Self Help

Building a StoryBrand - Donald Miller

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Matheus Puppe

· 36 min read

• Most businesses waste enormous amounts of money on ineffective marketing because they fail to clarify their message.

• Pretty websites and creative designs do not sell products or services. Words sell products or services.

• Clarifying your message is challenging but essential. Without a clear message, customers will not listen or understand what you offer.

• The StoryBrand Framework provides a proven method for clarifying your message so customers will listen and understand.

• The failure to clarify the message is a key reason so many businesses struggle. Even if you have the best product, you will lose to competitors with an inferior product if they have a clearer message.

• Science Mike, an expert in understanding how customers think, says the number one reason businesses fail is because they are unaware of how their customers experience the world. Most businesses project their own experiences and expertise onto their customers rather than understanding the customer’s experience and point of view.

• The StoryBrand Framework provides a method for seeing your business through your customer’s eyes so you can clarify your message in a way that resonates with them.

• A clear message needs to be simple, relevant, and repeatable. Everyone in your company should be able to articulate it easily.

• Without a clear message that customers understand instantly, you will miss numerous sales opportunities, especially on your website.

• The StoryBrand Framework works for all types of businesses across different cultures because human brains are drawn to clarity and away from confusion regardless of culture or region.

Does this summary accurately reflect the key points and main takeaways from the introduction? Let me know if you would like me to clarify or expand the summary in any way. I’m happy to revise it.

Here’s a summary:

  • Mike, a former marketer, refused to carry out a harmful marketing campaign targeting diabetics. However, he still understands marketing, storytelling, and human behavior.

  • The author invited Mike to a workshop to learn about the StoryBrand Framework, a formula for effective communication and messaging.

  • Mike explained that the brain seeks to help humans survive and thrive. It focuses on basic needs like food, shelter, relationships, meaning, etc. Most marketing fails because it does not focus on these needs or is too complicated for the brain to process easily.

  • The two biggest mistakes brands make are: 1) Not focusing messaging on helping customers survive and thrive; and 2) Confusing customers by making them work too hard to understand the message. The brain will ignore confusing, useless information in order to conserve energy.

  • Storytelling is an effective way to organize information so customers can understand it without much effort. Stories tap into the brain’s innate way of making sense of the world.

  • The StoryBrand Framework provides a formula for clear communication that helps customers understand how a brand can meet their needs. Many enduring stories follow a similar formula.

  • Clarity is key. Audiences need to understand the hero, their goal, the obstacles, stakes, and resolution. The same applies to brands - customers need to understand the problem, solution, and outcome. If a message is confusing, audiences tune out.

  • The narrative that comes out of and circulates within a company must be clear. Confusing communication leads to unmet objectives and missed opportunities.

  • Business has an enemy called “noise” - too much clutter and confusion in marketing messages. This kills more businesses than recessions or lawsuits.

  • A business owner thought his business was too complex to simplify its message. But a simple message like “We Paint All Kinds of S#*%” would likely grow his business.

  • Writing isn’t about what you say, it’s what you don’t say. The less you say, the better. This applies to business messaging too.

  • Story is the greatest weapon against noise. Story organizes information in a compelling way. Story holds people’s attention because it does the daydreaming for them.

  • Music is organized sound, noise is random sound. Good stories, like good music, filter out the noise. Movies go through many edits to cut out excess and focus the story.

  • Brands often create noise instead of music because they think people want all the information they’re providing. They need to filter their message to be simple and relevant.

  • Steve Jobs transformed Apple’s messaging after working at Pixar. He realized story was everything. The early Apple Lisa ad was nine pages of technical specs and failed. The “Think Different” campaign was just two words.

  • Apple stopped featuring products in ads and tapped into customers’ stories. They identified what customers wanted (to be heard), their challenge (that people didn’t see their genius), and the solution (Apple products to express themselves).

The primary factors responsible for Apple’s growth are:

  1. Clarity: Apple has a clear and simple message that is easy to understand. They focus on how their products can help the customer, not on technical specifications. This clarity and simplicity allows customers to engage with their brand quickly.

  2. Story: Apple has woven themselves into their customers’ stories. They make the customer the hero and present themselves as a guide who can help the customer accomplish their goals. This story-based approach builds a deep connection with customers.

  3. Grunt test: Apple’s marketing passes the “grunt test.” Within seconds, even a “caveman” could understand what they offer, how it will improve customers’ lives, and how to buy their products. This extreme clarity and simplicity produces results.

  4. Focus: Apple avoids clutter and noise. They have a ruthless focus on only including elements that serve the customer’s story. This focus allows customers to easily understand Apple’s message.

