“[onboarding] can also aid employees in identifying values congruence which is critical to career contentment and commitment which can significantly impact retention to both the field and the institution long-term” - Journal of Research, Assessment, and Practice in Higher Education

“Storytelling that integrates a moral and spiritual component can transform an organizational culture so members of the organization begin to feel connected to a larger community and a higher purpose”- Journal of Business Ethics

“Online audio (podcasts, radio shows, music and audiobooks) has become more popular than ever before”- Publishing Research Quarterly

“Researchers have shown that storytelling strengthens the connections consumers have to brands, so that to a great extent what a brand means to a consumer is based . . . on the narratives he or she has constructed that incorporate the brand.”- Journal of Business Strategy

“64% of Millennials consider a company’s social commitments when taking jobs and will not work for a company if they do not have strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) values”- Cone Communications

“When it comes to digital storytelling for branding, there is, a more positive attitude towards the company when the employer branding message is using digital storytelling”- Management Dynamic in the Knowledge Economy Journal

“Audio narrative has recently benefited from profound cultural shifts in media consumption associated with on-demand television’s binge watching revolution and the advent of digital longform storytelling”- Journal of Radio & Audio Media

“19% [of Millennials] say they have paid in the last year for a subscription service for eBooks or audiobooks such as Kindle Unlimited or Audible”- American Press Institute

“The most recent era in audio entertainment… users are asserting power over the medium to select particular content at particular times”- Mass Communication and Society Journal

“Over 71 thousand audiobook titles (were) published in 2020, a 39% growth between previous years”- Statista

“The majority (79%) of Millennials want to work for a company that cares about how it contributes to society and 69% would refuse to work for a company that is not socially responsible”- Journal of Education For Business

“Storytelling that starts with the persona allows us to tap into these deeper recesses, where the influence of attitudes and emotions is greater… loyalty and trust are found there”- Journal of Business Strategy

“A poor cultural fit is frequently cited as one of the main reasons [an employee] decides to leave an organization… defining the organization's culture through storytelling should start with branding of the organization and continue through the interview and onboarding process”- Physician Executive Communication Journal

“The corporate world cannot ignore the demands and expectations of Millennials, who are devout in their desire to associate with companies aligned with their values”- Center for Social Impact Communication at Georgetown University

“Maximizing success through onboarding by storytelling during orientations, [helps employees understand] the company's culture and values [and] its goals and history”- Society for Human Resource Management

“There is value in a story that is, designed to drive the simulation and to elicit the [employee’s] best performance”- Society for Human Resource Management

“83% of Millennials would be more loyal to a company that allows them to contribute to social and environmental issues”- Cone Communications

“Employees have a deeper affiliation with the message through organizational storytelling due to aligning stories with their own experiences and understanding”- International Journal of Business and Social Science

“Corporate storytelling is suggested to help demonstrate the importance of the corporate brand to internal and external stakeholders… as well as help a firm to bond with its employees”- Product & Brand Management

“Three uses for storytelling in organizations: (1) to motivate employees, (2) for education and (3) to consolidate corporate culture”- Journal of Marketing

“116% growth in spoken word listeners 13-34 years old in the past even years, with 18% growth in the last year”- National Public Radio Organization

“Should produce positive effects on key audiences, such as increasingly positive attitudes toward the company and eventually behavioral intentions to support this company”- Public Relations Review

“Stories are a device… [that] provide managers with a form of social and intersubjective interaction that reflects belief systems, role expectations, interpersonal norms and conditions for work behavior”- International Journal of Management

“Story-telling is an important element… involving the sharing of experiences and creation of mental-maps of the environment in which people are motivated to perform to their full potential”- Leadership and Organization Development Journal

Millennials are more technologically advanced than any previous generation [and] survey data has shown a correlation between age and reading preferences [where] younger people listen to more audiobooks than older Americans”- State University of New York

“Spoken word audio listening is up 40% in the past seven years, and up 8% year over year”- National Public Radio Organization and Edison Research

“73% of the U.S. 12+ population (an estimated 209 million people) have listened to online audio in the last month, up from 68% in 2021”- Edison Research

“Narrative presentation of corporate strategy, comparative advantage, is more effective at producing a consistent and confident choice of competitive advantage among an audience than a presentation of corporate strategy using a PowerPoint style, bulleted list approach”- Journal of Strategy and Management

“The storytelling process yields positive impacts on internal and external stakeholder outcomes including increasing employees’ thriving and meaningful work, as well as the attitudes and trust of multiple external stakeholders”- Journal of Strategic Marketing

“The audiobook market share shifted from 42% digital copy sales in 2009 to 87% digital copy sales in 2017”- Audio Publishers Association

“Brands can bring their CSR (corporate social responsibility) efforts to life through authentic storytelling [and] Millennials want to know what companies are doing to make the world a better place”- Center for Social Impact Communication at Georgetown University

“Employees have a deeper affiliation with the message through organizational storytelling due to aligning stories with their own experiences and understanding”- International Journal of Business and Social Science

“Audio platform superiority was about the desire to use an audio platform that is perceived to be superior to other audio alternatives, including on-demand convenience (time and place) and content (vari- ety and uniqueness)”- New Media and Society Journal

“As technology evolves, people have more options available to them, which may explain why [reports] found younger adults to be more likely to opt for audiobooks and the multi-tasking they enable”- Forbes

