Here’s today’s question – what Quest are you on? And then the next question – what’s the natural enemy of that quest? Not necessarily a person – but maybe an idea, a viewpoint – or a traditional way of doing things?

For regular listeners of the podcast, you’ll know that a frequent topic of conversation is the power of storytelling. Whether it’s in the shows we binge watch on Netflix, the ads we skip past on YouTube, or the way we communicate our ideas in person or from a platform.

The impact of a well crafted story is one of the most primal – and powerful – forms of influence on the planet. Not to mention the fastest way to cut through. And the most reliable tool in converting that cut through into action.

Storytelling in business isn’t a new concept, we’ve been wondering how businesses should tell their brand story since ‘marketing’ began – literally since the origins of the word – where it began with stallholders trying to get their products to stand out in the town ‘marketplace’.

So what’s changed? And what’s the next iteration of storytelling? Especially in a digital age where we can no longer out-shout, out-spend and out-interrupt to guarantee our target audiences attention?

Today’s guest has built a career around these questions. And the belief that brands that will dominate in the future – and are in fact dominating today – are those that have taken storytelling to the next level – the level beyond simply telling – and into ‘story-doing’.

Ty Montague – and his cofounders at co:collective – help companies innovate their customer experience using the methodology of Storydoing. Using his own words Ty considers himself a traditional advertising ‘refugee’ – having decided to pivot his entire career when he noticed – and couldn’t explain why – Starbucks could be on every corner – yet not spend a single dollar on traditional advertising.

Ty took that one question and went on to build a philosophy, a methodology, a company and a global reputation on the answer. Then writing the stand out book – that if it isn’t already should be on the curriculum for every world-class marketing MBA: ‘True Story: How to Combine Story and Action to Transform Your Business’.

In today’s conversation we dive into:

The difference between story-telling and story-doing? How the best companies aren’t just telling their stories, but building their entire customer journeys around them
The bottom line (practically and from an execution standpoint) behind what a story-doing company does that works
The importance of carefully defining a ‘Quest’ and a clear enemy – and why it’s at the core of our very humanity to gravitate towards those that stand for – and against – something important
How to strategize for the iconic? This one was big for me – it’s one thing to aim to become an iconic brand – but few understand the grassroots strategy behind bringing that word to life.
Why a pile of free T-Shirts can tell you more about your brand story – than a thousand surveys or data points
How to humanize your brand – by developing stories that authentically resonate
Plus how Ty see’s story-doing playing out in the next horizon – when it comes to new emerging technology
Not to mention a few golden soap box moments – on how commiting to this new paradigm – literally has the power to solve some of the largest issues of our time.

There were a lot of ‘aha’ moments for me in today’s conversation, but one of the biggest stand-outs was just how logical Ty’s philosophies are.

This is a man who’s spent decades on the front line of building ideas – brands – and stories – that actually stick. And – as I find we uncover more often than not on this podcast – what he discovered in the arena – turns out to be the opposite of traditional wisdom.

So – get ready to stop chasing impact unicorns – identify the gaps in your story – and start fiercely advocating for your Quest. You’ll definitely want your notepad for this one. Enjoy my conversation with storyteller from the front line – Ty Montague.