Building A StoryBrand Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: Building A StoryBrand is your guide to turning your sales pages and product into an adventure for your clients by identifying the seven steps to successful storytelling as a company and how to craft the clearest message possible so that they will understand and want to be part of it.

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Building A StoryBrand Summary

I’ve been blogging for two years this month. It’s been a crazy and exciting and even confusing journey at times. 

A few months ago I began a new website. I felt like I had it all figured out really clearly until I got some feedback that made me wonder how I would respond if someone asked me what I do with the site.

They directed me to Donald Miller and a YouTube video of him explaining what a Story Brand One-Liner is and how to build it. After watching and adjusting my brand’s story, I feel significantly more confident in what I’m doing. 

And I can’t wait for the next time someone asks me what I do!

That’s just one reason why I loved reading Miller’s book Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen. He’ll show you why stories are so important for your brand to succeed and how to craft the perfect one for your company.

Here are 3 of the most exciting lessons I got from the book:

  1. Make your customer the hero of your story and help them fulfill just one of their desires.
  2. Identify people’s problems and pain points as the villain to keep them interested.
  3. Help customers see the transformation they will get after they purchase your product by giving them a vision.

It’s storytime! Or should I say StoryBrand time? Let’s begin!

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Lesson 1: Help your customers fulfill only one of their desires and make them the hero of your story.

We remember best the stories that have a hero. You can’t really tell a good tale without one. The same is true for your brand’s story. You just need to make sure that your hero is your customer.

If you focus well on people’s needs, they’ll keep coming back to you. That’s because your story has the power to make them think of you while they’re hearing it and then think of your product in real life.

One example of how not to do this is a luxury resort that muddled their story up in bad design. Their website had regular pictures of the restaurant and front desk. It included a section of long text telling how the resort came to be. 

It wasn’t clear and didn’t focus on customer’s desires.

Which brings us to another important point about telling a good story. You need to make sure it focuses on only one of their desires.

It’s not enough to just list your services and hope for the best. You need to make it clear by identifying how your offering will fulfill their needs. 

Eventually, the luxury hotel we mentioned earlier figured out that the one thing their customers wanted was to relax. That made it easy for them to update the website with minimal text and pictures of towels and massages.

Lesson 2: To keep people interested, set their problems and pain points as the villain.

If you’re like me and enjoy solving problems, you’ll be happy to learn that one of the points in the StoryBrand framework is problem-solving. It doesn’t matter if it’s a simple process that needs fixing or something more extravagant, your customers need their problems solved.

But the good news is that you’ll begin engaging with them well if you only mention the difficulties that you know they experience. 

When we feel understood, it’s like psychological air that makes us want to listen to whoever is expressing their awareness of how we feel. That’s what your customers get when you know their struggles and express that.

It’s best to turn these problems they need a solution to into villains that they, as the hero of their story, need to vanquish. 

If you had a time-management app, for example, you’d want to identify distractions as the villain. Then, anything that takes time away from your customer is the bad guy that they, with your product, can beat.

You can also help people solve internal issues, like feelings. It’s easy to only talk about the external problems people have, but you’ll truly get to people with the deeper emotions that motivate them.

A house painter, for example, could stand out by identifying the feelings of embarrassment that a customer might have if they don’t get their house painted.

Lesson 3: Give customers a vision of the transformation they will accomplish by purchasing your product.

Stories get exciting when a problem comes up that threatens the chances of a happy ending. Nobody wants their own story to have a grim ending. That’s why it’s best to identify the “happily ever after” that they can get once your product helps them vanquish their villains.

People really want success, and you can help them have a vision of how your product gets that for them by appealing to three desires:

  • Status
  • Completeness
  • Self-Acceptance

We can see the powerful motivation of status in movies where the underdog wins, like when a geeky guy gets the attractive girl. This is appealing to nerdy men because the guy’s status improves in a way they didn’t anticipate was possible. You can do this by offering a membership with perks that non-members don’t have access to.

Completeness is the main idea behind “happily ever after.” It’s when there are no obstacles left in the way of having everything in life be perfect. People feel motivated by this because of the satisfaction and fulfillment that it brings.

Finally, people want to have a sense of self-acceptance. One example of this was a marketing tactic of the clothing company American Eagle. They decided to appeal to people’s desire for self-acceptance by running an ad using regular people with blemishes and everything rather than the fake, air-brushed models we’re all used to.

Building A StoryBrand Review

Building A StoryBrand is a super interesting book and concept. It’s been hard for me to figure out how to describe what I do until I discovered it. Now, I’m excited for when people ask me what I do and confident that visitors to my website will connect with my own brand’s story!

Who would I recommend the Building A StoryBrand summary to?

The 33-year-old blogger who isn’t sure how to describe what their blog does, the 58-year-old marketing executive that wants to help people connect with their brand better, and anyone that wants to have confidence when someone asks what they do.

Last Updated on September 19, 2022

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Luke Rowley

With over 450 summaries that he contributed to Four Minute Books, first as a part-time writer, then as our full-time Managing Editor until late 2021, Luke is our second-most prolific writer. He's also a professional, licensed engineer, working in the solar industry. Next to his day job, he also runs Goal Engineering, a website dedicated to achieving your goals with a unique, 4-4-4 system. Luke is also a husband, father, 75 Hard finisher, and lover of the outdoors. He lives in Utah with his wife and 3 kids.