“[the way employees are on-boarded] sets the tone for the culture of a place, the people, and the values of a new institution and can have a significant impact on employees’ sense of belonging”- Journal of Research, Assessment, and Practice in Higher Education

“Audiobook sales revenue has been on a steep rise since 2018, reaching 1.3 billion USD in 2020”- Statista

“Storytelling is essential to successful branding, since your brand is the sum of all your corporate behaviors and communications that inform your customers’ experiences with your product or company”- The Journal of Business Strategy

“Audiobooks have had a big shift in popularity in 2018 where for the first time, “a full half of all Americans ages 12 and older have listened to an audiobook, up from 44% last year”- Forbes

“There are currently about 1000% more titles published since 2011”- Audio Publishers Association

“A focus on social responsibility is particularly important to attract, retain, and increase the commitment and engagement of Millennial employees and talented women”- Center for Creative Leadership

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Anchor Your Brand with Business Audio Theatre

I CAN IDENTIFY!

Business Audio Theatre October 16, 2020 43


Background
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What anchors your brand in the minds of your investors, vendors, employees, and customers? Is it your logo, your slogan, your imagery? We think the most powerful brand anchor is your brand story! It is through your story, that folks learn about you, what you stand for, the challenges you’ve overcome, and the principles you used to over come them.

Identification

Your story can be the most compelling reason why they identify with your brand. Others see themselves in you through your story and your challenges, pulling for you to succeed! In that process your offering becomes more than a product, service, commodity, or label. It becomes a living entity with a history and a purpose. We like to say, “A brand is a movement, with a product to go with it.” How better to convey a movement than through your brand story?

Questions

Who came up with it? Where did it come from? What problems does it solve? How is it different? What challenges did it have to overcome? What were the major breakthroughs and “Ah Ha” moments? What were the seminal events in its history? What does the founder stand for? What are the key principles and take-aways from the story?  These are just a few of the compelling questions that build the brand story.

Answers

Now let’s present that story in the theatre of the mind that is the magic of audio drama. Let’s create scenes that answer these questions. Let’s have actors play the parts and add sound effects and music. Each scene captures a seminal event in the brand’s history and demonstrates the thinking and lessons learned by the founder. Each scene leaves the listener wanting more. Each scene reveals what the founder stands for and the principles upon which the brand is built.

Experience

We created Business Audio Theatre (BAT) for our own story, The Barefoot Spirit, which, we are proud to say, was selected by the Audiobook Publishers Association as one of the Top Five Business Audiobooks of 2020. What really distinguishes it was that it isn’t just read to you, it is performed for you. In fact, we have received so much positive feedback that we decided to produce Business Audio Theatre for others.

Team

We were involved in every aspect of creating our own BAT, so we know what is involved first-hand. We have an excellent team including a New York Times’ bestselling author from Stanford, and an award-winning production company from Hollywood. Plus, it is so much fun! We get to meet other founders who, like ourselves, had to overcome challenges, objections, financial hardships, disappointments, and all the tough times founders encounter. And many of the same winning lessons were learned that brought about success! Now, that is FUN!

Ego?

But why would anyone want to go through the process of telling their story? Was it ego? Sure, they are naturally proud of themselves for succeeding, but a BAT production is ultimately more about building a brand with recognition, identification, and popularity. We all know we can’t be here forever. Why not seize the opportunity to capture your legacy and preserve it for all time while the details are still fresh in your mind?

Book Sales?

Did we create our own BAT to sell audiobooks? We know having written a NYT’s bestseller that both paper and audio books are hard to sell and getting harder. It’s not about quality anymore. It’s about quantity. There’s just so many books being published every day.

In our case, we had to make all of the book sales ourselves. In fact the cost of promotion outstripped any profits from book sales. So even though our paperback and audio books are for sale on all platforms, and even though more than 60 schools that teach entrepreneurship have bought our books, and even though our speaking hosts have purchased our books for distribution to attendees, we did not create them for book sales.

Door Opener

The paper or audio book, however, does give you credibility. Use the audio production as a “business card” to open doors for being a guest on podcasts and other media. For instance, we have been on 60 podcasts since releasing our own audiobook just one year ago. We have also gotten many professional speaking engagements from companies, organizations, and schools. The audiobook is a brand building tool for you, your company and your product or service.

ROI

Here’s a few other benefits to having a Business Audio Theatre produced for your company that can translate into ROI:

  • Vendors are more likely to extend credit terms to companies when they know the story behind the company and the principles they practice.
  • Customers are more likely to be loyal to a company once they identify with it by hearing their story. Now it means something much more than just a label. Now it’s a movement!
  • Investors feel more secure when they know where you are coming from, what you’ve achieved, and why you chose to do it the way you did.
  • Content is in demand for company websites; story in audio form can be down-loaded and is completely mobile.
  • New employees are more likely to engage with and stay with a company that has a story they can identify with, especially when they hear the story when, or even before, they are hired. Attract the people that want to be part of your story!
  • Existing employees and contracted services are more likely to connect with the story and practice the principles conveyed by the actions taken.
  • Students and aspirers can be educated, encouraged, and motivated to stay on course and ultimately write the next chapter for your company and others.

In other words, Business Audio Theatre is a great way to anchor your brand in the minds of the folks with whom you have your most important relationships. It’s a fun and compelling way to make them say, “I know the story. I can identify!”

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