Building a StoryBrand - Deepstash
Building a StoryBrand

Building a StoryBrand

Donald Miller

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Key Takeaways From The Book

Key Takeaways From The Book

  • The customer is the hero, not your brand.
  • Companies tend to sell solutions to external problems, but customers buy solutions to internal problems.
  • Customers aren’t looking for another hero; they’re looking for a guide.
  • Customers trust a guide who has a plan.
  • Customers do not take action unless they are challenged to take action.
  • Every human being is trying to avoid a tragic ending.
  • Never assume people understand how your brand can change their lives. Tell them.

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The Key to Being Seen, Heard, and Understood

The Key to Being Seen, Heard, and Understood

If we haven’t clarified our message, our customers won’t listen.

The more simple and predictable the communication, the easier it is for the brain to digest.

There are two critical mistakes brands make when talking about their products and services:

  • They fail to focus on the aspects of their offer that will help people survive and thrive; and
  • They cause their customers to burn too many calories in an effort to understand their offer.

Make your company’s message about something that helps the customer survive and do so in such a way that they can understand it without burning too many calories.

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The Secret Weapon That Will Grow Your Business: The Hero's Story

The Secret Weapon That Will Grow Your Business: The Hero's Story

A CHARACTER who wants something encounters a PROBLEM before they can get it. At the peak of their despair, a GUIDE steps into their lives, gives them a PLAN, and CALLS THEM TO ACTION. That action helps them avoid FAILURE and ends in a SUCCESS.

We always know:

  • What does the hero want?
  • Who or what is opposing the hero getting what she wants?
  • What will the hero’s life look like if she does (or does not) get what she wants?

Potential customers must be able to answer the following:

  • What do you offer?
  • How will it make my life better?
  • What do I need to do to buy it?

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Identifying And Defining The Story Gap

Identifying And Defining The Story Gap

When we identify something our customer wants and communicate it simply, the story we are inviting them into is given definition and direction.

In story terms, identifying a potential desire for your customer opens what’s sometimes called a story gap. The idea is that you place a gap between a character and what they want.

When we fail to define something our customer wants, we fail to open a story gap. Defining something our customer wants and featuring it in our marketing materials will open a story gap.

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Creating A Brandscript

Creating A Brandscript

As you create a BrandScript for your overall brand, focus on one simple desire and then, as you create campaigns for each division and maybe even each product, you can identify more things your customer wants in the subplots of your overall brand.

Survival simply means we have the economic and social resources to eat, drink, reproduce, and fend off foes.

Examples:

  • Conserving financial resources;           
  • Conserving time;
  • Building social networks;
  • Gaining status;
  • Accumulating resources;
  • The innate desire to be generous; and
  • The desire for meaning.

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The Villain

The Villain

The villain is the number one device storytellers use to give conflict a clear point of focus.

The villain doesn’t have to be a person, but without question it should have personified characteristics.

The villain should be:

  • A root source;
  • Relatable;
  • Singular; and
  • Real.

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Talk About The Villain

Talk About The Villain

What is the chief source of conflict that your products and services defeat? Talk about this villain. The more you talk about the villain, the more people will want a tool to help them defeat the villain.

In a story, a villain initiates an external problem that causes the character to experience an internal frustration that is, quite simply, philosophically wrong.

Companies tend to sell solutions to external problems, but people buy solutions to internal problems.

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Solving The External Problem

Solving The External Problem

The external problems we solve are causing frustrations in people’s lives and, just like in a story, it’s those frustrations that are motivating them to call you.

The only reason our customers buy from us is that the external problem we solve is frustrating them in some way. If we can identify that frustration, put it into words, and offer to resolve it along with the original external problem, something special happens. We bond with our customers because we’ve positioned ourselves more deeply into their narrative.

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The Philosophical Problem

The Philosophical Problem

The philosophical problem in a story is about the question why.

A philosophical problem can best be talked about using terms like ought and shouldn’t.

People want to be involved in a story that is larger than themselves.

If you want to grow your business, you need to position your products as the resolution to an external, internal, and philosophical problem and frame the “Buy Now” button as the action a customer must take to create closure in their story.

