S4E10: Park Howell, The Business of Story @ParkHowell (#53)

Storytelling with Business Storyteller Park Howell

Get any Point Across With the Applied Science and Bewitchery of Story

Podcaster, brand story strategist, keynote speaker… and STORYTELLER Park Howell joins the show on Season 4, Episode 10.

Park is the president of Park & Co, a Phoenix-based brand consultancy that has ignited the growth of purpose-driven clients for 20 years. Park & Co uses its proprietary Story Cycle process to create abundance for the greater good. Park created and teaches his Story Cycle curriculum in the Executive Masters for Sustainability Leadership program at Arizona State University. His podcast, Business of Story, connects business leaders and communicators with top story artists, authors, screenwriters, and others ranks among the top business podcasts on iTunes.

From great businesses to classic music, Park sees story inspiration everywhere.

“You find, especially when you’re pulling apart great pieces like Beethoven and Mozart wrote… you couldn’t help, even like a math ditz like me, seeing how math plays into… the rhythm of the piece… that really helped me as a writer.” - Park Howell on the rhythm of writing

Can traditional advertising still work today?

In today’s consumer-powered world where we have control with pop-up blockers, on-demand video & DVRs, satellite radio and more, it’s more difficult to reach an audience with traditional ads. And yet, the advertising world is still a multi-billion dollar universe.

From large brands to local shops, brick and mortar businesses to online ventures, can we still get consumer attention through the old ways of buying attention? Park says that while a lot of good advertising agencies still exist and do find success, the world is certainly changing. The biggest change is our constant improvement of storytelling to earn attention and drive results.

This is more important every day as the information produced and we’re expected to consume grows exponentially.

“Our limbic brain still uses story to make sense out of the madness of being alive. If you want to try and ‘cut through,’ don’t just try to throw bells and whistles out there to try to be clever.” - Park Howell on earning attention through story

The Hero’s Journey - an effective storytelling tactic

As brands use storytelling in their marketing, one of the most effective ways is using the hero’s journey storytelling tactic. Essentially, a brand makes the customer (or the prospect) the hero in their own story, with the brand playing the role of guide or mentor.

The brands that do this successfully truly understand their audience and the journey they’re on. They care about that world and the hero, and work to guide them to success.

One example includes Nike where the buyer sees herself as a hero through the eyes of Venus Williams, while Nike products are the tools and the company is the guide.

“Nike. Their thing is Just Do It. They are the mentor or guide that helps you find that inner athlete… asking you to be accountable, get your ass off the couch, and just do it.” - Park Howell on The Hero’s Journey in business storytelling

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