About

Marketing is not a department—it's the story of how you create difference for your customers.

One of the biggest challenges an entrepreneur or innovator has is understanding how to make his or her ideas resonate. We tend to have no shortage of ideas, but we struggle to tell the story of why they will matter to people. The difference between a good idea and a commercial success is context—the understanding about who the product or service is for, what they really want deep down and why they will care about this more than that.

I’m Bernadette Jiwa and I'm here to help you tap into the essence of your idea, to uncover your unique ability and tell the story of how that translates to value for people in a marketplace. I want to show you how to touch people and make them fall in love with your idea (or maybe just a little bit more in love with themselves, because your idea exists). Whether you make chocolate bars, or sell consulting services, are a tech startup, or a non-profit—you've got a story to tell. My job is to work with you and your company to unlock the value in your story. I won't write the story for you, or tell you why you're different.
Together we'll go one better.
I'll help you to understand the difference you create and show you how to shine a light on that.

Brand storytelling comes down to this.

Product - Meaning = Commodity

Product + Meaning = Brand

Good marketing tells the story. Great marketing is the story.
You get to choose the story you want to tell.
I work with clients who want to create great, ideas, innovations and businesses—the kind of people who care enough to tell stories their customers believe in.
If you are a purpose driven entrepreneur, passionate company or visionary business leader I can help you to make your brand more than just a replaceable commodity.
Together we're going to give your customers a reason to care and a story to tell.

I am a freelance brand story strategist, marketing keynote speaker and the author of three #1 Amazon Bestsellers Difference,
The Fortune Cookie Principle and Make Your Idea Matter.

My blog was voted Best Australian Business Blog: 2012.
Smart Company named it one of Australia's 20 Best Business Blogs: 2014.

I created the new marketing model for the 21st century complete with the Difference Map—the one-page method that will help you to reimagine your business and reinvent your marketing.
I spoke about the secret to spreading ideas at TEDxPerth.

I've been named as one of
The Top 100 Branding Experts To Follow On Twitter
.

In my first job I was a bean counter for supermarket giant Tesco. Seriously....I spent Saturdays, clipboard in hand, crawling over pallets in the warehouse counting how many tins were in stock. I began working in hospitality, sales and business management at the age of 18. When you're the person unlocking the door at 7am—the first to greet both staff and customers, you get real, hands on, relationship building business experience. I went on to launch and sell my own successful businesses in the UK. The most valuable business lesson I have learned over three decades is how to look people in the eye and to really see them.

I now advise, consult with and speak to global companies, startups, entrepreneurs and business leaders from around the world, helping them to build their brands and business visions around a story-centric marketing strategy—one that helps them to matter to their customers, gain traction in their market and get funding from investors. I've created brand names, communication and innovation strategies and brand stories to launch and evolve amazing, bold ideas; from football boots to a medical journal, businesses to blogs, books to Kickstarter projects, non-profits and more.

I believe that great businesses are founded on the truth and that marketing is the art of telling a story that moves people to act. Marketing is no longer a tactic used to sell stuff. It's about finding ways to create meaning and making people feel something, rather than making them do what you want them to do in the short term.

You could spend your time working out how to make people act in the moment. Or you could think about how you would like to make them feel about your brand in the long run.

My fascination with brand storytelling and marketing began at the age of 10 in my little brother's Action Man days, when we figured out that the collectible stars on the packaging, were just as valuable as the khaki outfits and grenades inside.

I grew up in Dublin, the storytelling capital of the world, a place where nobody needs an excuse to start telling a story. It's in the blood. Now I live in one of the world’s most isolated cities (and best-kept secrets) Perth, Australia, surrounded by men (three boys, one good man). If I need inspiration I can take off to a near deserted beach at a moments notice and dip my toes in the Indian ocean – not something I take for granted.

People often ask me how I get to do the work that I do? The answer is that I make my work about understanding people first and I have trained myself to see how the little things we fail to notice impact the big things we care about.

