I was the geek, very few social skills. It was embarrassing. And I was all about Bach and Mozart and classical music where you could just play the notes on the page, you could get get there and everyone says, oh, Jeff, you’re an amazing piano player. You’re so good. And I strolled around and think I was all amazing. And everything. I got a lot of my time in on Sunday mornings in church, that’s where I put in a lot of my reps for a long time. And there was a day that an older musician at the church came up to me and said, you know, Jeff, it’s all well and good to play the notes on the page. But when you get older, you need to learn how to play from your soul. And so, I was 10 or 11 years old, I was in elementary school in Huron, South Dakota. And I was looking at this later, I’m thinking that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. What, what is this? I mean, everyone’s saying, I’m doing this amazing, I was doing the best that I could. And everyone says that it’s great. So I daughter, until years later, I learned more about what it actually means to bring music to life. And when I was learning more about that people’s responses started to change. Instead of Oh, Jeff, you’re such a great piano player, they would say, Jeff, thank you for playing that song today. That was a song I needed to hear. And they say, it’d be along that kind of lines. And sometimes you even get people saying, Jeff, the way you played this morning brought me into an encounter with God. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. And I’m listening to this and I’m going wow, okay, so there’s something way bigger than just me going on here. And I realized that that lady was right, because I was doing the best I could. But I didn’t know that there’s a whole other level, that you can take things up to this other level where you truly connect. When you take something that’s ordinary, and you extra, you elevate it to the extraordinary and you connect with the hearts and minds of people. And that’s what I’ve realized that I’ve been doing ever since video production in high school, radio and college film school. 20 years of content shaping in Hollywood for these huge for these huge media entities. And now as a consultant and a coach for business experts and leaders saying hey, how can we take your message? How can we take your brand and elevate it from what you were doing the best that we can And but how can we take something that’s ordinary and elevate it to be something truly extraordinary? So it’s incredibly powerful? And the tools are available to anyone?

Damon Pistulka 05:09
Yeah. Yeah. So let’s back up a bit because you got it, you’ve got a heck of a background. I mean, you just talk about this a little bit. So you, because you went through it real quickly. So you’re in you’re in Hollywood and 20 years work for a lot of different places. What were some of the things that you learned there, that you you see today that that, that really helped with what you’re doing? Well,

Jeff Bartsch 05:39
in terms of, you know, what could could we could we dig into that question a little bit more specifically, what did you have anything? When you talk about

Damon Pistulka 05:49
story, I mean, you’re you’re working with places that had, you know, not unlimited, but they had a lot of, you know, they could do about whatever they thought was appropriate, to tell the story to shape their message to do those things? What are some of the things that you learn, by working with those companies that you think really helps you to tell stories more effectively today?

Jeff Bartsch 06:13
Okay, so here is something I know, especially. And in the business world, especially in marketing, a lot of people are being asked to do more with less these days. And so one of the things that can really can really help that effort is to back way up, and not instead of focusing on tactics, say, let’s let’s back way up to the strategies and say, what are we actually talking about? What is the core what what is? What is it that we’re really talking about? One of the one of the things that I really started developing, was this idea that I call the thing under the thing. And I started learning about this when I was working at NBC, for the show, American Ninja Warrior. And some years ago, there was a gal by the name of Kacy, Catanzaro, who she, you know, she was one of the few women on the show. And not only was she a woman on this show, where people are trying to get through this massive obstacle course. Not only was she one of the few women in a crowd full of min competitors, she was also five foot zero. So she was short. And the question was always could she get up this crazy, warped wall at the end. And so there came a time when she just when she went through this obstacle course. And I watched this happen. And with each obstacle that she got through, it was absolutely electrifying to see her, this woman who said they were people would think there’s no way she could get through this stuff. There’s no way she could do this. And she ends up finishing the course. And getting on top of that work. Well, she was the first woman to get on top of the work wall and the history of the show. And the crowd was going absolutely nuts. And I and I was just getting chills, and the music was playing and all the things and I’m thinking about, hey, what’s actually happening here, because what you see on the surface, is what I refer to as the thing, the surface thing, the surface thing is, there’s a gal standing on top of an obstacle at the end of the wall at the end of an obstacle course. But really what that represents is the thing under the thing, the elements that are attached to things on the surface. So when you think about it, you have people saying she couldn’t she couldn’t make it, there’s no way she could get up there. She proved the people wrong. So it’s proving people wrong the idea of overcoming the doubters. There’s overcoming obstacles when everyone thinks you can’t win, when the when the deck is stacked against you, and you’re overcoming these obstacles against the odds. So it’s overcome the odds. And, and also, when the audience is looking at this stuff, you have the idea of it becomes like the entire show is a metaphor, where physical obstacles begin to represent obstacles in the lives of the viewers. And anytime an athlete gets across a physical obstacle on the show, it’s a message to the viewer saying, they got across this and whatever the obstacle is in your life, you can do it too. You can do it too. You can do it too. So the entire show is about inspiration and lifting people up. And it’s because of the meaning that’s attached to these elements that are on the surface. So how does this apply to business? One might say or Okay, so your I see you’re leaning back. I’ll stop talking again.

