Have you watched some popular movies like Star Wars, Hunger Games or Harry Potter? Good stories like these usually have one thing in common: they all offer a great hero’s journey. Their successes clearly show how powerful storytelling can be.

Did you know that storytelling’s power can help you grow your business? This is where StoryBrand comes in. If you are starting your business or have a business but don’t use the StoryBrand technique, here’s how you can turn your consumers’ journey into a great hero’s journey.

Introduction to the StoryBrand Framework: Overview and Purpose

Main hero character

Believe it or not, many businesses need to learn how to use storytelling to establish good brands. But thanks to Donald Miller, a best-selling American author and business owner, the StoryBrand framework was created.

Miller’s StoryBrand framework is a storytelling formula business owners can use to communicate their brands with customers better. In his formula, Miller wants the human brain to recognize customers as the main character.

Like in a good story, customers will experience a character transformation as the business solves their problems. With StoryBrand, businesses can engage people and make them more interested and invested in their brands.

Key Principles of the StoryBrand Framework

Before StoryBrand can help you grow your business, first you need to learn the StoryBrand framework. Miller provided seven steps that you and other business owners can follow to use StoryBrand’s power.

Below, we will review each one in detail.

Hero in the StoryBrand framework

The Character

Every good story begins with knowing the main character, or your targeted customers. But before starting your customer’s story, you must first understand who they are.

To do this, you need to answer three questions: Who are they? What do they want? What’s their final goal?

Your brand’s story will not revolve around your business. Instead, it should focus on your hero: customers.

Hero’s Problems

The hero’s journey will never start if they don’t have a problem. But, some of your customers might not know what their obstacles are. This is where you, as a storyteller, come in. You must encourage them to overcome these problems or face the negative consequences of avoiding them.

Your customer’s issues have three layers you should point out:

  • External problems: Obstacles that customers experience on the surface. (Ex. Breaking up with a lover)
  • Internal problems: Customers suffer negative consequences if they don’t solve external problems.
  • Philosophical problems: These refer to fundamental injustices that explain why the customer’s story matters.

Since the hero needs to overcome these problems, a guide will show up to help them.

Meeting the Guide

Although your customers are the heroes of your story, they still need someone to guide them. This should be your business goal: to guide customers. In this part, your business will have the new brand identity as the guide.

You and your products or services will assist the hero in overcoming the challenges they face. In short, your business will be the antidote to the problems poisoning your customers. But you need to get the hero’s trust.

You should do two things if you want to gain customers’ trust:

  • Empathy: Show them that you understand their feelings and sincerely care.
  • Authority: If they’re Frodo, then you’re Gandalf. Please prove that you can help them defeat their problems.

Once you gain their trust, you can provide your plan to solve the hero’s problems.

Giving the Plan

As the hero’s guide, you must give them a plan that shows what they need to do. You will tell them what they want and how they can get it, but this needs to be done in three steps or less

Anything more than 3 or 4 steps can look overwhelming, making the hero lose interest. Talk more about the success in this part and less about the consequences so they won’t be overwhelmed.

Calling Them To Make Action

After showing them the plan, the guide calls them to action. You’ll need to encourage them to start their journey with your business.

To do this, you must have an effective CTA (call to action), which should be concise, clear, and easy to execute. But, some customers may not be ready to start their journey.

This is why there are two kinds of CTA:

  • Direct CTAs: Encourages consumers to engage with your business or buy your products/services.
  • Transitional CTAs: If customers are not ready, transitional calls to action are used. Instead, you will encourage them to engage with your business, such as Click here to learn more, Download this free guide, Watch this video, and so on.

Remember, CTAs are very important since they could encourage your consumers to take action.

Show It Ends in Success

If you want customers to act, you must show them it will succeed. Make them imagine how their lives will turn out once they purchase your services and products.

You can do this by sharing six more success points that your business offers. Making consumers imagine a clear path to their story’s happy ending will likely trigger them to buy your products.

Show What Failure Looks Like

Once you make them imagine their success, you must help them see what will happen if they don’t buy your products. Let them know your business helps them avoid failure, which could give their story a tragic ending. Make them imagine that without your products, they will be unable to avoid failure.

By combining all these StoryBrand key principles, you’ll have the StoryBrand Brandscript. This storytelling blueprint can keep your business growing.

Identifying Your Brand’s Core Message and Story

Before you can set a clear vision for your business, first you need to determine your brand’s core message and story.

Let’s see this below:

  • Brand Story: It should describe your business, why it exists, what it does, and what it offers. The brand story helps you connect with customers’ emotions, needs, and aspirations.
  • Brand Core Message: It’s a clear statement summarizing what your business values and offers and how it differs from competitors. The brand message should always be authentic, compelling, relevant, and simple.

Knowing your brand’s core message and story can help your customers understand what your business offers.

Defining Your Brand’s Target Audience and Their Needs

Defining your brand’s target audience and needs is crucial when establishing your StoryBrand. To know who your audiences are, you need to learn their gender, age, location, and other demographics.

You can do this by conducting market research, which includes focus groups, surveys, and other research methods. Once you know who they are, you can create buyer personas to understand their needs better.

Knowing your target audiences and their needs ensures that your business and consumers are always on the same page. When customers feel that your business knows them more than they know themselves, they listen, saving precious time.

Creating a Compelling Brand Narrative with a Hero and Guide

An effective StoryBrand Brandscript needs to have a compelling brand narrative with the hero and the guide. Indeed provided the practices most businesses that use StoryBrand apply in their brands.

