8 min read ⌚
Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen
Probably, you don’t own a large company, but if you do, there are a couple of things the master storytellers believe you can do better.
An essential part of building a brand is to associate it with a story that resonates with your audience.
So, how to do that?
Let’s find out!
Who Should Read “Building a StoryBrand”? And Why?
Before we go any further, it’s important to understand that this process applies to all organizations, regardless of their shape and size.
Even if you are just starting out in the business world, “Building a StoryBrand” is nothing less than a tool that will render assistance in the pursuit of market dominance.
Don’t be afraid to reshape your mindset, and get one step closer to prosperity.
About Donald Miller
He came to prominence by raising awareness of the interactions between brands and customers, and how both parties need to act.
Also, his Blue Like Jazz was on the New York Times bestselling list.
“Building a StoryBrand PDF Summary”
One thing is almost undeniably true – marketing has evolved.
Businesses nowadays have to be more creative, data-oriented, and eager to learn in order to compete in a crowded environment.
Among other things, Donald also points out that organizations which put the emphasis on stories will be the ones dominating the industries.
Mike McHargue or science-Mike jumped onto this thread, by explaining that our brains are hardwired to look for solutions or products that will help them meet their basic needs.
Upon doing this, people can turn over to more psychological, physiological, or even spiritual needs that give meaning to life.
And your job, from a marketing standpoint, is not to shout nor scream in the ears of your customers.
It’s not about conveying the message loud enough but making sure that you are listened to.
Okay, off we go!
In addition, let’s dredge up the two most common mistakes most brands make:
- They don’t focus on products that will help people to survive and thrive
- Customers have short-attention spam and burn too many calories to get your point
Now, let’s shift to something of immense utility to all individuals.
How to capitalize on today’s behavioral patterns, and what principles you must embrace as a brand to facilitate this?
First off, one must understand that telling a story is the bridge between paying attention and neglecting something.
Donald Miller labels it as the best tool against the “noise” dwelling in the overly abusive and pushy culture.
Think of it as a Movie Trailer.
Prior to having the Video uploaded on YouTube, it undergoes a series of cuts, edits, omissions, retakes, etc.
It’s all done under the banner of “delivering” the story and captivating the audience.
If your main character in the story is suddenly interested in dozens of stuff, rather than excelling at one particular thing, your audience’s attention will suddenly flip upside down.
In 1983, Apple launched Lisa and contacted the New York Times to publish an ad that encompasses all the features this computer had to offer.
They soon found out that geek-talk is not going to fly anymore.
Instead, they partnered with Pixar, (a genuine storytelling factory) and went from 9-pages long geek-ad to “Think Different.”
Now that is a kind of message that will evoke interest and perhaps entice customers to give it a shot.
Apple reached new heights by following the three-pillar program:
- Find out what the customers want
- Identify their challenges
- Provide a tool to overcome those difficulties
Do you need a hero?
Every story needs a driving factor or someone who can defeat the odds, rise to the occasion and come out a winner.
The challenges lying ahead must be perceived as an opportunity, not as a problem.
Last but not least, what will the hero’s life look like if he/she does (doesn’t) do what’s expedient?
You need to ponder these questions and give them a second thought because they truly are the backbone of successful storytelling.
From a customer perspective, there are also three questions of equal importance:
- What do you have to offer?
- How will your product/service make my life better?
- Why I need to buy it, or why should I choose you over your competitors?
In order to eliminate the dull part of any message, companies and big brands ought to use filters.
In this book, you’ll come across something called – SB7 Framework.
This framework acts as a filter that will help you in the endeavor.
Upon completion, the entire scope of the message will be put on a single sheet of paper also known as StoryBrand BrandScript.
With that thing covered, let’s move over to the elements that compose the SB7 framework
1. A Character
The whole idea of brand-positioning must revolve around the hero, not the brand itself.
If you like to be regarded as a customer-centric organization, your customers mustn’t feel as if you are solely profit driven.
As the author puts it:
Positioning the customer as the hero in the story is more than just good manners; it’s also good business.
2. Has Problems
You might have been led astray by recent trends that are built around the idea that customers want solutions to external problems.
The bitter truth is that customers are willing to pay a lot of money for stuff that tackles their inner turmoil.
In the simplest form, a hero lives and dwells in relative peace and stability, until one day that serenity is threatened by something.
If you can address their needs, it goes without saying that they will turn into brand evangelists.
3. And Meets a Guide
Perhaps, customers aren’t that much engaged in identifying a hero, as they are on the lookout for a guide or mentor.
In many movies and theatre plays, we bear witness to the struggles of the main character, who is in a stranglehold and requires assistance from someone.
This person elevates our hero and helps him/her to cope with the pressure of decision-making.
Evidently, brands need to establish some mental triggers that will incite customer to pitch in with the storytelling and act as if they are the ones propelled forward.
4. Who Gives Them A Plan
Customers don’t trust just anyone.