Damon Pistulka 09:59
No, no I just think you just keep going, man. I love it.

Jeff Bartsch 10:03
If I could just I geek out about this stuff, I gotta go for quite a while of this stuff. So when when you think about when you think about how do how do these things apply to shaping a message that we create and put on in the world? It’s the question becomes, what is the thing that you’re talking about? So, you know, is the is it a product? Is that a service? Are you are you going B to C? are you going b2b? Are you? Are you? Are you going one to many with your marketing? Or are you talking about a one to one sales conversation? Or are you talking to one to many internal conversation with your people? So if there’s, if there’s something that you’re talking about that if there’s something that you’re talking about? That seems like it’s just, it’s just a thing? How can you attach meaning to that. So say you’re talking to your team, as a leader, and you’re talking about and people are scared about the way the way the economy is going, and their people are like being laid off, and all these kinds of things. And so you might be talking about, you might be talking about the quarterly quarterly numbers from the from the company. And so you might be talking about this to your team. And you might be talking about a report, that’s a p&l or balance sheet. And people are not thinking about the numbers they’re thinking about is my job safe. They’re wondering about that they’re wondering about their security and their income. That’s what they’re really thinking about. So if we, as leaders can say, I want you guys to know that, here are the numbers, here’s what we were expecting, here’s what happened. And here’s what this means. This means we’re in solid shape, this means that we are we are moving forward with their plans, as we as we have been, and things are looking good. Moving forward, you’re not talking about numbers, you’re talking about the well being of your people. I mean, you can, you can make those, and you can, you can apply this to any kind of communication that you’re talking about.

Damon Pistulka 12:31
That’s awesome. That’s a great example too. Because you are really trying to, in that instance, get the message of what this means to that person to them. And, because that’s what they really care about. I was we were just on a call earlier today with we’re helping a client buy another company and um, one of the things came up with they were that came up as Oh, what are we going to do the the meeting with the the employees of the company that’s been purchased. And the the old owners know the new owners really well. So they didn’t think it was a big deal to just everybody come in and one day tell him and we thought, Well, really, you have to think about the people because their natural first instinct is what’s going to happen to us. And that instance when when we recommend this when we’re doing these kinds of things is that the the the people that are selling the company have a meeting with their employees themselves first, because that they can help to alleviate some of the fears in a an environment where just the people that they’re familiar with are there and then have another meeting with the with the new owners that are coming in later. To further explain that and how the future looks bright and everything because this this, the it’s not a story. It’s the truth in this thing. You know, when we’re doing this, but it is the truth and stories too, I guess. But to get it to the personal level, like you’re saying, and when you go back to American Ninja Warrior, first of all, cool didn’t look deep enough to know you worked on it. My son has been a crazy, he’s 24 years old and he has been watching that show for so many years. And we do too. I see what you’re saying now that’s why I was freaking out when you’re telling about it. Because you know the way that it’s laid out this this show is laid out and then the backstory is by the people and you know these people are really they’re they’re going through some challenges themselves and both mental and physical life challenges and, and other things but and to hear the thought behind it is incredible, man, thank you so much for sharing that.

