How Osmo’s Global Head Of Communications Uses Storytelling To Create A Legacy Brand Recognition


Storytelling is essential for a brand’s existence and longevity. It is not just about sharing a company’s origins but bringing distinct brand name features to lifetime through distinct narrative resources. Very good storytelling drives conversions and ROI. It’s been claimed that if folks love a model tale, 55% are far more probably to purchase the item in the potential, and 15% will invest in the product or service promptly. As new marketplaces arise and businesses start, the stories they share individual them from their competitors.

Shawn Smith, worldwide head of communications at Osmo, an award-winning STEAM brand name in edtech, is foremost the company’s communications strategy and narrative messaging across all facets of the business enterprise platforms. Her intensive expertise foremost multimillion-greenback strategies for international entertainment brands and franchises has served her transfer the needle in variety and inclusion. She was named to PRWeek’s 40 Under 40 checklist for her manufacturer storytelling procedures.

“Stories explain to men and women who you are,” Smith states. “We know that men and women nowadays, particularly mom and dad these days, there’s been tons of investigation that have been carried out that suggests folks want to come to feel fantastic about the corporations that they’re participating with and are purchasing from. So the brand tale is exactly where you’re carrying out that function, where you are speaking to a dad or mum or household what you stand for and what you signify. … You want that prior to you get to advertising a person.”

Smith’s job commenced at the rear of a news desk as a writer and editor for a Los Angeles publication. 1 working day, she lined the Pan African Film Pageant for the newspaper and achieved Pat Tobin, a publicist who usually sent push releases to the media outlet. As Smith spoke with her about the market, she speedily realized that she’d thrive in the public relations environment.

Tobin advised Smith to give her a call when she was completely ready to transition in her job. Soon immediately after, Smith released her communications career at the multicultural community relations agency. Below she uncovered the big difference involving sharing a company’s story as opposed to the artwork of storytelling from a brand’s point of view. From there, she pivoted to distinct sized companies, gaining as significantly working experience as attainable ahead of landing a job at the Walt Disney Corporation. Throughout her nine-calendar year stint, Smith advanced from senior supervisor of communications of shopper products to controlling variety, equity and inclusion communications throughout the overall company.

She inevitably left the conglomerate to serve as head of communications for one particular of the biggest world-wide privately-owned toy corporations, MGA Amusement. She oversaw, managed and executed all push, partnership and live brand activation attempts for the corporation. Immediately after a yr, she was presented with an chance to do the job for WarnerMedia, heading up publicity and communications beneath Pam Lifford’s leadership.

Just after her tenure at the amusement studio, she joined the Osmo team. The Osmo manufacturer merchandise are utilized in over 2.5 million houses and 50,000 school rooms. In her new function, a single of the greatest worries is alignment. She’s restrategizing the company’s tale to capture the range among the staff and how the manufacturer is breaking obstacles inside of the edtech sector. They lifted $18 million in a Sequence B round of funding.

“Coming from Disney and Warner, they are the best at building brands that family members enjoy models that folks understand,” Smith expresses. “It’s exciting since a DC character marketing campaign is diverse than when I was functioning on a Looney Tunes campaign. They are astounding at genuinely drilling down to the DNA of that distinct character or that unique franchise. So it gave me that stage of strategic wondering, bringing that into Osmo. … It is not just about seeking to discuss about this new products that we’re launching, and we want individuals to buy it, of study course, we do as a organization, but I consider about the very long time period. How do we establish Osmo a brand name? What is that foundational narrative that I need to sense to build appropriate now so that 50 yrs from now, people today just routinely know what Osmo signifies and what the brand name stands for?”

In addition, she’s now a board member of Women of all ages in Toys, Licensing & Enjoyment, co-foremost the DEI committee. “We’re seeking at ways where we can affect the market and have much more diversity with makes that do licensing and enjoyment,” she describes. “We want to characteristic more gals of colour in all of the WIT applications, which I think we’re accomplishing a really good position at highlighting them as inventors, businesswomen and business owners. … The piece about incorporating far more variety, just throughout the industry is really challenging to do. Most people needs that to transpire, but how do you make that transpire? So we’re chatting about tactics where by we can have extra influence more than that.”

As Smith pivoted in her vocation, she targeted on the pursuing crucial ways:

  • Build your tribe of supporters. The journey can seem to be frustrating at periods, or you may possibly want to quit. Have men and women in your corner who will inspire you to retain heading.
  • Understand the reasoning guiding the occupation transition. Are you operating away from or running to anything? These are two appreciably distinct sorts of motivators.
  • Do not be fearful to request out a mentor. Create interactions with folks who have done what you want and are willing to guidebook you understand from their problems and construct your own path.

“As you mature in your lifetime and vocation, you develop into clearer about what’s critical and a precedence,” Smith concludes. “I’m a quiet-natured man or woman, and that will help when you’re in PR since there is normally a lot happening. There are constantly large-vitality persons, persons who get worried about specific factors. So you have to be the voice of rationale and prioritize what’s urgent and what can wait.”


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