  5. Basic plot points: Apple’s story follows the same basic plot points found in nearly every story. This familiar narrative structure gives customers a template they intuitively understand. Deviating from this structure risks confusing customers.

In summary, Apple’s growth can be attributed to their extreme clarity, simple story, use of familiar plot points, and ruthless focus—all of which allow customers to quickly understand how Apple’s products can help them. This simple yet compelling brand message has propelled Apple to become the most valuable company in the world.

A good messaging filter will:

  • Remove boring and irrelevant content for customers
  • Focus on aspects of the brand that help customers thrive

To create effective messages:

  1. Map out the customer’s story and journey
  2. Create clear and refined statements in 7 categories of their life
  • Position the brand as a guide to help them overcome challenges and achieve their goals

The SB7 Framework:

  1. The customer is the hero, not the brand
  • Identify what the customer wants and invite them into the story
  1. Companies sell solutions to external problems, but customers buy solutions to internal problems
  • Address the 3 levels of problems: external, internal, and philosophical
  • Create messages to resolve these and connect with customers
  1. Customers want a guide, not another hero
  • Position the brand as a guide using 2 mental triggers: authority and empathy
  1. Customers trust a guide who has a plan
  • Provide an agreement plan and a process plan to earn trust and show a clear path
  1. Customers take action when challenged
  • Issue clear calls to action for customers to engage with the brand
  1. Customers follow guides who lead to better lives
  • Show how an improved life looks as persuasion and build credibility
  1. Stories are more powerful when they end well
  • Praise the customer as the hero for their effort and success

In summary, the SB7 Framework uses storytelling principles to simplify marketing and messaging. It results in a single “BrandScript” to create improved marketing materials and a clear brand position. When customers understand how a brand can help them, the company will grow.

  • Every story has a hero that wants something
  • Brands should define what their customer wants so the customer becomes the hero of the story
  • Once a brand defines what the customer wants, it creates a story question in the customer’s mind: Can this brand really help me get what I want?
  • A resort was struggling to communicate a clear message because their marketing focused on their facilities and staff rather than what the customer wanted
  • After clarifying their message using StoryBrand, the resort changed their marketing to focus on the luxurious experience their customers wanted rather than long stories about themselves

The key takeaway is that brands should define what their customer wants and position the customer as the hero of the story, not the brand itself. This creates interest and engagement by posing a question the customer wants answered.

  • The spa redefined their customer’s desire as “the luxury and rest you’ve been looking for.” This clarified the staff’s role and united them around serving the customer.
  • Identifying a customer’s desire opens a “story gap” that compels the customer to engage to resolve it. For example, a desire for knowledge or rest opens a gap that is resolved by learning or relaxing.
  • The summary mentions several examples of companies defining a customer desire, like “a hassle-free MBA” or “a yard better than your neighbor’s.” These tap into basic needs and open a gap.
  • It’s important to pare down the desire to a single focus. Don’t mention too many desires, or you’ll confuse the customer and dilute your story. You can address other desires in subplots.
  • Choose a desire related to survival, like saving money, saving time, building community, gaining status, or accumulating resources. These tap into fundamental human drives.
  • Defining a desire related to survival opens an enticing story gap for the customer. It gives them a reason to engage with your brand to address a basic need.

The key message is that identifying a specific desire connected to your customer’s sense of wellbeing is a powerful way to compel them to engage with your brand. When you open a “story gap” related to their survival or success, you give them a reason to choose your brand.

• Stories need conflict to keep audiences engaged. In branding, identifying your customers’ problems creates conflict and keeps them interested in your message.

• The villain is the main source of conflict in a story. Create a villain that personifies your customers’ main frustration or challenge. The more sinister and relatable the villain is, the more customers will want a solution.

• Four characteristics of a good villain:

  1. It should be a root source of the problem, not a symptom. For example, high taxes, not frustration.

  2. It should be relatable and frustrating for your customers.

  3. It should be singular and clear. Don’t have too many villains.

  4. It should be based in reality. Don’t fearmonger.

• Talking about the villain, and your customers’ problems in general, creates interest in your brand as a solution. The more you discuss the problems, the more customers will want your solution.

• When creating your BrandScript, brainstorm possible villains your customers face. Choose one relatable villain to focus your story on.

• In summary, identify your customers’ problems and frustrations, personify them as a villain, and position your brand as the solution. This gives your story drama and conflict to keep customers engaged.

The Three Levels of Conflict, or problems that challenge customers:

  1. External problems: Tangible, physical problems that must be overcome. These are the obvious problems a business aims to solve, like hunger for a restaurant or a leaky pipe for a plumber.

