Entrepreneur Seth Godin once said, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.” And if you think about it, storytelling is at the heart of every great brand. It’s what customers connect with.
You might call Sam Marraccini Pure Storage’s honorary chief storyteller. Read on to learn why, get to know Sam and more about his passion for Disney and Star Wars, and why he’s so passionate about storytelling in both his personal life and his professional life.
On Joining “Team Orange”
Sam Marraccini is director of partner solutions and partner evangelist at Pure. Before joining Pure in 2018, Sam spent time as a customer, channel partner, and a competitor. It was a genuine curiosity about the culture and the products that convinced him to finally join Team Orange.
“When you do the same things every day for 20+ years, it’s hard to see it any other way. But, boy, did I learn quickly that there is a different way.”
Pure is definitely different—as is its visual identity. Sam shares, “When Pure was founded in 2009, every storage company on the planet had been doing storage for decades. They all basically said and did the same things—including the same blue logos. Pure set out to be different from the start, how could we visualize the opposite of the legacy providers? What’s the opposite of blue on the color wheel?” Orange.
He says that at Pure, orange is more than just a color, it’s a culture. “Pure is customer first—and we do what it takes to always be. Orange is also about having a little fun, though, and not taking ourselves too seriously while we deliver world-class solutions to our customers.”
That energy—plus the people, passion, and technology of Pure—has helped to shape the arc of the story he tells to this day, often on-screen for Pure’s YouTube channel. And it’s a hero’s journey in which we all have an important role to play.
Disney, Darth, and the Beauty of the Backstory
Outside of Pure, Sam has another on-camera endeavor: running Sam’s Disney Diary, where he pulls back the curtain and dives deep into the Disney universe for his 23,800+ YouTube subscribers. “My channel tagline is ‘You never know just what we’ll see…,’ and it’s true.”
His Disney fascination began with a visit to the parks as a teenager, around the same time he first saw Star Wars in the theater. He says, “It was easy to get overwhelmed, but I quickly came to appreciate that someone designed all of this, and that it’s all about storytelling. Without a compelling story, you have nothing.”
One character, in particular, brought his love for great stories into focus. “I’ll always be a Darth Vader fan, but not just because of the voice. Look at that backstory—from chosen one to the symbol of evil, all driven by the fear of losing those he loves.”
In fact, his channel’s videos are all about the backstory. “I dig into the stories behind the stories. I share videos from the parks, inside looks at new attractions like the two-day interactive Galactic Starcruiser experience, the history of iconic characters, interviews, and more. If there’s something I’d like to know more about, that’s the content I’ll create.”
Backstories are what people connect to—they’re relatable, they’re revealing, and they pull you in. And if you’re a marketer, they convey your mission and your truth, which is what being an evangelist is all about.
It’s All about the Hero’s Journey
Tapping into the Disney universe’s “heroes’ journeys” has been a natural inspiration for the storytelling he does at Pure—sharing the origin story of a storage company that set out to change the world. Part of his mission at Pure has been to convey that story, and why it’s made Pure customers and Pure employees fanatical about our products: “We told them the story, and the story came true.”
It’s not something every tech company can pull off.
But while the world of Disney is based on imagination, Sam says, “What we’re doing is real. We’re taking customers that have been struggling with technology and we’ve introduced something that changes everything. That’s the definition of the hero’s journey.”