I’m a sucker for a good story. The really good ones keep me enthralled, mouth agape, waiting (begging) for the next scene, sentence, or piece of dialogue to unfold.
Turns out storytelling and the love of a good yarn is a very human trait. Neuroeconomist Paul Zak (he studies human decision making) found that when people hear a story — complete with a beginning, middle, and end — our brains get really happy and attentive, releasing cortisol and oxytocin. Those chemicals, of course, are the little drugs responsible for connection, empathy, and bonding among other important things.
Stories matter in life. Stories matter in relationships. And stories matter in business. Big time.
That’s why we created a new cultural branding and storytelling agency in Fort Worth called Bonfire Culture. It brings together all the things I love: storytelling, creativity, and research-driven strategy. Now, that last part is where my business partner, Dr. Catherine Coleman, really shines. She’s a world-class marketing communication researcher who understands the science behind what makes a strong brand story and how to create one. Together, we lead clients through a unique Come to the Bonfire discovery session where we unpack existing beliefs, goals, and dreams to build a client’s desired brand identity, story, and future in the marketplace.
First we discover, and then we create a narrative based on those findings that creates an emotional connection with clients, and in the process, releases all those happy chemicals that we as humans so desperately want and need.
The ending (I know you’ve been waiting for it) is a foundational piece — a brand story — that clients can share internally, externally, in advertising messaging, or with the media. So next time Channel 5 calls you up and says, “Hey, I hear you’re making some really cool beer over there.” You can say: “Yeah, we are. And here’s who we are and why you should care.”
But wait. There’s more one piece to this story that makes it even better. Kind of like a happy ending when the girl gets her guy. Swoon. We don’t just want to create brand stories, we want to create a culture — a community — of support and connection in The Fort. As part of our business model, all companies that work with Bonfire Culture get to pick one local nonprofit as a community partner. That partnership means added corporate responsibility for the brand, good will, and a whole bunch of kick-butt karma, because Bonfire Culture donates storytelling work to that nonprofit for free. Yep, free. Because hey, life is bigger than the bottom line, and it’s better when you’re supporting community and building a culture that embraces giving and philanthropy first.
Sound like your thing? You know, the whole creating a powerful brand, story, emotional connection with clients, profitability, and doing good for the community deal? Thought so. Give us a ring or shoot us an email at 817-723-6256 or firstname.lastname@example.org. And find us online at yourbonfireculture.com.
For more than a decade, Sarah Angle has worked as a Texas-based writer. She began her career as a daily newspaper reporter and photographer, and now splits her time between journalism and marketing communications. Since starting her own freelance writing business, Sarah has worked for brands such as: Frito-Lay, RadioShack, Dairy Queen, Honda, Sid Richardson Art Museum, Samsung, and Pizza Inn. As a journalist, her work has been published in the Washington Post, Boys’ Life magazine, Texas Observer, Fort Worth Weekly, The Dallas Morning News, and 360 West magazine. In 2014, she won first place from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia for her feature story “From the Land of the Lost.” The following year, she earned a fellowship from the Investigative Reporters and Editors organization and became a board member for the Society of Professional Journalists, Forth Worth chapter. Currently, she teaches in the School of Strategic Communication at TCU. Sarah lives in Fort Worth with her darling daughter and a house full of books and mid-century modern décor.