Jeff Bartsch 14:49
Awesome. And I will say it’s if someone were to say what’s your favorite gig that you’ve ever worked on in Hollywood I aside from the whole idea of I’m picking a favorite child, if I had to pick one, it would be ninja, because I’ve been with the show for 10 years. And I’ve I’ve put together at least at this point at least 300 of those athlete bio pieces. Wow. And so I mean, that’s, that’s been a that’s been a serious hardcore woodshed for communication and storytelling over my career over my career in Los Angeles. So yeah, it’s it’s powerful stuff for sure.

Yeah, it is, it is. And I love I love how you broke that down into the report and going down on the people into the individual level and what this really means for them, because that’s,

Damon Pistulka 15:46
to me thinking about story. That you, you get the feeling when you’re doing that. You’re getting the fee feel, what’s what’s being communicated. And you talk about this a lot. Let’s talk about it before we got on you. And you talk about strategic storytelling, because we we, you know, I can tell a story, probably not that good. But when you tell a story in the way that you’re doing it. Let’s just talk about that a little bit in strategic storytelling, and really what that means.

Jeff Bartsch 16:22
Sure. The reason that I always like to talk about strategic storytelling is because it’s really easy to sleep on the idea of story, because it feels so familiar, for the excellent reason that we are surrounded by stories, every waking moment of our lives, we are living a story, every waking moment of our lives. From our first breath to our last breath, we are all living a story. And anytime we interact with another human being, our story intersects with that story. And when we have a business, we have multiple levels of stories that are stacking up on top of each other. And we start asking, Okay, well, are these stories lining up? So the reason I want to talk about strategic storytelling is because it can feel so familiar. I really want people to understand that the power of storytelling comes from when you have a specific message, delivered a specific way a specific story delivered a specific way for a specific audience for a specific purpose. There’s a lot of, there’s a lot of thought and intent that needs to go into this, whether you’re talking about the story of your public facing brand, or whether you’re talking about the story of you as an as an owner, or how are you shaping the future of your business. So it’s an incredibly multifaceted thing that a lot of people could feel familiar with. But they just don’t know all the directions that you can go and they don’t know the power that it’s there. That’s why we talk about strategic storytelling.

Damon Pistulka 18:06
Well, I have to imagine that, taking it to the level that you do, you can cut through a lot of the things that myself or anyone else on the street that’s trying to tell a story doesn’t realize that let’s really doesn’t need to be part of the story are not relevant enough to really include to get down to the message in the story piece, because you said a specific story specific way specific purpose. That means we have to get very succinct in what we’re doing about all those things, or we’re not being specific.

Jeff Bartsch 18:42
Absolutely. And within that, the number one requirement of any successful communication is that it is received by the audience by the receiver, you have a sender and you have a receiver if communication is not effectively received, communication doesn’t take place. And because of this, everything that we do, in the context of strategic storytelling, and messaging, and positioning always has to be done with the audience in mind. And I know there are so many people who talk about sales and marketing saying, Well, you have to know your audience. Well, this is why because everything that we’re doing in business is in service to the people who buy our products and services. So if we don’t know who they are, what they want, what keeps them up at night, all that kind of thing and what does it what’s the stuff that they actually care about, you know, that’s what what’s what’s the stuff deep down in their gut, that they may not even have the guts to tell anyone. If you can talk to that. You will have emotional bonds with your people like you would not believe.

Damon Pistulka 19:49
Yeah. Yeah, that’s for sure. Because when you get a story that is raw and and deep enough to really show emotion. I think that connects better with people. That might just be me because I’m old softie, but it really makes a difference.

