What the Simpsons Can Teach Us about Effective Storytelling in an Age of Multi-Media

Posted by Owen Matson, Ph.D. on Mar 3, 2017 2:43:55 PM

Once Upon a Time, There Were Linear Stories 

Linear stories are straightforward, literally: They present a beginning, a middle, and an end. Wherever we are in the story, we are aware that there are pages preceding and pages to come.  Epic poems and, later, theater, followed the more linear progression we might better associate with a scroll or bound book.  In all these forms, the linear progression of the story sets our path for us. We do not surf across novels in varying directions. We can’t skip ahead or turn the channel while watching a play.  Our place in the scroll, book, or third act indicates how close we are to finishing, and our emotional experience is entirely bound up in time.

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Topics: storytelling, Thought Leadership, Marketing Theory, B2B Content, B2B Digital Marketing

What's the future of retail?  Retail's Ongoing Quest for New Forms of Experiential Immersion

Posted by Owen Matson, Ph.D. on Jan 23, 2017 9:33:41 AM

HOW THE ONE-TIME BATTLE FOR RETAIL’S FUTURE HAS NOW RECONCILED INTO AN ALLIANCE OF PHYSICAL-DIGITAL INTEGRATION

Not long ago, in a galaxy not at all far away, the rise of online shopping inspired a wave of speculation forecasting an apocalyptic end to brick-and mortar-retail. In 2013, driven by the emergently urgent need to compete with online giants like Amazon, real-space retailers like Wal-Mart and Target announced plans to remain open on Thanksgiving.  

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Topics: Marketing Technology, Creative, Content, Narrative Marketing, storytelling, Marketing Theory, B2B Marketing

Locations as Brands: How Brand Stories Capture the Value of Place

Posted by Owen Matson, Ph.D. on Aug 17, 2016 3:01:27 PM

From American Apparel and Vermont Cheddar to Swiss Chocolate, Places Shape the Meaning and Value of a Product’s Brand. Powerful Stories Capture the Full Scope of that Value.


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Topics: Creative, advertising, Brand, Thought Leadership, Marketing Theory

More than Voice: The Promise of Cross-Professional Communication in B2B Marketing

Posted by Owen Matson, Ph.D. on Jun 25, 2016 12:00:38 AM

When new clients seek out our services, they naturally have a lot of questions. When it comes to content, these questions tend to center on our ability to understand the language of a particular profession and audience: Will we be able to capture their company’s voice? Can we write about complex technical and scientific material? How do we decide which topics are relevant to their target audience?

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Topics: Content, Business Communication, Marketing Theory

Brands are not Commercial Propaganda; They are a Part of Cultural Language

Posted by Owen Matson, Ph.D. on Jun 18, 2016 9:44:28 AM

Back when I was in graduate school, Naomi Klein’s No Logo (2000) was all the rage. The book launches a powerful attack against, among other things, the takeover of public space by brand logos. Klein means well. It’s just that the book relies on and perpetuates the very system it condemns. After all, the cover of No Logo quickly became an instantly recognizable logo, an emblem of anti-consumerism. A brand.

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Topics: Content, Narrative Marketing, Brand, Marketing Theory

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