If you select a random hero from the crowd, there’s hardly any evidence that they’ll be convinced into following his/her agenda without a proper plan.
It shouldn’t come as a shock to you, that without information and planning, the likelihood of making the right decisions, decreases.
Also, Donald introduces us to two kinds of plans: the agreement plan and the process plan.
Both are predicated upon the idea of earning trust by detailed planning, rather than demanding it.
5. And Calls Them to Action
You might have noticed that heroes don’t take action unless challenged.
There needs to be a reason, or should you prefer – a trigger that will inspire our hero to take the high road.
Broadly speaking, there are two call-to-actions that actually work.
- The first one is direct (asking the customer to do something plainly)
- The second one is subtler (and it embodies trust and mutual understanding)
Don’t expect from your audience to jump on the bandwagon without being told to!
6. That Helps Them Avoid Failure
It’s pretty self-evident that people, in general, don’t prefer tragic endings.
Stories mesmerize the masses, but only if they reckon that something is at stake.
Apart from the anticipation and excitement, nothing is valuable nor worthy of their time.
In a nutshell – brands must explain to their customers the loss or the deprivation of quality that will emerge as a result of not doing business with them.
7. And Ends in a Success
And they all lived happily ever after. Who doesn’t like Disney-tale endings?
Even big-shot politicians use this trick to bring people over to a more beautiful place – far away from mundane concerns.
If you fail to engage with your customers, someone else will!
It all boils down to this – Your approach or messaging strategy must lean on a vision that illustrates how your product/service might affect the lives of your customers.
Now that we covered all the steps in the StoryBrand Script, it’s time to unpack the last aspect.
Everybody wants to change for the better, and people are in need of transformation!
Only brands that participate in this mental transformation can create brand evangelist (passionate customers).
It goes without saying that at the outset; the hero is usually filled with doubt and self-pity, but as the story goes on, the hero develops skills and the mindset needed to wipe out the threat.
Likewise, you need to explain what prompted the hero to rise to the occasion and what are the consequence of not doing so.
Once you have mastered (or at least in part) the messaging process, it’s time to kick things off.
Build a Web Presence
Probably, you have one by now, but we are talking about something else.
Long gone are the days, when brands needed millions of dollars to get traction and increase brand awareness.
Digital Marketing made it easier for growth-hackers and marketers alike to use creativity and psychological triggers.
Instead of pouring money into some untraceable ads, you can build a Website that is relatively simple to grasp.
Here are the five basics that any Website should have and build its offer around them:
- An Offer Above the Fold
- Obvious Calls to Action
- Image of Success
- A Bite-Sized Breakdown of Your Revenue Streams
- Very Few Words
By now, you have probably understood the significance of transforming the minds of the customers, but what about the employees?
Employees, by all accounts, also require some clear go-to signals in regards to how the mission statement is implemented.
Donald Miller spotted an issue that crops up in almost every larger organization – The Narrational Void.
Its appearance is triggered due to a lack of alignment between employees, and not having a story that will act as a bond.
To tackle this, companies introduced the well-known Mission Statement, but only a few brands managed to get everyone on board by doing this.
With StoryBrand Script even a dull task becomes somewhat of an adventure.
And you need all people under the same roof if you are keen on making progress.
In all honesty, a Mission Statement is nothing but a sequence of words; and since it doesn’t promote a way of life, it rarely makes an impact.
Key Lessons from “Building a StoryBrand”
1. Get the word out
2. Tackle division within the organization
3. Find the hero in the story
Get the word out
Nobody will even consider your brand if you don’t take any action.
Although companies have been on that page for a while now; the ones that know how to do the right thing can be counted on one hand’s fingers.
Tackle division within the organization
If you fail to promote the effects of synergy and teamwork, your organization will either collapse or become less efficient.
The people in charge must move beyond the mission statement, and find a way to engage the employees.
Find the hero in the story
You saw that one coming?
Imagine how shallow it is to address the audience in a way that is only sales-driven?
Nobody is saying that you shouldn’t make money (obviously), but your customers must feel the push radiating from the story you are trying to convey.
A hero in their eyes is a victory in yours.
Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.
“Building a StoryBrand Quotes”Pretty Websites don’t sell things. Click To Tweet The goal for our branding should be that every potential customer knows exactly where we want to take them. Click To Tweet You start talking about the problems your customers face. Click To Tweet Nearly every human being is looking for a guide (or guides) to help them win the day. Click To Tweet Customers don’t take action unless they are challenged to take action. Click To Tweet
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Are you ready for the next step?
First, identify your ideal customers and then give them a reason to stay.
Our hope at StoryBrand is to help the people who actually do make the best products and services, and the people who really should be leading, find their voice. We want the good guys holding the microphone more than the bad guys, to put it simply. Why? Because if hardworking people like you invite their customers into a story that makes their lives better, the world itself will become a better place.
Just a regular guy with a knack for writing, and digital marketing.
Emir is the Head of International and SEO at 12Min. In his spare time, he loves to meditate and play soccer.