Jeff Bartsch 20:11
Well, and and here’s the thing. It’s, you know, part of it is fundamentals. Part of it is the basic skills of, okay, what is a story? You know, who is the audience? What do they want? And then there’s, there’s also the elements of how are we what what is the message that we’re, that we’re wanting to convey? And what is the story that we are wanting to connect to the lesson or the current situation that we’re talking to. And so knowing what that connection needs to be, is critical for the story to work. Because if if you can tell the world’s most amazing story, that, that absolutely enthralls people, you can have the most incredible brand message, you know, you can you can be an athletic company, that that will sell shoes that are that will make you that and you can tell this incredible brand story about we will make you the fastest runner, the fastest runner of anyone that you know, but if the if the people that you’re talking to are people who wear shoes, because they are in danger of heavy objects, smashing their toes on the on the worksite, well, you’ve got the wrong story to the wrong people.

Damon Pistulka 21:33
Yeah. Yeah, that’s a great example. That’s a great example. And when you’re when you’re helping people do this, what is the most common thing that people get wrong when they think they’re telling the story?

Jeff Bartsch 21:51
A lot of the time, the biggest thing that people miss is that connection. If they tell if they tell a story at all, a lot of the times people just throw out information, they say this happened. And this happened. And this happened. And this happened. There’s no narrative traction to it, there’s no push and pull. And then they say, and so that’s why blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and it doesn’t have a direct connection to the purpose that they’re wanting to bring about. Whereas, you know, if we want to go a little bit inside baseball here, there’s a very specific reason that I tell the play from your soul story. At the beginning of conversations like this, it’s because I want you know, my goal, my goal is to introduce a specific moment from my background that I’ve since realized, represents what I’ve been doing for 40 years, I’m 44 years old, it started when I was at age four. So I want to I want to communicate this moment to people, I also want to communicate to people that just in the same way that I was playing the notes on the page, and I didn’t know there was a whole other level available for it. For me, the point that I draw out of this in these conversations is, we are all doing the best that we can. And a lot of times we don’t know that there’s a whole level, a whole other level available and waiting for us. So that’s the connection there. It’s doable, I want to introduce myself in a hopefully engaging way, and engage and engage the audience with the idea that there is something there’s something there’s another level waiting for you to. So that’s the purpose of that specific story that I told at the beginning of this conversation here. And it’s, it’s, that’s the kind of thing that people get wrong a lot. Because a lot of the time that people will tell a story, and they say, Hey, I have a story about me. And this is something that I did. And this is amazing. And so tell me about you. And then the person’s saying, and the audience is saying, Well, that was really self centered. What Why did you just tell all this stuff rambling about you? I mean, when you’re trying to get me to say yes to your product or service, I mean, just you seem kind of self centered by virtue of the story that didn’t connect anything. A lot of people get that wrong.

Damon Pistulka 24:23
That’s awesome. Because you hear it, you hear it and you can you can, when people introduce themselves and and about what they do or about their products or services. You know, if someone someone talks about vomiting, product information or something like that, you kind of get that and do it but as you’re going through these, what have been some of the real I know without talking about specific brands or anything like that, what have been real some of the moments, the moments said you just go, Wow, this was really cool.

