Jim Signorelli CEO/ESW Partners
Author of StoryBranding: Creating Standout Brands Through the Power of Story (Greenleaf Books)
I think I was destined for a career in advertising. My favorite class in grade school was “show and tell.” As a paperboy, I would add subscribers by copy testing leaflets. (“If you buy from me, I promise not to throw your paper in the bushes” outranked “You need the news; I need the money.”)
I went on to study advertising in college. But where I gained most of my education was while selling shoes to pay for tuition. Among other things, I learned that purchase motivation is very much a function of beliefs we subscribe to regardless of rationality. I watched too many women requiring a size 10 crowbar their feet into a size 8 to think any differently.
I gave up my career as a “shoe dog” to work for major advertising agencies in Chicago New York, and Los Angeles while gaining experience on a wide variety of Fortune 500 accounts.
In 1999 I decided that 50,000+ advertising agencies in the U.S. was not enough, so I started my own. Today it goes by the name of eswStoryLab. It has grown to become recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest-growing independent companies in the US three years in a row.
Throughout my career I’ve held a fascination for the power of story as a persuasive device. A few years ago, I wanted to better understand of why stories are so convincing and how advertising could benefit from various story principles. And so, I wrote a book that has since become a bestseller.
In addition to my duties as the CEO of my own agency, I’m now on a mission to help businesses and individuals find and share their authentic stories – stories that can make a difference in consumer’s lives. My articles, interviews and speaking appearances have been featured in the national media and with companies, big and small, throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.