Move Them Towards Your Idea


It’s Not About the Cupcake I sat in my car in the parking lot of a plush retail shopping center observing people purchasing cupcakes. It wasn’t the cupcakes that were drawing my attention or even those who were purchasing cupcakes early on a weekday morning. I was observing the result of an idea, an idea that […]

We Think in Stories

We Think in Stories | AscendWorks

Each year, Hollywood produces and distributes 400 to 500 films (stories), more than a film a day. A few are excellent, but the vast majority are mediocre or worse. The temptation is to blame those who approve such mediocre productions. But the reality is, story departments of major studios pour through thousands upon thousands of […]

Moving Beyond Attention

Moving Beyond Attention | AscendWorks | Jeff Payne

When I was six or seven years old I was struck in the head with a large rock thrown by a neighborhood bully who lived down the street. I remember the gash in my head that required several stitches across my scalp. I don’t remember getting the stitches or even being at the hospital. What […]

At Some Point All Marketing Sucks

At Some Point All Marketing Sucks | Jeff Payne | AscendWorks

If you and I were having this talk over coffee or tea, this is the point where I would lean forward across the table and sincerely say, “What else are you going to do?” There is no stable place. Change is happening continually. Everyone around you is drawing new conclusions about what really works. However, change is not […]

A Story: From Bump to Buzz

From Bump to Buzz | AscendWorks

Appealing to Our Minds Remember that commercial you saw watching March Madness last night? Yeah, me neither. As a matter of fact, I don’t even remember what I had for dinner a few nights ago. They say by the time we reach the age of sixty-six, most of us will have seen approximately two million television commercials. […]

The Hook to Your Story

The Hook to Your Story | Jeff Payne | AscendWorks

The past two weeks have brought people from all over the world to Austin, Texas for SXSW. It is really a sight to behold and experience. At SXSW you will find a sea of brands, all competing to be noticed. Each brand more than eager to share their story with you. This is when I […]

Do One Thing Well

Do One Thing Well | AJ Leon presenting his book.

“We are defined not by what we do but by why we do it. … Businesses need soul, and the why is the soul.” — David Hieatt, co-founder, Hiut Denim   Do you do this one thing well? Maybe you’ve heard the story of AJ Leon. I hadn’t until I was introduced to him three […]

Chase Your Hero

Chase Your Hero | AscendWorks

Whatever it is you look up to. Whatever it is you look forward to. Whatever it is you’re chasing … Matthew McConaughey couldn’t have said it any better after receiving the 2014 Oscar for Best Actor. Check it out yourself. If you saw it you likely want to see it again. McConaughey said he needs three […]

How Do You Make Me Care?

How will you make me care? | AscendWorks

In 1997, a new product was being launched by a young CEO and here’s what he said to his team: “Marketing is about values. … Our customers want to know … what it is that we stand for … And what we’re about isn’t making boxes for people to get their jobs done, although we […]

Content Marketing in Action

Lunch with AJ & Melissa Leon in Austin, TX

Think about the content sources that you rely on every day. What makes them special? Do they provide you with information you cannot get anywhere else? Are they entertaining, informative, thought-provoking, or provide a moment of relief? Are they consistently delivered around the same day and time? Is there a particular point of view that […]