264 – How to use storytelling to create a strong brand with Dave Munson of Saddleback Leather

264 – How to use storytelling to create a strong brand with Dave Munson of Saddleback Leather

Dave Munson is a great story-teller. Oh, and he happens to own a small business – Saddleback Leather. They make and sell leather bags that Indiana Jones would be happy to carry.

Integrating his amazing story-telling skills in to his website copy, marketing video scripts, and even his voice-mail, Dave has managed to create a highly engaging and emotional brand in an industry that isn’t known for its charm.

So join Dave and I for a fireside chat as he shares:

  • How to integrate story-telling in to your marketing
  • Why story-telling is an important copy strategy
  • Why to avoid always looking for the sales angle
  • How to be genuine and authentic in your story-telling
  • How story-telling can reduce your customers’ price sensitivity

Oh, and we talk about this fantastic vdieo he’s created showing people how to knock off one of his bags:

Plus I share some feedback from a motivated listener who’s making big inroads in to implementing the ideas she’s picking up by listening to this show.

Yep, another episode dripping with marketing gold. Let’s do this …




00:52  Welcome & overview
02:52  Listener feedback about taking action 
05:17    Insights in to 99Designs and Netregistry
07:26  Introducing today’s guest Dave Munson of Saddleback Leather
09:35   Interview withDave Munson
36:59  My Top 5 Marketing Ideas from this interview
39:13  Motivational marketing quote of the week
39:29  Wrap-up and insights in to next week’s guests




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Saddleback Leather’s story

Contact Dave Munson on Twitter

Join the Small Business Big Marketing Forum





  1. Always be on the look out for stories to tell in your business.
  2. Don’t always look for the sales angle.
  3. Look for ways to personalise your marketing with stories about you, the business owner. And in doing so, be genuine and authentic.
  4. In sales, people buy from people they have a relationship with. Storytelling helps you build that relationship.
  5. People become less price sensitive when you educate them about quality.







“On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written the headline, you have spent 80 cents of your dollar.”

David Ogilvy




What was your biggest marketing learning or ah-hahahha moment from this episode?

Leave your comment below.

My guest and I respond to each and every comment.


23 thoughts on “264 – How to use storytelling to create a strong brand with Dave Munson of Saddleback Leather”

  1. Oh wow, what a great kick up the bum. I am in the ‘gonna get around to do more video work’ for Otium. Gonna get a go pro, gonna use my current VA to……you get the drift. Great find Timbo!

  2. Love story telling, and love to tell stories! I think we learn better and can remember things better when we hear it in a story. In fact, didn’t what’s his name teach us that when you interviewed him about remembering things. Make up a story to remember someone’s name…too bad I can’t remember his! Tansel! Ha, I had to cheat. But it engages.

    I did like his business story. Sounds like a great guy, nut just business owner! Love that.

    My big take away is to incorporate story telling into my video campaign I am starting…into everything.

    Good stuff!

  3. Holly crap! I just watched the video. I thought he was kidding, and the video ended with smacking the knock-off off the table. GOLD right there! Amazingly funny, and good! Breaks all the rules about short videos. Goes to show you if you do it well…and tell a great story…someone with my short attention span can even watch a 12 min video!

  4. You’re made for it, Drew. What’s holding you back? Go for it, buddy. Share your thoughts in the Forum. Let’s get a plan together.

  5. LOL. I agree, Nicko. I never watch 12-minute videos. My attention span demands I don’t! But I watched all of Dave’s plus others. Story is everything.

  6. Great learning, Nick. A great place to start is to identify all the stories you have locked away – and then find parts of your business that could benefit by telling them. We’ve all got them; we just don’t let them out. Let’s follow Dave’s lead.

  7. So much simple great quality GOLD in this episode. My key learnings:

    1) “It took us 221 videos to work out what worked. You learn by getting out and doing it.” You aren’t good at it now. So what? If you don’t start now, you’ll never become good at it. Practice makes perfect as my parents liked to tell me.

    2) You don’t have to have heaps of great content to make a video. You can talk about yourselves, whats going on in your world. It builds a relationship with your audience.

    3) The jungle isn’t just stuff out of Tarzan. Maybe normal people go there. Actually scratch that, not sure Dave is normal…. He embraces that quirkiness though. We’ve all got a bit of quirkiness – how can we build it into our brands?

  8. Great question about quirkiness, Adrian. If that’s part of you then it should come across in your brand. I think more small business owners should embrace who they are and let it shine through their marketing communications. It’s a way to create a point-of-difference in a crowded marketplace.

  9. Great podcast Tim. This is one of the best podcasts on marketing that I have heard. A lot of marketing seems plastic these days. Dave is proof that you can set your business apart from all of the noise out there by being real about who you are and what your product/service is about. My top take away this week was your number 5. In working on the development of my business, I have several times worried about the price that I wanted/needed to charge. No worries now. I just need to tell a story that people can relate to and then educate them on the quality and ROI I provide. Marketing G O L D.


    I am still stuck in the cubicle (and a government cubicle at that) but am working hard to develop my business. My time is very limited for listening to podcasts and I have had to wean my list down to 6. SBBM is one of my two favorites that I never miss and the
    ONLY marketing podcast I listen to.

    The only thing better than listening to SBBM once a week is
    to get to listen twice a week. What a blessing! Keep up the good work.

  10. Signature Clothing

    Doesn’t this interview just turn our idea of business on it’s head?
    I’ve been festering an idea to relaunch our e-comm store for a while now but was unsure if the market would accept the style I had in mind.
    Dave just convinced me the idea is right and the time is now.

    The Saddleback website is a lesson in style, taste & personality.
    Dave, when parts of your site bring tears to the eyes it means you have transcended the gap between the buyer/seller relationship & become the mates doing business relationship.
    Thank you for the guidance in this interview, your insight, humility & especially the encouragement for us to pursue our dreams.

  11. Arn , I get teary when I read your comments, much less when I visit Dave’s website. And yes, follow your heart and redesign that site of yours with all the personality and love it deserves and that only you can bring to it. Go!

  12. Thanks Chip. What very kind words, brother! You’ve seriously made my day. Sorry to hear about that cubicle of yours. Sounds terrible. The good news is it’s not terminal, and you’re already working on your escape plan. I’m honoured to be in your top 6.

  13. Just watched the Knock off video. Dave has totally nailed this tongue in cheek explainer video that shows us why we should pay a premium for his products. Great podcast episode too of course Timbo.

  14. Chris Sullivan

    I love the storytelling thing.
    Once upon a time, there was a guy named Timbo…..(I’ll finish that story another day)…..
    Where do you find these interesting people Timbo? This chat has made me think a little more about storytelling. I will use this concept in my blogs.
    And yeah, the warranty is a bloody beauty!

  15. mcutlerwelsh

    Great episode Timbo and very impressive pictures on Dave’s website.

  16. Feel free to finish that story now, Chris ;0) 50% of the time the people find me; other times I hunt them down. Oh, and often my wonderful listeners suggest a possible guest. Looking forward to seeing you integrate story-telling in to your blog posts.

  17. Love the piss taking video of how to copy my product which is really a way of emphasising its uniqueness. It reminds me of an email I got from a marketing bloke titled “10 reasons you should NOT register” which all identified non buyers as not special, flakey etc. we all need that magic X factor of interruptible its, as Seth said we need to be purple cows

  18. Ooooh, I like that email headline, Harriet. Anything that rattles the can a little makes fr interesting marketing in my book. Thanks for sharing.

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