This photo was taken at New Belgium Brewing HQ in Fort Collins Colorado. It’s the journal written by now ex-owner and founder Jeff Lebesch. In his travels across Europe where he gained inspiration for his nascent brewing business and captured those stories within. When you visit New Belgium you are struck by the pervasive use of storytelling and story making employed to communicate the businesses history, growth and modern incarnation.
On Friday I published a LinkedIN article “How to hire a Chief Storyteller” in it I use the example of the message “hidden” inside Dr. Seuss’ children’s classic Green Eggs & Ham.
Stories are the language of human communication. From the camp fire to the modern advertisement the best persuasive communication are stories.
That doesn’t mean we communicate in stories 100% of the time. There is a time and a place for cold hard facts, strategic messaging and even debate.
That being said storytelling is a critical part of our communications tool box and every company needs a Chief Storyteller to be responsible for forging, wielding and maintaining this important tool.
If you are over the age of 27 and want to feel like an underachiever read this book. Ryan Holiday takes you on a journey from being VP of Mrketing at American Apparel,where apparently his days started quite leisurely and involved a steam room, to the bleeding edge of business growth.
The book is more about the mindset of Growth Hacking than anything else. And there is where it shines. Whilst many of it’s explicit examples are squarely targeted at the world of start ups the lessons are universal.
Holiday cracks open marketing with an analytical bent, challenges traditional thinking, mixes in an accelerated view of product development, product market fit and how to do so with a questioning, scientific mindset.
At it’s crux growth hacking is about using all tools at your disposal to grow a business. Marketing traditionally has been about generating future demand. And gets hung up on intangibles like awareness and branding. Growth Hacker Marketing brings the demand generation into the now and the modern technology platform of the web and social help facilitate that in ways that don’t look or feel like traditional marketing. But they still grow the business.
It’s a fun read, packed full of good references and examples. Additionally Ryan goes to the additional mile to share his recommendations for other great reads and next steps to get you on your way.
Flavor and Fuel is a short film about what it takes to do the amazing. It is an exploration of the lives of people who make two very different companies tick. Each company has a different product, business, approach, location, audience, and group of employees. Despite their differences, there are ties that bind and commonalities which are universal. Namely, a journey in which anyone who has pursued something of passion in their life will enjoy.
The film’s IMDB entry is here, please watch the film and rate it!
The two businesses couldn’t be more different: Lotus F1 Team is a Formula One racing team based at Enstone in Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom while New Belgium Brewing is a craft brewer based in Fort Collins, Colorado in the United States. The former has a brand that inspires sleek and cool with a truly global feel; the latter, warm and textured with a genuinely local vibe. The film follows employees of Lotus F1 Team and New Belgium Brewing as they pursue their passions, overcome challenges, and exhibit sheer tenacity while doing amazing things for their fans.
Every human enterprise shares a few key traits. First, there is the essence, the idea, the flavor of the enterprise. What do the people who are so passionately engaged in this pursuit truly care about? It’s this core of an idea that keeps people committed and prepared to pour their heart and soul into something. It’s what attracts other people to a commonly held ideal. Secondly there is the drive, the energy, and the human capital any given person is prepared to sacrifice for an undertaking. This human energy, this fuel is the air that we breathe, the life we invest, and the time we spend doing something we love. The forging of these elements together in the pursuit of goals is the essence of success.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy Flavor and Fuel – A Story of Modern Craftsmanship (video link).