Jeff Bartsch 25:04
You know, what I’d like to do, I’d like to make this more personal. Because this is, you know, a lot of times, you know, a lot of my one on one client work at this point is with executives and with leaders who are developing their public facing message. And and so they, you know, they have an entire lifetime of stories inside them. And you would not believe how holy moly, you cannot believe how many times people say, Well, I don’t really have all that, you know, I don’t have stories that are that are really worth telling. That’s a load of crap. If you are breathing, and if you have a pulse, you are you are living a story. And you have stories worth telling. I mean, I literally Well, anyway, just seeing the people’s Pete seeing the light bulbs come on in people’s eyes. I mean, I’m talking, I’m talking with a guy who he was the Vice President of Operations for $150 million logistics company. And he is, you know, we’re talking about the background of his story, how he got started, how he had this moment with a friend, who was was also an owner of another company, and was just really feeling stressed by not having the answers that he felt that he should have as the CEO. And my client, you know, had that experience. And he was able to come alongside him and be the guide for his friend. And when we started crafting out and fleshing out that story. It was one of those moments where where he said, wow, yeah, I really did do that. Get that that didn’t work out. I’m going to guess. It’s so cool. I mean, I, I will say, I get so much more geeked out about helping individual people. Just in general. Well, I mean, I will say into your to your question, in terms of in terms of some brands, there was, there was a show on ABC called Supernanny, where there’s a British man, he came over from the UK and helped American kids help American families with their kids into shape. And it was, you know, you’re looking at the shape of this episode. What is the storyline? What are you know, what, who are the characters? What do they want? What’s getting in their way? And how can we tell the story in a way that makes sense within a 60 minute episode? But also, how can we make sure that we tell in a way that people stay for the entire time? Because the network is saying, Well, guys, the first episode aired, and we see that our numbers are showing that viewership dropped after the fifth section. And everyone everyone left and clicked off. So you need to change something so people stay around the whole time. And so we figured out how to make it work because of how the short the story was structured over all 6x of the hour instead of just all the conflict was done by the end of by the middle or the end of Act five and everyone comes in everyone says Oh, well I know the answers to everything else so I don’t man we’re done. We’re good we have to watch xx

Damon Pistulka 28:48
Wow, that’s an another great example of just the I’m amazed at so many things like this today we’re talking about story here with Jeff barge and and the science behind it. The science behind telling a story is amazing to me. That dissection of the the sections of the story, the crafting of each piece, like you do is so incredible. Because when you when I hear you talk about it like that, you realize how much there really is to something that’s been around since the beginning of the spoken word. Yeah, or the written word.

Jeff Bartsch 29:30
Well, and I’ll tell you, you talk about the talk about the science of storytelling. There is an abundance of recent research ever since functional, functional fMRI, what functional magnetic resonance imaging machines came onto the market that was a game changer to for scientists and researchers to be able to put people inside use machines and to watch the different parts of their brain activity. As they were experiencing ideas, and they were experiencing stories and hearing what was happening. And what they found. If you go to Google and you look up the phrase, storytelling, narrative transportation or fMRI, story, science or storytelling, transportation, that kind of a thing. The scientists found that people who are hearing a story, their brains light up in exactly the same ways as if they were experiencing the thing firsthand themselves. It is an amazing, it’s an amazing vehicle. That is literally hardwired into our neuro chemistry, such that when we hear a story, we start to understand, we start to develop empathy with the people who are telling us the story. And this is why it’s so incredibly important that we that we use this in business, this is not a fad. It’s brain chemistry. Yeah.

Damon Pistulka 31:16
That’s incredible. That’s incredible. Because you you just I’ve read numerous books on the fact that you know, what you think is what you feel and different things like that. And it’s so so cool to hear how they’re using those kind of things, the FM IR to really show that I know my friend, Michelle gun, who’s a leadership coach and studies, a lot of these things is listening here today. Thanks for being here. First of all, Michelle, but I know this resonates with her. And then we got Yasmin here. Thanks for being here today, Yasmin. Yes, those emotions are very important. We’ve also got Casey. And then I’ve got a LinkedIn users when people don’t allow LinkedIn to show your profile. That’s what comes up. But and how do you merge the brand promise through new and existing place? That’s something we’re not it’s not the conversation we’re talking about today. But let me get this thing to shut off. Like I want to, oh, here we go. Sorry about that. But I just let those people are listening. I love love it when we have people letting us know asking questions going to commenting and because Jeff here today is really, really dropping some great information about storytelling and integrating stories in the brand. And I see now, I feel now from talking to you, how this really is critical in it, if you can, Michelle’s got a comment back for us here too awesome. What are some brands that we may know that you go? They really got it? They really have a story? Do you have just a moment to talk about one of those that you go, this is a brand that’s really got it? And here’s your story, and here’s why. Sure, I think it’d be interesting to hear you explain it.

