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The Tale That Tells Itself

By Mark DiMassimo

A closet down the hall from my office is about half full of brooms. Whisk brooms, push brooms, straw brooms… even a few bronze and pewter miniatures.

I don’t ask for them, I don’t encourage them, but people keep on bringing. or sending them to me and they have been for years.

It started more than fifteen years ago when I wrote about leaving a senior position at a big, bureaucratic agency. “I bought a broom,” I wrote, “and showed up at a great agency I had read about in the press. I took my broom to the top guy there and I said, “I’ve realized I’d rather sweep the floors in a great place than rule a mediocre place.”

This began the second phase of my career, driven by that principle, which continues to be a great adventure.

I was looking at a new broom I’d received the other day and thinking about that story. Funny thing is, it’s just one of many stories I’ve told about my career. It’s not even a story I’ve told regularly or broadcast with much weight or frequency. And yet, it seems to have taken on a life of its own. In spite of my neglect, it’s out there working for me to this day.

Here’s the thing — it’s a “Tale That Tells Itself.”

Which, in a social world, is exactly what you need. When we look closely, we find that the seed of a business or brand that grows, bonds customers and turns them into advocates is a tale that tells itself. It’s the principle we look to design into brands, advertising campaigns, product features, promotions, websites, display ads… everything we do.

We’ve learned a lot about tales that tell themselves, and we’d love to share these stories with you. If you’re interested in hearing more, drop me a line — not a broom! — at

Mark DiMassimo