Check them in the next lines:

  • Being honest about their brand stories.
  • Practicing empathy.
  • Creating a cliffhanger that will leave customers wanting more.
  • Using numerous platforms to share their brand narrative.
  • Ensuring consistency in their brand narrative.

A compelling brand narrative with the hero and guide will not only increase your sales, but also improve your connection with customers.

Clarifying Your Brand’s Value Proposition and Unique Selling Points

Clarifying your brand’s value proposition and unique selling points will give customers more reasons to buy your products or services.

But let’s learn about their differences first:

  • Value Proposition: The main message that explains why your product/service fills your customers’ needs.
  • Unique Selling Points: Reasons your products or services are better than others.

Describing your brand’s value proposition and unique selling points is crucial since it is often a consumer deciding factor.

Crafting a Clear and Memorable Brand Message

If you want customers to listen, then you should clarify your message. Crafting a clear message and making it memorable while meeting your audiences’ aspirations and needs can make a difference.

Here are some tips:

  • Maintain consistency on social media and other online platforms.
  • Use storytelling techniques, especially StoryBrand, to craft memorable messages.
  • Create a consistent tone of voice.
  • Always speak to your target audiences.

If you can establish a clear and memorable brand message, your customers will never forget your brand.

Applying the StoryBrand Framework to Different Brand Touchpoints

Once you establish an effective StoryBrand framework, you must apply it to different brand touchpoints. These touchpoints are what connects your business with customers without making any physical contact.

Let’s see them below:

  • Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
  • Company Content: Blog posts, a StoryBrand podcast, email marketing, marketing materials, online courses, etc.
  • Customer Service: Allowing customer reps to interact with clients.
  • Loyalty Programs: Rewards that customers receive from being loyal to your business.

StoryBrand varies depending on what kind of business you have. Knowing how to apply StoryBrand to your brand can help you find the right customers.

Aligning Brand Messaging with Customer Journey Stages

Once you start having potential customers, your brand messaging should align with the five customer journey stages: Awareness, Consideration, Decision, Retention, and Loyalty.

Let’s review each one of them:

  • Awareness: Make customers aware of the solutions your brand name offers.
  • Consideration: Helping them navigate the market by providing different product/service options that they would consider to solve their problems.
  • Decision: The sales team will be responsible for offering a seamless purchase process that will make customers’ buying experiences easier.
  • Retention: Your brand messaging should encourage customers to stay with you by offering excellent customer service, providing enough learning materials, etc.
  • Loyalty: Once your customers become loyal to you, the brand message should tell them that your business will always try to improve their experiences.

In short, your brand messaging should be remembered from when your customer buys an item until the end of the transaction.

Incorporating StoryBrand Elements in Website Design and Content

Since website design and content are also essential in establishing a brand, you need to ensure that they contain all the essential StoryBrand elements.

You can find those elements below:

  • CTA buttons;
  • A marketing message offering the resolution plan;
  • Problem descriptions;
  • Customers’ needs and wants;
  • Success stories of other clients;
  • Consequences of not buying your product/service.

If you show all the StoryBrand elements whenever consumers visit your website, there’s a high chance they’ll interact with your brand.

Implementing StoryBrand in Marketing Collateral and Advertisements

Marketing collateral and advertisements are among the most essential things in the marketing book when showcasing your story brand.

But first, let’s understand what these two are:

  • Marketing Collateral: Media or marketing materials are more informative than traditional advertisements. They include infographics, branding guides, fact sheets, flyers, brochures, emails, etc.
  • Marketing Advertisements: They focus on promoting your brand to viewership to increase engagement, attract interest, and increase sales.

In short, marketing collateral materials educate customers, while marketing advertisements aim to improve your popularity. However, both still rely on the sales funnel technique, which has four stages: awareness, interest, decision, and action.

StoryBrand and Social Media Strategy

Applying your StoryBrand on social media may not be enough. You must learn the right social media and digital marketing strategy to implement your business’ StoryBrand.

Always consider the following factors when creating it:

  • Clear Story: Always define your intention and goal for social media posts.
  • Knowing Your Audience: Make sure that your StoryBrand Brandscript also lets your customers know that your company knows them and understands them well.
  • Always About Your Audience: Your social media accounts should also be about your customers. You and your products are just there to guide them.
  • Give Valuable Content: Always give valuable and helpful content to customers to maintain their interest.
  • Engagement Over Followers: Your social media account’s main goal should be creating more engagements instead of attracting followers.

Remember, to have an effective StoryBrand on your social media accounts, you should always make your customers the main character.

Just do it hashtag on an image

Case Studies and Examples of Successful StoryBrand Implementation

Many companies improved their brands by using the StoryBrand framework.

You may not believe it, but these giant corporations rely on this storytelling formula:

  • Nike: Nike’s Just Do It trademark uses StoryBrand since it identifies the problem of self-doubt and puts itself as the guide to overcome this problem.
  • Coca-Cola: Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke marketing campaign is another great output of the StoryBrand framework. It positions customers as the story’s heroes, with Coca-Cola guiding them to share happiness with others.
  • Apple: Apple’s Think Different campaign is also a StoryBrand output as it guides consumers to think differently to solve obstacles to innovative technology.

These companies just show that implementing the StoryBrand framework in your business can improve your brand, allowing you to gain more loyal customers.

Frequently asked questions

What are StoryBrand’s key principles?

The StoryBrand framework has seven principles: the character, the problems, a guide, the plan, a call for action, the success, and the failure. 

Do Big Companies Use StoryBrand?

Yes, many big companies use the StoryBrand framework to improve their brands. These include Nike, Apple, Coca-Cola, etc.

What is the Main Goal of StoryBrand?

The main goal of the StoryBrand is to make customers the main character and your business as their guide.