Telling Magnetic Brand Stories with Gabrielle Dolan

gabrielle dolan on brand

Gabrielle Dolan’s work spans from personal leadership communication to organizational communication. The bridge that unites these two domains is story. Her new book, Magnetic Stories, helps companies craft stories that connect and engage. From the stories we tell at work to the stories that build iconic brands, we discussed it all this week on the On Brand podcast.

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About Gabrielle Dolan

Gabrielle Dolan is considered a global expert in business storytelling and real communication. She is a highly sought-after keynote speaker and best-selling author of seven books including her latest Magnetic Stories. Her client list is extensive including the likes of Visa, Amazon, EY, Uber, Accenture, Telstra, Australia Post, and the Obama Foundation. The professional highlight of her career so far is meeting Barack Obama while delivering storytelling training for the Obama Foundation.

Gabrielle is the founder of Jargon Free Fridays and her dedication to the industry was recognized when she was awarded Communicator of the Year for 2020 by the International Association of Business Communicators.

Episode Highlights

Sorry, Jeff. Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos is often quoted as saying your brand is “what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” I like Gabrielle’s edit of this idea a lot better. Your brand is made up of, “the stories people share about you.”

Barbie: Master Storyteller. Or, rather, Ruth Handler, master storyteller. Most are quick to judge Barbie dolls but Gabrielle sets the record straight on the creation story of this iconic brand.

The five types of stories that every business needs. The creation story is just one of the five types of stories Gabrielle writes about in her new book Magnetic Stories. Organizations also need:

  • Creation stories about how your company, product, or service started,
  • Culture stories about the values of your company and its people,
  • Customer stories—more than just testimonials,
  • Community stories about your good deeds, and
  • Challenge stories about how you’ve responded to obstacles along the way.

What are the common mistakes companies make when it comes to storytelling? “They think they only need one story. You need lots of stories!”

What brand has made Gabrielle smile recently? Gabrielle went with Qantas, “for their emotional ad about getting us back into travel.”

To learn more, go to There you’ll find several resources including a free seven-day story “starter kit.”

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!