I originally wrote this review in September 2011 and have modified it slightly (Jan 9, 2012) because using archetypes in your marketing can be helpful. And Cindy Atlee at the Storybranding Group has now come out with some assessments that could also be helpful to you (see Jan. 10 curated post from A Storied Career).
I thought long and hard about posting this piece and finally decided to do it. I hesitated because I don't really care to be hyper-critical. But this really bothered me because people will read the book and think "Oh, this is what business storytelling is all about" when it's not. So here goes.
What I like about this downloadable ebook: it's gorgeous and a beautiful example of a communication rich document. The layout and visuals are spot on and an example I want to emulate. So take some lessons here on presentation.
The focus of the ebook is on using archetypes. That's OK, yet a convoluted way to get at your biz stories. I'm fully aware of archetypes and their power. It can be a part of crafting stories yet I don't know anyone formally trained in storytelling who would start with archetypes. There's nothing on identifying your personal business stories, story structure, story types, essential elements, sensory material, and other story devices that will actually help you find, craft and tell your business stories. So as a how-to book on marketing/branding and storytelling it doesn't work for me.
Archetypes can be very powerful however, when figuring out who your customers are and how to connect with them best. And they are great to use when creating personas of your customers. I do work with archetypes during certain phases of my story work with certain clients. And I love and have used Carol Pearson's work on archetypes in business depending on the client and their specific need. Once your have identified your business stories, looking at the archetypes operating within the stories can also be very useful.
If you are working with big corporations, archetypes become a more important front and center activity. For smaller firms and entrepreneurs, it comes much later. So it really comes down to the size of the client, what their exact needs are, and the particular story approach and story tools that are required to get the work done.
The rest of the material in the ebook is intersting with a few tips here and there. And it is a good example about how branding/marketing professionals approach story work.
Go grab it for its visual presentation, and read through it for those additional marketing insights.