How we can work together

If you are launching a new idea, growing your business or need to connect the dots that enable you to communicate the best of you and your brand story to your audience get in touch.
Here are some of the ways we can work together.

  • COACHING & CONSULTING~ Launch, evolve and differentiate your brand. Connect your idea to a business strategy, generate momentum & see results with 1 on 1 sessions or a month of intensive consultation.
  • BRAND NAMING ~ You've got 9 seconds to convince them. Elevate your brand with an unforgettable business name and brand story.
  • BRAND STORY ~ Don't be the brand that people buy. Be the one they 'buy in' to. Change how people feel and differentiate your brand with a unique position and a compelling story.

CONTACT ME

I write here for you three times a week and also send readers a newsletter once a month.
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Don't just take my word for it....

"I was fortunate to recently work with Bernadette on a storytelling project. Her blog posts resonated with me greatly and I hoped she could help my team with storytelling tools and techniques. What I received was far more. Not only did I get useful tools to help tell stories throughout our process; but her philosophy helped me see the larger impact I could have within my company. Bernadette took the marketing and business “speak" we so often used and transformed it into my department’s raison d’être. She helped open my eyes to the habitual thinking that was dragging us into the same feedback loop, and understand why we had difficulty finding new solutions. Her teachings, instruction and leadership helped me to see with new eyes....to put my feet in the consumer’s shoes, and finally to create impact through storytelling. Lastly, Bernadette is a joy to work with - passionate, fun, and relatable."

— Antonio Zea, Director of Innovation Adidas

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"We weren’t exactly sure what our brand needed, but we knew that we were missing something. So we started working with Bernadette, in hopes of learning how to brand ourselves better. By the end of our consultations, we had created a 60-second, crystal-clear elevator pitch, crafted a written manifesto, and boosted our confidence in our message. Bernadette gave us the perspective and insight we needed to tell our story — and be the best version of our brand we believe to be possible."

— Shannon Whitehead & Kristen Glenn, Founders of {r}evolution apparel

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“Bernadette sees the clever and memorable in every idea. She hones in on words & visuals that not only help you tell your story to others, but to yourself. Oh, and did I mention that “clever” comes with a healthy dose of strategy? Bernadette isn’t smoke & mirrors — her words, ideas, and strategy are incredibly concrete and valuable."

— Tara Gentile, The You Economist & Author of The Art of Earning

"Bernadette is astonishingly talented at distilling the finest essence of a message. The British Paraorchestra - the world's first large pan-disabled ensemble - is a many splendored-thing; it has multiple contours and dimensions. Bernadette managed, in the shortest imaginable time, to express the beating heart of the thing with brilliant, succinct eloquence. This focus was the first step in a journey which led to the British Paraorchestra playing a vital role in the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, in front of a global audience of hundreds of millions. We shall forever be grateful."

— Charles Hazelwood, Founder British Paraorchestra

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"To be brutally honest, most of us lawyers are generally skeptical about "creative types" and "marketing gurus". But Bernadette? She blew me away. She gave shape and form to nebulous concepts with discipline, rigour and professionalism. No fluff, to the point, worth every penny."

— Melissa Kirby, Lawyer & Strategist Sharpe & Abel

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"Bernadette changed the way I saw my business. She helped me to identify what it was and what it wasn't, and gave me fresh eyes with which to approach it. With her help, I developed a greater understanding of exactly what I was trying to achieve and why, and that has helped me to market my product - and sell it! - far more effectively than I had been. Her offering is a no holds barred assessment of business strengths and weaknesses, and her knowledge and enthusiasm is evident throughout the process. I can't thank her enough for her wisdom and insight!"

— Anna Spargo-Ryan, Founder & Editor of Bide Magazine

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“I doubled my income while working less hours. I appreciate your presence in my life this year. It has been transformative!"

