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StoryBrand - A marketing approach that harnesses the power of storytelling, created by Donald Miller 

Use story as a hidden framework for branding


  • People are not attracted to the best products but the ones they can understand the fastest 

    • Clarity​

    • Narrow down our message to connect more deeply 

  • Use story as a hidden framework for branding

    • How story works -- Formula (see graphic above) ​

  • Human brain is design to survive & thrive ​

    • Survival:

      • Making money

      • Saving money

      • Achieving status

      • Associating in tribes that can protect you

      • Nourishing relationships ​

      • All desires can be linked back to survival ​

        • Don't talk about things that have nothing to do with survival ​

          • Don't talk about YOU (the brand) ​

            • THE STORY IS ABOUT THEM ​

    • Brain wants to conserve energy/calories 

      • When info is too strenuous, brain checks out ​

        • All that gets through are messages that pertain to our survival and are clear & simple​​

          • Don't use jargon! ​

The 7 Elements of the Story Brand Framework 

According to Donald Miller, these 7 things are the only things worth communicating in marketing. Everything else is noise. 

  • 1. IDENTIFY the character & what that character wants 

    • Be specific, not vague, not too many things 

      • Summarize what you provide in just a few words 

        • Clear messaging repeated over & over 

  • 2. PROBLEM: The journey starts when the character encounters a problem

    • Customers buy solutions to internal problems​

      • The only reason they come to us is because of their problem​

        • Define their problem for them ​

          • Clearly define the problem we solve ​

    • We sell the solution to external problems

      • That problem causes frustration and discomfort ​

        • We offer a resolution to that ​

        • Speak to the internal fear ​​

  • 3. GUIDE -- Customers are not looking for a hero 

    • They are the hero, we are the guide (who gives hope) ​

    • Invite them into a story -- a story where they're the hero 

      • Don't tell them a story about yourself! ​

  • 4. The guide gives them a PLAN 

    • 3 or 4 steps that say: "It's easy to work with us." ​

      • An easy process. ​

        • "I think you can achieve X (better than you thought). I have an easy process. Informal meeting, we assess your goals, we come back with a customized strategy for you, and if you choose, we execute that."

        • "Stones in the creek" ​

          • Provide the stones on which they can cross their river ​

  • 5. CALL TO ACTION : Customers won't take action unless they are challenged

    • Do not sell passively 

      • People who ask, receive. ​​

      • "Buy Now" or "Schedule an Appointment Now", etc. - Must be on your website 

      • The reason they will act is when there are stakes in the game.

        • They will win or lose something based on their choice

          • Every human being is trying to avoid a tragic ending (to their story)

            • We must communicate the negative consequences if they don't  buy

              • ​ ​​​What's at stake? 

              • What negative are they trying to avoid? 

                • "Hey, we just don't want X to happen to you..."

  • 6. Show them HOW TO AVOID FAILURE


    • "You will like...."

    • People head towards a happy ending

      • You're gonna love...

      • "Here's what your life will look like if you do business with us."

        • Show smiley, happy people using your services.

          • People are visual creatures ​

        • Social Media​​​​​​

How do we make potential customers want to engage our brand?

  • People buy because they hear or read WORDS that make them want to buy 

    • Study sales copy ​

      • Know how to use words ​

  • People buy what they can understand the fastest

    • Understand why they need our services ​

  • Everything we communicate must be directly connected to the customers' needs to survive and thrive 

    • Get Ahead​

    • Be Strong

    • Be more productive

    • Establish more security

    • Experience a greater quality of life 

    • Increase earning potential 

  • Their brains will not waste precious calories processing information that has nothing to do with them 

    • Beware of "the curse of knowledge" ​

      • We don't realize how confusing we sound. ​

More from Donald Miller

Story Branding with Donald Miller on The Action Catalyst Podcast (ep. 215) 

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