Story Marketing – The Importance of Telling Your Brand’s Story, but Not Just Any Story Told by Anyone, The Founder’s Story with Marty McDonald


Marty McDonald Permaculture Voices

” Story yes, but a story well told, two thumbs up.”Marty McDonald

Advice from Marty..

  • Start by taking a good look at whether you are the person to be the story teller and/or the person to tell the story.
  • Find a way that’s interesting to tell that story.  A good story told bad is not good.
  • “Story yes, but a story well told, two thumbs up.”
  • Make the stories concise.
    • It’s hard to hold people’s attention.
    • Bring character, emotion, and personality to it.
  • Is your story shareable?  Will someone want to retell it and can they retell it?
  • Competitive niches can be very tough.
    • Less competitive niches are easier to stand out.
    • What makes you special or stand out?
      • Are you undifferentiated?
    • Look at the competition and truly try to find out what you are doing differently.
    • If you aren’t doing something that’s truly different then it will be tough.
      • Can you differentiate on branding or customer service?
  • People buy emotionally, not rationally.
  • Try to keep consistent branding.  All points of contact look and feel the same.
  • Be out there with your marketing.  Don’t be shy about it.  Be a little in your face about it.
  • Can you make your branding different?
    • Make it stand out.
  • What are the big brands doing?
  • Do customers buy into what you are doing and want to support it?

About Marty McDonald

Marty McDonald is a leader in the field of sustainability and brand development, and the Creative Director and Founder of egg in Seattle, a 12-year-old (and the first) communications firm focusing exclusively on sustainable brands. He has over 20 years of national ad agency experience, with several Cannes Lions, Effies and Clios to his name(those are top industry awards, for those who care) for companies ranging from industry leaders like Coca Cola, Southwest Airlines and Stonyfield Farm, to successful next-generation companies like renewable energy start-up Southwest Windpower, social enterprise Better World Books, and Jessica Alba’s new venture, The Honest Company.

After Duke University, and the School of Visual Arts in New York, Marty began his career as an art director and worked his way up through various national agencies before becoming Executive Creative Director at DDB Worldwide in Seattle at 35. From this peak, things started to shift towards a more systems-thinking perspective.

At egg, Marty works closely with progressive companies and organizations in many sectors to help them define their brands around the complex world of sustainability — from Nature’s Path Organic Foods, Earthbound Farm, Lundberg Farms and Slowfood USA, to Portfolio 21, Puget Sound Energy and Energy Star. egg has been nominated for the visionary AIGA (Re)designAwards Corporate Recognition Award, and has been acknowledged in the preeminent creative publications Communications Arts and the One Show as a green communications leader. In 2007, egg became the first national marketing firm to go carbon neutral and is one of the founding B Corporation members who are setting a new corporate standard for social and environmental performance.

In 2009, egg began working in product development for its clients, helping to create everything from a superfood seeded granola bar and a non-soy based whole food veggie burger, to a brand of jarred local heirloom tomato sauces and a line of coconut oil-based chocolate truffles.

In 2014, to tap into his obsession with better food and good health, Marty co-founded and launched Barefoot Provisions, the first online store dedicated to ancestral, primal and paleo foods.

Marty has post-graduate certificates in Sustainable Business and Entrepreneurship from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute and is active in the local and Pacific Northwest food scene, from sitting on the board of the local food non-profit Cascade Harvest Coalition, to teaching classes geared toward next generation and immigrant farmers for WSU, WSDA, Viva Farms, and The Center for Local Food and Sustainable Living.


He will be giving a three hour workshop on branding and marketing.


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