Jeff Bartsch 33:08
Yeah. Well, so, of course, everyone loves Apple, everyone loves to talk about Apple, I’m gonna peel the layers of onion back a little bit more than one might expect. So when Apple launched the iPhone, it actually the iPod back in the day. The alternative to that was, you’re walking around with stacks of physical media. So people said, Okay, well, let’s make these gadgets that turn the content on this physical media into ones and zeros. And then we can stick them on these little USB sticks are these little gadgets that you can just plug into. And you can eliminate the need for all this physical media. So people started doing this and they say, Hey, we have these mp3 players, you can get 128 megabytes, and you can fit lots of information on it. And along comes apple and says, Hey, we can give you 1000 songs in your pocket. So you know, the classic conversation, when when people are talking about marketing is you don’t just talk about the features, you want to talk about the benefits, which is absolutely true. The the the thing that Apple was truly tapping into that goes beyond just the benefits, though, is the idea of, you know, if you if you remember those commercials, where it was just these black silhouettes of people dancing back and forth, with these with these headphones, in ear earphones, earbuds in their ears, and they’re just dancing back and forth. And to me, what was truly happening there was Apple was not just Apple didn’t even go to the features. They did talk about the benefits, but then they showed why that mattered. They showed the thing Under the thing, which, in my opinion, it’s not about just having 1000 songs in your pocket, it’s about the freedom that you have of having your entire life soundtrack along with you at the push of a button. And that’s when you see those those people dancing around. They are loving the freedom. So that’s, that’s one of those things where you can you can look at that and and say, it’s not just the features, it’s not just the benefits, it’s the thing under the thing, it’s what people are truly driven by. So another example, Dove soap, they have their true beauty campaign. And so in a world cameras in a world. Thankfully, that’s thankfully, that story of that style of voiceover has long been gone. Because people because people got tired of it anyway. does. So in a world where people are talking about you have to be more than you are, here’s our beauty product to help you be more than you are because you are somehow less than as you are, along comes dove and says, You are beautiful as you are. And people will say, Oh, thank you just all by yourself, you know, thank you. Yeah, it’s just one of those things. It says, Okay, we affirm you. Because really, there’s this tension. There’s this tension in our culture, where, especially especially with women who want to who hear all the messages all their life saying be more look good. And if you somehow fall short, then you are less than because you look less than therefore you have to work harder. And along comes as brand that says, We see you. You are beautiful. Take my money. Yeah, that’s, that’s where those kinds of connections happen.

Damon Pistulka 37:06
Yeah, yeah, that’s for sure. And those are great examples.

Jeff Bartsch 37:09
Now, question for you. If I may, because I know you’ve been you’ve been involved with all sorts of all sorts of different businesses across your career. So say, Did I see that you worked with a company that made that made parts for f 20? twos? Is that Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So a lot of people are gonna say, Okay, well, we’re doing we’re not making, we’re not going B to C, we’re doing we’re doing this high dollar b2b contract, you know, where we’re not just wanting consumers to say, yes, we want Lockheed and Boeing to say, yes. So this is, so I’d be curious to know, what was the way that your company approached that to get them to say, yes.

Damon Pistulka 38:01
I wasn’t part of it to get okay. I came on after. But I will know what they were worrying about. Because what we made were actually the pins that held the wings on, okay, oh, you have to know that it was ever making them was going to make them right, because they’re expecting to be flawless in some of the most extreme conditions you can have. And they knew that he could do it.

Jeff Bartsch 38:28
And how did they know that?

Damon Pistulka 38:29
Because we’ve demonstrated on other projects and worked up to those kinds of things. Cool, you get it from the experience of of trying harder things and trying more difficult things and more difficult things until you get to the point that they’ll let you do it.