  2. Internal problems: Frustrations that cause self-doubt or a lack of confidence. People buy products and services to resolve these internal problems and frustrations. Identifying and addressing customers’ internal problems, like a sense of intimidation with technology or embarrassment about something, allows a brand to connect more deeply with customers.

  3. Philosophical problems: Deeper existential problems related to meaning, purpose and identity. Resolving philosophical problems for customers creates tremendous brand loyalty and passion.

A good marketing strategy aims to resolve problems at all three levels. The external problem gets customers in the door, but the internal and philosophical problems create a lasting bond between the customer and the brand by offering greater value and meaning.

The examples show how companies like Apple, National Rental Car, CarMax and Starbucks have built success by understanding and addressing internal and philosophical problems for their customers, not just the external problems. Identifying customers’ internal and philosophical problems allows a brand to better engage with them by speaking to the deeper parts of their experience.

Does this summary accurately reflect the main ideas and examples covering the three levels of conflict? Let me know if you would like me to clarify or expand on any part of the summary.

• Stories are made up of chapters, like acts in a play. Our lives also have chapters marked by significant events and experiences.

• These chapters often feature guides—characters who help the hero progress in their journey. Guides provide wisdom, insight, and assistance to help the hero move from darkness to light.

• Every hero is looking for a guide to help them navigate challenges and find purpose. Customers are also looking for guides to help them solve problems and achieve their goals.

• Successful brands position themselves as trusted guides who can lead customers to solutions and new opportunities. They guide customers through each stage of their journey.

• Guides have certain qualities:

› They listen well and show they understand the hero’s problems.

› They are confident and reassuring, giving the hero hope.

› They give the hero a plan to overcome obstacles and achieve success.

› They stick with the hero through challenges and setbacks.

› They celebrate the hero’s wins and progress to keep them motivated.

• Brands should embody these guide-like qualities in their messaging and customer interactions. They should frame the customer as the hero of the story and position themselves as a trusted guide ready to lead them to success.

• A brand’s guide persona should come through in social media, email marketing, customer service interactions, and advertising. The overall experience should make customers feel guided and supported.

• Successful brands know that guiding customers is about building a long-term relationship, not just making a quick sale. Their role as a guide continues even after a purchase is made.

The key takeaway is that customers want guidance, and brands that can embody the role of a trusted guide will build lasting relationships and loyalty. Guiding customers through their journey should be the focus of a brand’s messaging and experience.

  • Brands that position themselves as the hero in the story are destined to lose. Customers want to see themselves as the hero, with the brand acting as their guide.
  • The guide character helps the hero overcome challenges and achieve their goal. Examples include Gandalf, Haymitch, and Yoda.
  • Expressing empathy and authority are the two key ways for a brand to be seen as a guide. Empathy means showing you understand the customer’s problems and frustrations. Authority means demonstrating competence and expertise in solving those problems.
  • Empathy builds trust and connection. Customers want to see themselves in the brands they choose. Express empathy through statements showing you understand the customer’s perspective.
  • Authority establishes credibility. Customers want to know the brand has the competence to help them. But authority should be expressed through demonstrated expertise, not by lecturing customers.
  • The story is not about the brand; it’s about the customer. Brands that make it all about themselves will ultimately fail. The focus should be on helping the customer win.

The key lesson is that brands should position themselves as the helpful guide in the customer’s journey, not the hero of the story. Express empathy for the customer’s problems, then demonstrate the authority and competence to help them overcome challenges and achieve their goals. But make sure the story remains centered on the customer, not the brand.

To position yourself as a guide, express empathy for your customers and demonstrate your competence. This establishes trust and authority. However, customers still need a plan to move forward. A plan creates clarity by showing customers exactly what to do and reduces their perception of risk.

There are two types of plans:

  1. Process plan: Provides step-by-step instructions for how to use your product or service. For example, to install a garage storage system:

  2. Measure your space.

  3. Order the items that fit.

  4. Install it in minutes using basic tools.

This removes confusion and reassures customers.

  1. Next Step plan: Recommends the next immediate action a customer should take. For example, requesting a free consultation or downloading an ebook. This helps customers take the first step towards solving their problem.

To implement a plan:

  1. Determine your plan type: process plan or next step plan. A process plan is for established customers, a next step plan is for new potential customers.

  2. Lay out your plan in a simple sequence of three steps. Any more than three steps risks overwhelming or confusing customers.

  3. Make each step concrete and specific. Avoid vagueness.

  4. Position each step as easy and risk-free. Use words like “simply”, “just”, and “easy”. This motivates customers and reduces perceived risk.

