storybrand marketing

StoryBrand Marketing: How to Build Your Brand Messaging

Often, the ideas that seem the most simple are the ones that revolutionize the way business is done. Kitchen timers have existed for ages, but it wasn’t until the late 80s when Francesco Cirillo used one to force himself to take breaks that they became used as productivity tools. Now, the Pomodoro Technique is a common productivity hack.

Another simple idea that’s taking off is Donald Miller’s StoryBrand framework. StoryBrand has moved from being simply another marketing book to changing the way marketers think about how to ply their trade.

In this post, we’ll explain what StoryBrand is and how you can put it to use.

What is StoryBrand Marketing?

The StoryBrand marketing framework comes from Miller’s best-selling book, Building a StoryBrand. This book flipped traditional brand building practices on their head. Businesses have a habit of making themselves the center of their brand’s story.

Intuitively, this makes sense.

If you are trying to build your brand, you need to talk about yourself, right? The problem with that is that customers don’t really care about you, at least not before you’ve developed a business relationship with them. What they care about at that stage is what you can do for them.

The StoryBrand methodology takes advantage of that by putting the customer front and center in your brand’s story. To better understand this, let’s take a look at how the framework is structured. 

How to Build a StoryBrand

Building a StoryBrand involves following the framework laid out by Miller. The philosophy of this framework is based on the fact that people are more likely to remember a fact if it’s presented to them in a story.

Myths and legends have survived hundreds of years while many of the things learned in history classes are forgotten before the school year is over.

That’s the power of story.

Since everyone wants to be the hero of the story, StoryBrand pushes the power of story even further by putting the customer front and center.

what is storybrand marketing

The story you create for your customers using the StoryBrand framework is known as the StoryBrand BrandScript. The path to creating your BrandScript is laid out in 7 steps that mimic the flow of a traditional hero’s tale:

  1. Make the customer the hero — Every story needs a hero. And as we’ve already established, everyone wants to be the hero of the story. That’s why StoryBrand makes the customer the hero of your branding story. Instead of talking about your accomplishments as a company, you center your marketing around the customer’s journey.
  2. Identify your customer’s pain points — Every story also has conflict. Without conflict, nothing interesting happens. Without anything interesting happening, you are stuck with the easily forgotten history textbook and not the epic myths that persist throughout time. More importantly, customers are using your product to solve a conflict: the pain points they are experiencing. That’s the conflict in your brand’s story that your hero (the customer) must overcome.
  3. Establish yourself as their guide — Many stories also have a guide that helps the character solve their problems. Luke Skywalker had Yoda and Obi-Wan, Bilbo Baggins had Gandalf, and your hero has you. Just as Luke initially thought Yoda was just some crazy old guy, your customers don’t know you. Like Yoda, you must use this part of the story to establish yourself as someone they should listen to.
  4. Chart the path to success — Like all wise guides, you must lay out the steps that the hero must take in order to resolve their conflict. In fact, showing the hero that you know how to get them from their current position to the desired outcome is a huge part of establishing yourself as a guide in the first place.
  5. Make your call to action — The call to action is a long tradition in marketing, and it works just as well in the story. As their guide, you’ve laid out the steps for them to take and now must push them into taking the first one. This is almost identical to the call to action that would be used in any other marketing strategy. Depending on your marketing funnel, there may even be multiple calls to action as you lead them through the completion of their journey.
  6. Show the customer what failure looks like — Bilbo Baggins might have been tempted to keep the One Ring and not follow through with the mission. Both Bilbo and the readers are made acutely aware of how bad an idea this would be with the introduction of the Gollum character. In your story, this is the part where you show the customers what happens if they rely on a competitor instead of you. In traditional marketing parlance, this is your value proposition.
  7. Create a happy ending — After you’ve shown them what happens if they don’t work with you, it’s time to show them what happens if they do. This is the end of the story, where you give them the happy ending that everyone wants from a story. This is the final pitch that convinces them to let you guide them and to heed your call to action. 

Is StoryBrand Worth It?

As you saw from the StoryBrand BrandScript example above, the template has many elements that are in more traditional marketing elements as well. In fact, all the most successful elements of traditional marketing are retained.

The key difference, aside from a more structured approach, is the centering of the customer in the story. While this is a novel approach to branding, it’s long been a successful strategy in other aspects of your marketing.

Many businesses have entire customer success teams to ensure that customers get the most from their products. This customer-centric approach to marketing is gaining steam because it works. 

Put StoryBrand to Work for You

Just as you are prepared to be the StoryBrand guide for your customers, we are prepared to do the same for your marketing efforts. While everyone wants to be the hero of the story, they’d prefer to be the hero of a good story. Nomadic Marketing has the skills needed to craft a compelling BrandScript for your business.

If you need help clarifying your message and applying the StoryBrand framework to your marketing strategy, contact Nomadic Marketing today to get started.

Ben Rea

Digital Marketing Production Lead
Ben is a marketer with a laser focus on developing, implementing, and optimizing holistic strategies that skyrocket KPI’s. He has been in the digital marketing industry for 10 years and specializes in SEO, Content Marketing & PPC.

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