Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller Other Cool & Meaningful Topics Project Management

We at Launch Leadership Development have another great book suggestion for your professional library: Building a Story Brand, by Donald Miller.

Miller has a fresh perspective on marketing your business that will simplify your message and elevate your customer relationships.  He provides a clear formula and detailed roadmap for implementing this stategy into your marketing tools. This formula involves using a story format where your customer is the hero in the story and your business is the guide that helps them solve their problem.

Let’s examine the main ideas:

  •     Marketing: The key to being seen, heard, and understood
  •     Building your story brand

Marketing: The key to being seen, heard, and understood

  • Words sell things, so you need to clarify your message on all marketing tools
    • Customers don’t want to work hard to understand something
    • Story formulas put everything in predictable order, so the brain doesn’t have to figure out what is going on
    • Focus on what you have that will help others thrive and survive physically, emotionally, socially, career wise,
  • Be empathetic to your customer’s problems

The Framework formula: Building your story brand

Most stories and movies follow this simple formula that includes the following:

A character 

  • The customer is the hero, not your business, so first you must define who your customer is and what they want. 

Has a problem 

  • Miller personifies problems as villains and categorizes them into three kinds:
  • internal, (dealing with thoughts, feelings, and beliefs)
  • external (tangible issues)
  • philosophical (values such as fighting things that ought not be)
  • Customers buy to solve internal problems and frustrations. If you can identify the internal problem, put it into words, and offer to resolve it along with the original external problem you have a happy customer.

Example:   Nespresso Home Coffee Machines

            Villian: Coffee machines that make bad coffee

            External: I want better-tasting coffee at home

            Internal: I want my home coffee machine to make me feel sophisticated

            Philosophical: I shouldn’t have to be a barista to make gourmet coffee at home

And meets a guide 

  • A guide is a mentor or coach that must have empathy and authority.
  • Are you telling your customers you care?
  • Are you conveying competence through testimonials, statistics, awards, logos of businesses you have helped?

Who gives them a plan  

  • The plan either clarifies how someone can do business with you or removes the sense of risk somebody might have of investing in your products/services.
  •  Process plan: List to do steps, such as: schedule an appointment, allow us to create a customized plan, let’s execute the plan together. A process plan alleviates the confusion.
  • Agreement plans alleviate fears. It could be a list of shared values or promises.  These should be put on your wall, packaging, and bags.

And calls them to action 

  • Customers need to be challenged to action. Ask them to place an order or have a Buy Now button.
  • Transitional calls to action usually offer something for free as an on ramp to buy. Earn their trust and show your competency as a guide.

That helps them avoid failure  

  • Show the cost of not doing business with you with just a pinch of fear of losing out.

And ends in success  

  • Paint a specific and clear vision for the customer. Tell them how your brand will change their life. 
  • What can you offer?
    • winning power and position (status)
    • completeness (reduced anxiety, more time)
    • ultimate self-realization or acceptance (inspiration, participate in larger movement/cause such as a percentage of all sales go to homeless shelters)

The book ends with a detailed roadmap of how to implement this formula in your website for best results.

Young entrepreneurs, future and seasoned business owners can all benefit from applying this formula to build connections with customers. Clarify your message and begin your story!

-Jan Jones