  5. Include visuals if possible. Visuals enhance clarity and make the steps more appealing.

  6. Repeat your plan frequently in your marketing. Customers often need to see a plan multiple times before taking action. Repetition builds familiarity and trust.

  7. Guide customers through your plan. Follow up and provide support to walk customers through each step. This enhances their experience with your brand.

In summary, a clear and easy-to-follow plan is essential for turning interested customers into buyers. The plan shows customers exactly how to solve their problem and the specific steps to get started. By establishing yourself as a caring and competent guide, and giving customers a plan, you’ll motivate them to take action.

To encourage customers to take action, you need to challenge them to do so. Customers will not take action on their own without some prompting. You need to issue a clear call to action that “wakes them up” from the barrage of messages they see every day.

Some effective ways to call customers to action include:

•Prominently featuring a “Buy Now” or “Subscribe Now” button on your website and marketing materials. This makes it extremely easy for customers to take the next step.

•Using direct and urgent language like “Act Now,” “Don’t Delay,” or “Call Today.” While this may seem pushy, it is necessary to grab customers’ attention.

•Highlighting the benefits of taking action, like exclusivity, scarcity, or a time-sensitive discount. Give customers a reason to act quickly.

•Reiterating your plan and re-establishing your credibility. Remind customers of the solutions and value you provide before asking them to commit.

•Making it easy to take the next step by providing multiple options (phone, email, live chat, etc.) and a smooth experience. Remove any friction in the conversion process.

•Following up and re-engaging customers who don’t initially take action. It often takes multiple impressions before someone converts, so persistent and consistent messaging is key.

In the end, the effectiveness of your call to action will determine your ability to turn interest into sales. Be very intentional and strategic with your calls to action to motivate customers and spur them to commitment. The better you challenge them, the more they will engage.

Here’s a summary:

  • The key to business success is making clear calls to action and repeating them. Customers can’t read our minds, so we have to explicitly tell them what we want them to do.

  • There are two types of calls to action:

  1. Direct calls to action: Explicitly asking for the sale, e.g. “Buy now,” “Call today,” “Schedule an appointment.” These should be prominently featured on your website and marketing.

  2. Transitional calls to action: Offering something for free to build trust and transition the customer to an eventual purchase. E.g. Offering a free PDF or webinar. These are a good way to start a relationship with a customer before directly asking for the sale.

  • An example: The author wanted a presentation designed but couldn’t get help from his usual designer. He found two options online. One had an attractive website but no clear calls to action. The other had a less attractive site but clearly offered a free PDF and the ability to schedule an appointment. He went with the second option, downloaded their PDF, scheduled an appointment, and ended up giving them his business.

  • Direct calls to action should be prominently featured on your website, in your email marketing, ads, and anywhere else. Repeating them is key.

  • Transitional calls to action can stake a claim to your territory, build reciprocity by offering something for free, and start a relationship that leads to a sale. The author’s company grew quickly by offering a free PDF that led to sales of their workshop.

  • In summary, successful companies make their calls to action very clear through prominently featuring direct calls to action and using transitional calls to action to build relationships. Customers can’t read our minds, so we have to be explicit in what we want them to do.

• Great stories keep audiences engaged by continually posing the question: Will the hero succeed or fail? Brands must do the same by clarifying what’s at stake for customers if they don’t choose their product.

• If a story doesn’t make clear the potential tragic outcomes facing the hero, audiences won’t care what happens. Brands must warn customers about potential negative outcomes of not buying from them.

• Allstate’s “Mayhem” campaign and “Project Share Aware” engaged audiences by warning them about potential dangers and failures they could face without insurance.

• We can include warnings about potential failure in our content marketing, emails, websites, etc. This opens a “story loop” for customers that we can then offer to close.

• Defining the stakes—what’s at risk for our customers— gives our brand meaning and makes our solution compelling. People avoid pain, so we must highlight how we can help them do so.

To summarize in a few sentences:

Great stories and great brands define the stakes—what tragic outcomes the hero/customer seeks to avoid. By clarifying the potential downsides of not choosing our brand, we give customers a reason to care and make our solution meaningful. Though big brands have big budgets, we can all highlight stakes in simple ways, opening story loops for customers that we then offer to close. Warning customers about failure makes success with our brand compelling.

Here’s a summary of the key points:

• Always take your customers somewhere by defining a compelling vision of success. Stories don’t end in a fuzzy notion, they end in a specific resolution.

• Help your customers imagine how their life will be different after engaging with your brand by creating a “before and after” scenario. Show them where they are now and where they can be.

• The more specific and quantifiable you can make the after scenario, the more compelling it will be. Define outcomes and metrics to help them clearly see the transformation.