Jeff Bartsch 38:44
So part of it, part of it ends up being a proven track record, proven track record. And even so if you’re, you know, if, if some of our listeners are in a place of well, I’m selling, you know, I’m selling widgets that go in a bigger thing, and I need, the bigger, you know, and and the the the client who’s offering this contract that we’re that we’re wanting to get this contract paid, you know, what do they know, what do they need to know? Well, certainly they need to know that you’re capable, that they that you’re trustworthy. And, you know, and whatever other issues that you as the communicator have in your head, if you can speak to those, you know, obviously, there’s a table stakes of can you get the job done? Yes. But then there’s also the element of okay, what do they truly care about? What are those things under the thing and when the message is shaped, to speak either directly or even indirectly to that? If everything you do says you can trust us?

Damon Pistulka 39:52
That is it. Yeah. That is it comes down to trust. Michelle just said it too, is building trust. You have to To be able to show someone, they’ve got to feel that if you say what you say, you’re going to do that, and be able to go home and go to sleep at night doing it, and believe in it, and, and wake up the next day, and it happens. Now, it’s like it’s supposed to, just like we said, and that’s what that’s what I mean, really, that’s, that, to me, that’s what anyone in business really wants, is they want to be able to say that, Jeff, this is going to happen Tuesday morning at 10 o’clock. It happens at 10 o’clock. And if something happens, and if something comes up, and it can’t happen at 10 o’clock. In some cases, it’s not so bad. If we call you at 945 and say, Jeff, it’s gonna be a few minutes. That’s not such a big deal. You know, and that’s really I think, in the in the the feeling parts of that, and in the b2b world and manufacturing. That’s, it’s that simple. Because the and I incorrectly probably phrase that the beginning are talking about at the beginning is working up to it they your qualifications to do some are far ahead of that you’re not even going to get into the room, right without the qualifications. Sure. So it really comes down to that is to be able to demonstrate and build that trust, for them to know that it’s just gonna happen.

Jeff Bartsch 41:21
Well, and the cool thing is, a lot of people will say, a lot of people will say, well, it’s this catch 22. Well, you have to have you experienced before you can build the track record, and you know, a chicken and egg thing. But the thing about strategic storytelling, is that going back to the brain science, when people are truly engaged in a story, the brain starts dropping chemicals into the bloodstream, different kinds of chemicals in different kinds of moments for different stories. For instance, if you have a story that has been keeping you on the edge of your seat, that’s your brain dropping cortisol and into your bloodstream. That’s your, that’s revving up your fight or flight. But then, when you have when you have when you have a story that people start getting engaged in, and they start thinking about, Okay, well, there was a time when I experienced something like this, or when it becomes obvious from the story that whoever is telling the story knows, the person that they’re talking to, that’s when empathy starts to grow. And the brain in the audience starts dropping, starts dropping oxygen, things like oxytocin, and all these kinds of things where you it’s the human bonding chemical. And when you do that, well, through the power of strategic storytelling, you are literally changing the brain chemistry of people that you’re talking to, which means that when their blood chemistry changes, they are that much likely, more likely to continue listening, and to give you that more chance to get that experience if you are in that catch 22 situation. So I mean, it’s an incredibly powerful thing.

Damon Pistulka 43:11
Yeah, yep. I think too, and when you’re when you’re in these situations, some of the businesses are afraid to, to talk in our story about real life. And on real life business, it all doesn’t go perfect all the time. Right. And sometimes those those are some of the best stories that really engage people.

Jeff Bartsch 43:31
100% I couldn’t agree more.

