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True Story: How to Combine Story and Action to Transform Your Business Hardcover – July 16, 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Montague gets right to the chink in the armor of storytelling: Unless the story you tell about your company is true, it is just empty words. And the way you make a story true, he says, is by “storydoing.” Storydoing is telling a story through your actions.” — strategy+business magazine

“An original take on using story to convey your brand promises, True Story will provide you with the answer.” — 800 CEO READ

ADVANCE PRAISE for True Story:

Brad Jakeman, President, Global Beverages Group, PepsiCo, Inc.—
“Gone are the days when marketers can simply tell people what a brand stands for. More than ever, consumers demand authenticity and transparency. True Story is an insightful and compelling review of what it takes to build brands and businesses today.”

Roo Rogers, Partner, Fuse Project; coauthor, What’s Mine Is Yours
“Who better to write about the power of story than Ty Montague? As relevant to CEOs as it is to CMOs, True Story leads the reader step by step through the process of combining product and narrative into one meaningful and unforgettable consumer experience.”

Danielle Tiedt, CMO, YouTube—
“In an age where just communicating your brand isn’t enough, Ty Montague has given businesses a way to think about brand building from the bottom up. True Story outlines a four-step process to discover your company’s unique story and then explains how to fold that story into every action you take. An essential guide for any company looking to grow its business.”

Peter Sachse, Chief Stores Officer, Macy’s—
“The power of ‘storydoing’ shouldn’t be underestimated. If you consistently define your brand through action, your brand will take vivid shape in every consumer’s mind. Ty Montague has done a great job creating a path that any company can use to reach its goals.”

David Webster, General Manager, Marketing Strategy, Microsoft Corporation—
“Unlike so many books that simply collect case studies that you can’t apply to your own situation, Ty Montague’s book provides a blueprint and a road map for putting these insights into action. The power to uncover your own brand narrative—and live it—is in your hands right now.”

About the Author

Ty Montague is a founder of co:collective, a consultancy that helps clients develop their strategy and brand story using the principles of storydoing. The framework and several of the cases presented in True Story are based on what co: does for businesses of all sizes. Ty’s work helping companies transform themselves has been featured in a cover story in Fast Company magazine. He is a frequent speaker and guest lecturer on creativity and innovation at leading business schools, including the Wharton School, NYU Stern School of Business, and Columbia Business School. He has been named one of the top ten creative minds in business by Fast Company.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (July 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422170683
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422170687
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.9 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #710,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
If you wish to create or increase demand for whatever you offer, prospective buyers will probably base their purchase decision on how you answer these three questions:

1. "Who are you?": Are you reliable, dependable, ethical, etc.?
2. "What do you do?": Can you solve my specific problem?

And most importantly,

3. "Why should I care?": What makes you different? Better?

Most marketers are very adept when answering the first two but frequently stumble when attempting to answer the third because they lack the storyteller's skills and thus cannot articulate what Ty Montague characterizes as "the four truths "of a metastory: the truth about the participants (your prospective customers), the truth about the protagonist (your company), the truth about the stage (the world your company shares with its customers), and the truth about the quest ("the aspirational mission of your company, brand, or product beyond making money...the higher ideal or human goal you have as a business"). These four truths serve as the pillars, the foundation of a metastory: not of what you have been or are now but what your company wants to become as a business. The ultimate objective is to achieve metacognition, a high level of "knowing about knowing."

I first encountered the term in graduate school when exploring several of Aristotle's works in which he shares his thoughts about metacognition, incubation, idea generation and association, creative problem solving, He was among the first to recognize the significance of intuition and self-actualization within the creative process. I was reminded of that extended encounter with Aristotle's insights as I worked my way through Montague's explanation of "how to combine story and action to transform your business.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
People are no longer interested in just hearing your story; they want to see you living out your story, according to Ty Montague in this book. People are not interested in buying products; they want to take actions that advance their own metastory. Social media and the rise of the networked world have created opportunities for companies to become much more efficient, not by communicating differently, but by actually behaving differently--taking innovative action that tells a clear story and letting the network spread that story.

So, how do you go about "storydoing" rather than just "storytelling"? Red Bull is an example of a company that replaces storytelling (traditional advertising) with storydoing, demonstrating the Red Bull ethos by staging and sponsoring a range of sporting and high-adrenaline events. According to the author, there are four key truths that need to be explored and understood to determine your
organisation's metastory which you then need to live out by storydoing:

* The truth about the participants: what their stories are, and how the organisation's story interacts with theirs
* The truth about the protagonist: the organisation's current strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and challenges
* The truth about the stage: the broader economic, cultural, technological and competitive context in which the organisation operates
* The truth about the quest: the aspirational mission of your organisation, apart from making money

Is this book useful for all organisations, or is it just useful for a few that follow a particular philosophy? It seems to me that plenty of organisations get by without telling or living out an interesting or coherent story. Nonetheless, in a world in which sustainable competitive advantage is increasingly elusive, the path advocated by the author seems to offer genuine opportunities.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have only read the introduction and part of the first chapter. But I had learned so much I simply had to stop reading and assimilate for awhile. For me this is a revelation. My business is unique in that our target is CEO's and business owners. These guys don't spend much time on twitter or facebook nor do they seek advice from search engines when seeking new relationships with consulting firms. I have been trying to figure out a way to plant ourselves firmly in their psyche for a long time. None of the 'hot stuff' in marketing and advertising did us any good. Plus we don't have millions to invest in advertising, so the "old stuff" did us no good either. But I always knew I was missing something because others did it. My only hope was the answer didn't turn out to be pure luck. This book finally hits the nail on the head. Luck may still play a role, but story will get us much further along the path than we are now. IF this book doesn't degenerate into the generic 'filler' formula for the rest of the book, it could well turn into a classic. Even if it fails to keep up its heady pace, the first few pages is worth the cost of admission. If you went to a marketing consultant, you could bankrupt yourself before you heard anything this good. I know. I've test driven that approach for years.
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Format: Hardcover
Don't believe the hype. This is not a revolutionary way of thinking about your company or brand. However it is a nice new way to think about BRANDING.

Branding is something that sounds awfully strange and it's very difficult to do well. By imagining that you're writing a story where you need a plot line and protagonists, branding can be done easier for some people.

So in conclusion, this is not a revolutionary way of thinking but a nice different take on how to do branding.

Would I recommend it? Sure, but not on the pretense that it's sold on.
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