• Help them see beyond features to the life change. Your product features are a means to an end. Focus on the ultimate end your customer is pursuing.

• Repeat your success message often in your marketing so customers fully grasp the life change available to them. Help them see what they stand to gain, not just what they stand to lose.

• The success scenario should align with your customer’s deepest motivations and desires. Tap into the emotions that will truly inspire them.

• Keep tweaking and improving your success scenario over time through customer input and testimonials. Make it as believable and inspiring as possible.

Does this help summarize the key principles covered in the chapter? Let me know if you have any other questions!

Lives after engaging with the brand:

  • Feel more satisfied and content
  • Less anxious and stressed
  • More efficient and productive with less workload
  • Have more time to do things they enjoy

Average day:

  • Start the day feeling accomplished instead of overwhelmed
  • Able to focus on meaningful tasks instead of mundane chores
  • Less rushing around and hurried
  • Time to pursue hobbies and leisure activities

New status:

  • Sense of prestige from using a premium brand
  • Feeling of being an insider or VIP through loyalty programs and memberships
  • Pride in using a brand associated with success and accomplishment
  • Confidence from using a brand that helps them become the best version of themselves

The key is to clearly communicate this vision to customers by:

  • Telling them directly how their lives will improve
  • Showing them through visuals and imagery
  • Focusing on resolving their problems and desires: — Gaining power, position and status — Feeling whole and complete — Achieving self-realization and acceptance

By promising to fulfill these psychological needs and desires, a brand can craft an enticing message that gives customers motivation to engage with the brand. The brand script should lay out how the brand resolves the customer’s internal and external problems to create a satisfying resolution to their story.

The human desire for transformation is universal. We all want to become better versions of ourselves. Smart brands understand this and define an aspirational identity for their customers, allowing them to participate in the customer’s journey toward becoming who they want to be.

Gerber Knives is a great example of a brand that sells an aspirational identity. Their “Hello Trouble” campaign positions their customer as someone who is tough, fearless and competent—the kind of person who can handle any challenge or adventure. Even though their product is just a pocketknife, they are really selling the idea of becoming that kind of person.

Brands that tap into their customers’ desire for transformation tend to build passionate brand evangelists. Although the product itself may be relatively simple, customers are really paying for the opportunity to become the kind of person the brand represents. The product becomes a symbol of the aspirational identity, and customers will pay a premium for that.

To determine your brand’s aspirational identity:

• Ask yourself: Who does my customer want to become? What kind of person do they aspire to be?

• Study other brands targeting your customer. What identities or archetypes are they representing? How can you differentiate?

• Develop a brand story, positioning statement and marketing campaign that paints a clear picture of your aspirational identity. Show how your brand can participate in your customer’s journey toward transformation.

• Even if your product is relatively simple or commodity, you can charge a premium by selling an aspirational identity. Your brand becomes a vehicle for your customer’s self-actualization.

• Build your entire brand experience around this aspirational identity. Everything from your messaging to your visual identity to your customer service interactions should reinforce the kind of person your customer can become by choosing your brand.

• Evaluate all of your marketing and brand touchpoints to ensure they are consistent and clearly communicating your aspirational identity. Make any necessary changes to align everything behind this core message.

Does this help summarize the key ideas around brands, transformation and aspirational identity? Let me know if you have any other questions!

The key to improving marketing and increasing sales is implementing your StoryBrand BrandScript in all your marketing materials. This means:

•Editing your website to reflect your BrandScript. Your website is often the first touchpoint customers have with your brand, so it must clearly communicate your message.

•Aligning all other marketing materials (emails, sales scripts, ads, etc.) with your BrandScript. The more consistent and clear your messaging is across all platforms, the more your customers will understand and engage with you.

•Continuously optimizing and improving your marketing based on feedback and results. Implementing your BrandScript is an ongoing process, not a one-and-done task. You need to regularly evaluate how your customers are responding and make changes to better serve them.

The key steps are:

  1. Clarify your message so customers listen. This means developing an effective BrandScript.

  2. Build a better website. Optimize your website to clearly communicate your brand story and compel visitors to take action.

3.Create an integrated marketing plan. Ensure all your marketing channels are aligned with your BrandScript to maximize impact.

  1. Equip your sales team. Provide your salespeople with marketing materials and training to help them have more constructive conversations with customers.

  2. Automate your marketing. Use marketing automation tools to scale your outreach and stay engaged with potential customers.

  3. Analyze and optimize. Continually improve your marketing and messaging based on data and customer feedback.

In summary, the key to success is diligently implementing your StoryBrand BrandScript across all areas of your marketing and business. When your entire organization is aligned around a clear message and story, you will transform how you connect with customers in a powerful way.