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The Customer's Guide

The Customer's Guide

  • Always position your customer as the hero and your brand as the guide. Always. If you don’t, you will die.
  • The day we stop losing sleep over the success of our business and start losing sleep over the success of our customers is the day our business will start growing again.
  • The two things a brand must communicate to position itself as the guide are empathy and authority.
  • The three things every human being wants most are to be seen, heard, and understood. This is the essence of empathy.

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Adding Credibility And Authority

Adding Credibility And Authority

When looking for a guide, a hero trusts somebody who knows what they’re doing. The guide doesn’t have to be perfect, but the guide needs to have serious experience helping other heroes win the day.

There are four ways to add authority to your marketing.     

  • Testimonials;
  • Statistics;
  • Awards; and
  • Logos.

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Plans To Encourage Customers To Do Business With Your Brand

Plans To Encourage Customers To Do Business With Your Brand

A process plan describes the steps a customer needs to take to buy our product, or the steps the customer needs to take to use our product after they buy it, or a mixture of both.

A post-purchase process plan is best used when a customer might have problems imagining how they would use our product after they buy it.

An agreement plan is a list of agreements you make with your customers to help them overcome their fear of doing business with you.

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The Call To Action

The Call To Action

There are two kinds of calls to action:

  • Direct calls to action; and
  • Transitional calls to action.

A direct call to action is something that leads to a sale, or at least is the first step down a path that leads to a sale.

Transitional calls to action, however, contain less risk and usually offer a customer something for free. Transitional calls to action can be used to ‘on-ramp’ potential customers to an eventual purchase.

A good transitional call to action can do three powerful things for your brand:      

  • Stake a claim to your territory;
  • Create reciprocity; and
  • Position yourself as the guide.

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Helping Customers Avoiding Failure

Prospect Theory: People are more likely to be dissatisfied with a loss than they are satisfied with a gain. In certain situations, people are two to three times more motivated to make a change to avoid a loss than they are to achieve a gain.

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The Fear Appeal

The Fear Appeal

  • To implement “fear appeal” in your marketing, you need to inform the reader that they are vulnerable to a threat.
  • Then, you need to inform the reader know that since they’re vulnerable, they need to take action to reduce their vulnerability.
  • Next, you need to inform them about a specific call to action that protects them from the risk.
  • Lastly, you need to challenge people to take this specific action.

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The Goldilocks Approach To Fear

The Goldilocks Approach To Fear

When people are either fearful or unafraid, little attitude or behaviour change results.

High levels of fear are so strong that individuals block them out; low levels are too weak to produce the desired effect.

Messages containing moderate amounts of fear-rousing content are most effective in producing attitudinal and/or behaviour change.

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Time For Success

Time For Success

Always remember, people want to be taken somewhere.

By foreshadowing a potential successful ending to a story, leaders captivate the imaginations of their audiences.

We must tell our customers what their lives will look like after they buy our products, or they will have no motivation to do so.

Brainstorm what your customer’s life will look like externally if their problem is resolved, then think about how that resolution will make them feel, and then consider why the resolution to their problem has made the world a more just place to live in.

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The Three Story Endings

The Three Story Endings

The three dominant ways storytellers end a story is by allowing the hero to:    

  • Win some sort of power or position;       
  • Be unified with somebody or something that makes them whole; and  
  • Experience some kind of self-realization that also makes them whole.

Human beings are looking for resolutions to their external, internal, and philosophical problems, and they can achieve this through, among other things, status, self-realization, self-acceptance, and transcendence. If our products can help people achieve these things, we should make this a core aspect of our brand promise.

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Creating Patrons

Creating Patrons

Brands that participate in the identity transformation of their customers create passionate brand evangelists.

A few important questions we have to ask ourselves when we’re representing our brand are:

  • Who does our customer want to become?
  • What kind of person do they want to be?
  • What is their aspirational identity?

The best way to identify an aspirational identity that our customers may be attracted to is to consider how they want their friends to talk about them.

A hero needs somebody else to step into the story to tell them they’re different, they’re better. That is the whole work of a brand.

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CURATED BY

theaf

"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." - Steve Jobs. Striving not to be a follower.

Building a StoryBrand is about making your customer the hero of a story.

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