Attended a Haas event for once — the theme was on branding.

Dave Aaker and his daughter Jennifer Aaker spoke on signature stories.

To be honest, it wasn’t all that insightful. I realize that these events are mostly for networking — all the alumnis were high up in prestigious firms as I couldn’t help myself from casually glancing at their name tags. The food was delicious though. I basically just scarfed down sushi and alcohol.

Some takeaways:

  • A signature story should be authentic, intriguing, and involving. Used the LifeBuoy commercial as an example. It’s a story that defines you.
  • Everyone has a “closet career” — what would mine be? (Travel photographer, probably) She spoke about empty Sundays.
  • We use stories because they get more attention than facts. Content is king. Content = stories.
  • Tips:
  1. Carve out clear areas of incompetence (not 100% sure what Jennifer meant by this tbh but used taking out the trash as an example).
  2. Be sneaky. “What’s your happiest memory?” “Special days” were branded as special days even though they weren’t always super epic.
  3. Sneak highs and lows. (Disneyland — we only remember the peak points and the ending. Not the lows. Disproportionate memories.)
  4. Have a six word story. “Ambition with purpose can save lives.” Tips on working on your six word story: Who were you and who are you now? Clear moments of change and transformation are really good moments that can define you.

Bank your signature story (distinct, bold, relevant, memorable, sharable).

“We can’t be what we can’t see.” — Dean Richard Lyons on opportunities and why he hosts events such as these.

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