Here’s a summary of the key points:

• Your website is the first impression for most customers and needs to be clear, simple, and effective. It should act as an elevator pitch.

• There are 5 key things your website should include:

  1. An offer above the fold: A clear statement of what you offer the customer, like “We will make you a pro in the kitchen!” It should promise an aspirational identity, solve a problem, or state exactly what you do.

  2. Obvious calls to action: Place “Buy Now” buttons prominently at the top right and center of the page. Make them a bright color and repeat them. Also include a transitional call to action like “Learn More.”

  3. Images of success: Feature photos of happy, smiling customers who have experienced success with your brand. Show the emotional destination and experience you offer.

  4. Social proof: Share testimonials, media mentions, awards, etc. to build credibility and trust.

  5. A clear brand story: Explain your brand story and positioning to connect with customers. Share your guiding principles and purpose.

• Keep your messaging clear, simple, and focused on the customer. Don’t include unnecessary details, history, or inside jokes. Get to the point.

• Test and optimize your website using tools like heat mapping to see how people interact with and read your site. Make changes based on the data to improve conversions.

• Your website is the foundation, but it’s just the start. Use other marketing tools like social media, email marketing, advertising, etc. to drive people to your site and convert them into customers.

That covers the key highlights and recommendations from the summary on building an effective website and digital presence using StoryBrand’s BrandScript framework. Let me know if you have any other questions!

• The Narrative Void is the lack of a clear story or message within an organization. It leads to confusion, disengagement, and lack of productivity.

• Mission statements rarely fix the Narrative Void. They are hard to understand and apply.

• Without a strong narrative, organizations suffer from disconnected efforts, wasted resources, and disengaged employees. This costs companies hundreds of millions per year.

• The modern information explosion has made the Narrative Void worse. Employees are bombarded with information but companies often fail to communicate a clear message internally.

• A StoryBrand narrative can drive out the Narrative Void by giving employees a simple, actionable message to rally around. This leads to higher productivity, efficiency, and engagement.

• For large organizations, a StoryBrand narrative creates alignment across divisions, gives context for decision making, and inspires discretionary effort. It transforms company culture.

In summary, the key idea is that organizations need a simple, compelling narrative as much as brands do in order to thrive. The StoryBrand Framework provides a method for crafting an internal narrative that gives employees meaning, purpose, and direction. By driving out confusion and disengagement, this narrative can have an enormous impact.

• Companies need more than just a mission statement. They need a unifying narrative or “story” that guides all of their activities and inspires their employees. Without this, companies can suffer from a “narrative void” that leads to disengagement and lack of growth.

• A company’s story or “BrandScript” should be reinforced in all aspects of the organization, from hiring and onboarding to leadership messages and events. This helps create an aligned “thoughtmosphere” where all employees understand and are inspired by the company’s mission.

• An example is given of a fast food chain that was experiencing only 5% growth despite a good product and marketing. By implementing a BrandScript and reinforcing it through video curriculum, meetings, and events, they were able to boost growth to nearly 30% in 3 years. The key was overcoming the narrative void and getting all stakeholders re-engaged with the company’s mission.

• In summary, mission statements are not enough. Companies need to bring their mission to life through an inspiring story or narrative. When this story is shared and reinforced across the entire organization, it leads to a thoughtmosphere of engagement and high performance. Overcoming the narrative void is key to unlocking a company’s true growth potential.

  • Executives need to repeatedly communicate the company’s mission and narrative to employees and stakeholders. Without a clear mission and narrative, employees won’t understand their role or purpose.

  • A company “on mission” has a shared narrative that informs every department and customer experience. The StoryBrand “On-Mission” program helps companies implement their BrandScript across the organization.

  • The main thing an “on mission” company does differently is synchronize all business functions around their BrandScript. This helps employees understand the story and explain it to customers. Engaged, inspired employees spread the message more effectively.

  • In addition to the customer BrandScript, “on mission” companies create BrandScripts for employees with leadership as the guide helping employees achieve their goals. This aligns the stories of customers, the company, and employees.

  • The StoryBrand Marketing Roadmap recommends 5 free or low-cost steps to implement a BrandScript:

  1. Create a one-liner that summarizes what you do. Teach it to employees and feature it prominently.

  2. Create a lead generator like an ebook or webinar to collect customer emails.

  3. Set up an automated email drip campaign to nurture leads.

  4. Collect and share stories of how you transformed customers.

  5. Create a referral program to turn customers into evangelists.

  • Executing the roadmap can take months or years but will clarify your message and spur growth. The more steps you take, the more your business will benefit.