Damon Pistulka 43:35
If you look at you look at some of the best brands with some of the best products, they got that good because they’ve wrecked them. They’ve had horrible problems look at even if it looks something like SpaceX, I mean, my goodness, how much did they wreck they were down the last one that that one didn’t land back or something like that. They’re gonna be out of money. You know, like, I had things like this, and you think about now would you trust them? Yeah, they were willing to bet their last dollar that they were gonna get this right, you know, kind of thing or, or they, in some of these brands, I don’t even know. But you look at some of these outdoor brands and these extreme kinds of equipment and, and what they have to go through to really develop these things. And you got people saying, I trust my life in this stuff. Yeah, that’s my life with this stuff. And because of the failures,

Jeff Bartsch 44:25
because I mean, because there is not a single person who hasn’t experienced some kind of obstacle, some kind of pushback in their life. And if we are shaping a brand message or if we’re putting on a public facing presence, that shows us as flawless or shows our brand as flawless. That might have that’s worked for a long time, but it’s working less and less now. Yeah. Yeah, because it doesn’t match up with real life.

Damon Pistulka 44:54
Yeah. Yeah. And in the end of the day, it comes down to you know, with me and story and everything, and when I’m in business, it comes down to that trust. And that’s, that’s real life. And we all have bumps and bruises and, and good and bad. And you know, because life flows, and ebbs and flows. So it is. Man, I

Jeff Bartsch 45:19
would also, I would also encourage anyone who is in a place of anyone who’s in a place of obstacle or experiencing difficulty, either in your personal life, or in your business or on your team or in your marketing or your sales. One of the cardinal rules of the best stories, the very best stories, always put their heroes through hell. That’s what enables them to emerge as heroes, you can’t become a hero without having been through the fire. So, you know, when Winston Churchill said, if you’re walking through hell keep on going. And that’s, that’s something that I’d like to offer to anyone who’s thinking about this, especially in crafting a narrative of your own life or with your brand. It’s okay to have, it’s okay to have those obstacles. And sometimes the obstacles are the very thing that are the most important to truly bring your story to the place that needs to be.

Damon Pistulka 46:30
Yeah, yeah. Awesome, man. It’s It’s Jeff. We’re Rob. We got to wind down, man. It’s so great talking to you. Oh, my goodness. It’s, it’s just so good to have you here today. We got a lot of comments in here. I’m sorry. We’re not going to be able to get to all of them. But, man, we got Jeff here. And Yasmin has got some more questions. And yeah, and she talks about this and I think this is real recent, the rebranding of Mattel to Barbie, you know, that was a huge thing. You know, the whole story and the way they they position that was was really something but from vacuous

Jeff Bartsch 47:11
doll to lifting up women? Yeah. Very good. Yeah. And that. Hey, folks, if you don’t think this stuff translates to money, ask Mattel how many Barbies they’re selling right now? Just say?

Damon Pistulka 47:29
Yes. Yes. Yes. Thank you, Yasmin. for that. That’s a great, that’s a great comment and a very relevant example. But Jeff, I want to thank you so much for being here on the faces of business today. And just sharing us your brand and how you know how to integrate story into your brand, the pieces of story, great stories that you know, that brands are using and people are using, man, it’s just just an honor to be able to talk to you. If someone wants to learn more about you, or story Greenlight. Um, first of all, I gotta tell people, if I didn’t already got an awesome YouTube channel to the story, Greenlight YouTube channel, you gotta go there, you got lots of good stuff. But how should people get a hold of you if they want to talk to you about it?

Jeff Bartsch 48:13
Sure. The the number one place for listeners of this podcast to go is to story There’s a special page, especially for listeners of this podcast story And there, there’s a there’s a link to my podcast, there’s also a checklist that you can download, that will help you start taking some of these elements and putting them together, gathering the right elements and putting them together in the right way to craft your own compelling story. And of course, if you’re at the place where you’d like to, you’d like to go to the next level and work with me and my team. There’s a way to do that there too. Awesome.

Damon Pistulka 48:55
Awesome, Jeff. Well, thanks so much for being here today. It was really a gift to be able to talk to you and learn. Learn from someone like you that knows so much about telling great stories. And man, I just go back to this whole conversation. That’s so good. So good. And thanks all listeners today. Thanks for being here. Appreciate you appreciate you dropping the comments. Those of you that are just listening and not putting the comments. I appreciate you as well. We love it. We’ll be back again with another great guest hang out just for a minute, Jeff and we’ll close down now

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