— Heather Spriggs, Gatherings Magazine

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"When I discovered that I'd been selected to audition for TED 2013, I knew I was going to need help. I had a story to tell, but no idea how to craft it in a way that would be engaging and interesting - especially when I only had 5 minutes to speak! I sent my notes to Bernadette and in just 24 hours she came back with a brilliant opening lines - AND she had crafted my notes into an engaging story that I couldn't wait to share. On the day of my TED audition, I was given a standing ovation and I have no doubt that it was because Bernadette took my ideas and made them into something inspirational and understandable."

— Chantelle Baxter, Co-Founder of One Girl and The Launch Pad Project

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"Thanks for all the advice and clarity you offered during our session. The way you phrased some of your questions helped flick a switch in my brain. Suddenly, I was able to join the dots and there were light bulbs going off all around the place. The clarity and focus I feel makes me excited and I know this is what I’ve been waiting for. Thank you, thank you, thank you."

— Deborah Holland, Co-Founder of Smith Holland UK

"Bernadette not only came up with the perfect title for my book, but inspired me to write it. She was also instrumental in the cover design, branding, and positioning. Bernadette is a brilliant strategist."

— J. David Stein, Author of Money For The Rest Of Us

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"When I first heard about Bernadette, I was looking for someone to view my business through unbiased eyes and to give me feedback about the message I was projecting. She quickly brought to light that the "message we were projecting" was far from the story we needed to tell. I knew something was missing, and after my consultation with Bernadette, I came to realize that something was me. I grew up in a corporate culture of the 80's and 90's where you needed to separate yourself from your business. In order to be successful you had to speak the corporate jargon. After my engaging conversation with Bernadette, I felt like I was given permission to be myself within my business. She helped reconnect me to the business I started 11 years ago."

— Laura Kelly, CEO of The Handwork Studio

"Only one session with Bernadette and I can say that there is a before and an after in the way I see my business and myself as a business woman. I have left this one single session with two different types of outcomes, one tangible and one intangible. The tangible is a well structured action plan, with clear steps that will allow me to double my profits in the next couple months. The intangible is the new perception about the value of what I have to offer the world and rock solid confidence about it. In an area where I felt there was clutter and self-doubt, Bernadette has been like a flashlight pointing out to the direction I had to follow, a direction that resonates deep inside. I am now able to communicate my mission clearly, boldly and meaningfully and this is bringing new business opportunities every week. It feels like magic. Thank you!"

— Hana Kanjaa, Founder MiMamaMe

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"I wasn't sure what to expect when we started, but I got what I needed and then some. Working with you was worth every penny, and it was an investment I know is going to return back to me in spades. It is rare when someone exceeds your service expectations, so thank you!"

— Julie Hedlund, Author and Founder of The 12x12 Author Challenge

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"Bernadette has the ability to help you filter through all the noise… all the things you think you ‘should’ put in a brand story. She helps you find your true and authentic message underneath, it all that makes you realise you do have something unique to offer. In a very noisy world with information being thrown at us 24/7, it is invaluable to get to the bottom of ‘you’ when communicating the essence of your brand."

— Alexx Stuart, Founder, Luxury Tastings

"When you are looking for a clear signal among the noise, contact Bernadette. She came highly recommended to me and I was charmed from the get-go. She's extremely perceptive, patient and delivers straight up advice. She makes you feel strong and gives you permission to be honest with your self. You'll receive amazing nuggets of just-for-you resources, clear next steps and what surprised me the most: she checks in on you. Priceless. I spent one hour with her months ago and her words are still with me, cheering me on."

— Deb Pang Davis, Founder Cococello

"Here's a blog that succeeds brilliantly in balancing the expertise of the blogger with valuable, original, engaging content. Arresting headlines, considered imagery and a clearly nurtured and active readership make The Story of Telling a blog that's easy to get into and hard to escape. One of the commenters on the blog likens Bernadette Jiwa to 'a female Seth Godin' and I have to agree. A terrific example of a business blog that must do so much for the author's business."

— Robert Gerrish, Best Australian Blog Judge

"Need help figuring out your story and how to tell it? Get in touch with Bernadette — there's no one better. She helped us massively. Great insight. Great skills. She'll help you find what really matters."

— Dave McKinney, Founder of Discovr


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