  • Create a one-liner for your company to simplify your message. It should include:

  1. The character (your customer)
  2. The problem (your customer’s challenge)
  3. The plan (your solution)
  4. The success (the result of using your solution)
  • Keep editing your one-liner until it resonates with customers and invites them into your story. Test it with friends, family, customers, and strangers.

  • Memorize and repeat your one-liner. Have your entire team do the same. This will turn your staff into a marketing force spreading your message.

  • Use your one-liner:

  1. In your messaging and marketing

  2. When networking to invite new connections into your story

  3. In sales conversations to help customers see themselves in your story

  4. Internally to keep your team focused on your customer and message

  5. On your website, social media profiles, business cards, email signatures, and anywhere else you communicate with customers.

A one-liner is a powerful way to spread a clear, compelling message about your business. When done right, it can be a game-changer.

• Branding is difficult and takes time. You need to repeatedly communicate your brand’s message.

• Pay employees to give your brand’s one-liner. This reinforces the message and spreads it through the company.

• Include your one-liner prominently on your website. This helps communicate your brand to customers and invites them into your story.

• Repeat your one-liner in all marketing. Use every opportunity to expose customers to your message. The more they see it, the more likely they are to understand and remember it.

• Think of yourself as an entertainer who performs the same hit over and over. Professionals serve their audience by repeating their message.

• Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach customers, especially for small businesses. But you need to offer value to get people to sign up.

• Don’t offer a generic newsletter. No one wants more email spam. Offer a valuable lead generator instead.

• Effective lead generators provide value and establish you as an authority. They include:

› Downloadable guides › Online courses or webinars › Software demos or free trials › Free samples › Live events

• Choose an irresistible title for your lead generator. You can get ideas from proven examples like:

› “5 Mistakes People Make with Their First Million Dollars” › “Building Your Dream Home: 10 Things to Get Right Before You Build” › “Cocktail Club: Learn to Make One New Cocktail Each Month” › “Becoming a Professional Speaker”

• Don’t overthink it. Start with something simple like a downloadable PDF guide. You can build from there.

  • Build an email list through a lead generator like an informative PDF guide. Even if open rates are low, it helps brand your company in customers’ minds.
  • Create an automated email drip campaign to stay in touch with potential customers. A nurturing campaign provides value through helpful advice and information.
  • Have a sequence that includes nurturing emails, a sales email, and repeats. For example:

Email 1: Nurturing email Email 2: Nurturing email Email 3: Nurturing email Email 4: Sales email with call to action

  • Use a simple formula for nurturing emails:
  1. Discuss a problem.
  2. Explain a plan to solve it.
  3. Describe the outcome.
  • You can also include a P.S. since that’s often the only part people read.
  • An example nurturing email for a dog boarding company:

Subject: Should We Free Feed Our Dogs?

Dear [Name],

At Crestview Kennels, we often have clients ask if they should free feed their dogs or stick to a regular feeding schedule. There are pros and cons to both options:

Free feeding:

  • Pros: Your dog can eat whenever they want. This works well for some lazy or less active dogs.
  • Cons: It can lead to obesity and other health issues in some dogs. It also makes potty training and scheduling more difficult.

Scheduled feedings:

  • Pros: It establishes a routine, makes housetraining easier, and prevents overeating.
  • Cons: Your dog has to wait for meals and may beg for food.

Overall, we recommend scheduled feedings for most dogs. Feed your dog 2-3 times a day at the same times every day. Measure out appropriate portion sizes based on your dog’s age, size, and activity level.

Once on a regular feeding schedule, your dog will get used to the routine and be less likely to beg for treats or table food. A predictable feeding schedule and portion control will help keep your dog at a healthy weight and make boarding or dog sitting much easier on your pup.

Let me know if you have any other questions about feeding, training, or caring for your dog. We’re happy to help in any way we can.

Sincerely, [Your Name] Owner, Crestview Kennels

P.S. Did you know we offer discounts for clients who schedule recurring boardings? Give us a call to learn more.

• Free feeding dogs can lead to weight gain and health issues as excess food intake goes unnoticed. It is better to feed dogs a set amount of food at scheduled times. This allows owners to monitor how much the dog eats and notice any changes in appetite that could indicate illness.

• Set feeding also makes dogs more eager to eat at mealtimes, as they learn the food will be taken away if not eaten promptly. This can minimize picky eating and ensure dogs get the nutrition they need.

• The amount of food depends on the dog’s age, size, and breed. It is best to consult a vet or pet nutritionist for recommendations.

• While free feeding is more convenient, scheduled feeding has significant benefits for a dog’s long term health and well-being. With some consistency, dogs adapt well to set mealtimes.

• Word-of-mouth marketing from happy customers is the most effective form of marketing. But most businesses don’t have a systematic process for generating referrals.

• The first step is to identify your existing, ideal customers. Build a database of passionate customers and communicate with them to generate referrals. Give them a reason to spread the word, like an educational video they can share.

• Offer rewards to customers for referrals, like a percentage commission or refund. This incentivizes them to refer friends.

• Automate the referral process using email marketing software. Send customers who’ve made a purchase an email with an offer to share an educational resource with friends in exchange for a reward. But don’t overcontact customers.

• Some examples of effective referral systems:

› Offering a full refund for 3 new referrals within a period of time. This skyrocketed business for a test-prep company.

› “Invite a Friend” coupons. A golf course offered free buckets of balls for friends, increasing lessons by 40%.

› Open House Parties. A contractor offered a discount for homeowners to host a party to show off work. The contractor got lots of new business.

› Free follow-up product or service. A wedding photographer offered a free 1-year anniversary portrait for 3 referrals. Business boomed.

• Like chess, you need an “opening”—a marketing strategy. The 5 tools of the StoryBrand Marketing Roadmap provide an effective opening, starting with the StoryBrand BrandScript.

• When businesses communicate clearly and help customers, it makes the world a better place. Although some businesses are bad, many provide jobs, community, and solve problems. StoryBrand helps good businesses and leaders find their voice.

The author is grateful to work with entrepreneurs and business owners to help them grow their companies. He understands the difficulties of running a business and built the StoryBrand Framework to help reduce stress, gain more customers, and increase revenue.

The StoryBrand Framework clarifies companies’ messages so customers understand their offering. When companies confuse customers, they lose business. But when they clarify their message, customers listen and buy more. The author believes that companies who serve their customers will succeed.

The author includes praise from several business leaders who have implemented the StoryBrand Framework. A staffing agency doubled their revenue and number of customers. A university raised $50 million in donations. A dairy farm increased sales and improved email conversion rates. An advocate gave a successful TED Talk. A nonprofit exceeded their fundraising goal. And a coaching service is on track to double their membership.

In summary, the StoryBrand Framework helps companies clarify their message, serve their customers better, and achieve significant business growth as a result.

Here’s a summary:

  • The StoryBrand Framework teaches companies how to simplify their marketing message around their customer’s story.
  • After attending a StoryBrand workshop, the company Marie Mae Co was able to increase its revenue by 20x in a year by shifting its marketing to focus on its customers and their meaningful work.
  • The company Mavuno tripled its annual revenue and expanded its reach by 400% after implementing lessons from StoryBrand.
  • The StoryBrand Framework identifies 7 elements of a simple story: A Character, Has a Problem, Meets a Guide, Who Gives Them a Plan, They Take Action, There Are Trys/Triumphs, They Get a New Hope.
  • Companies should identify their customers as the hero, the customer’s problem, position themselves as the guide, lay out a plan for success, and inspire customers to take action.
  • StoryBrand offers many resources to help companies simplify their marketing, including workshops, online courses, certifications for coaches and agencies, and culture programs for large companies.

The main takeaway is that companies can experience significant growth by using the StoryBrand Framework to clarify their marketing message and communicate more directly with customers. Focusing on the customers’ journey and story can help companies connect in a more impactful way.

Here is a summary of the article:

• Jay-Z unveiled Tidal, a new streaming music service, on March 30, 2015.

• Tidal aims to provide high-definition music videos and high-fidelity audio. It offers two subscription plans: $9.99 per month for standard sound quality and $19.99 per month for lossless high-fidelity sound quality.

• Unlike competitors like Spotify, Tidal pays artists a higher percentage of its revenue. Jay-Z wants to support musicians by offering them a larger share of profits.

• Tidal has partnerships with many major music labels and artists, including Kanye West, Beyoncé, and others. However, some critics argue the service does not offer enough distinctive features to compete with more established streaming platforms.

• The launch announcement event was filled with A-list musicians expressing their support for Tidal and its vision to support artists. Jay-Z wants Tidal to be an artist-friendly alternative in the music streaming space.

• Tidal hopes to attract customers interested in high-quality audio and supporting musicians. However, the service faces significant competition from Spotify, Apple Music, and others. The higher subscription fees may also turn off some potential customers.

• The fate of Tidal will depend on whether it can build a loyal base of customers passionate about audio quality and compensating artists. If it cannot differentiate itself enough, it may struggle to gain mainstream appeal.

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About Matheus Puppe