In the best-selling book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, he calls humans “storytelling beings.” For centuries, our ancestors have been sharing stories with each other in one form or another. First, stories were only shared by word of mouth, then with paintings and symbolic art, and then through the written word.
Our love for stories hasn’t changed, though we may consume them differently in the modern day. We watch movies and TV shows, read books and blogs, and even consume stories through social media platforms such as YouTube and TikTok.
Humankind’s love for stories can also be a very effective tool for marketing. Businesses and marketing agencies everywhere — Madak included — use a story framework to connect with their target audiences and grow their brand. This article will give insight into why we use StoryBranding at Madak, how we do it, and what inspired us to start.
What Is StoryBranding?
In his book, Building a StoryBrand, Donald Miller changed the marketing world by flipping all traditional brand-building practices on their head. Before, businesses used to make themselves the center of the brand’s storyline. That means all their marketing efforts were focused on talking about the brand, why it was created, what it hopes to achieve, and how it plans to do so.
This makes sense on the surface. After all, if you’re building a brand, you have to talk about your business and what sets you apart from the competition, right? The main problem with this strategy is that customers usually don’t care about the company itself; they care about how the company can benefit them with its services and products.
StoryBranding is all about taking the customer and putting them in the spotlight (as the center of the brand’s story). The goal is to implement storytelling in your branding and frame the customer as the main character. People love a good story, but they’re even more enticed if the story is about them! So, what exactly does Donald Miller’s framework look like, and how do you create your own story?
How Does StoryBranding Work?
Miller’s main idea is based on the fact that people are more likely to remember things when they get presented in the story format. For example, consider all of the legends and myths that society still remembers after thousands of years. Stories are one of the human race’s favorite modes of communication, and they have a lasting impact on those who hear them.
Many of the stories we read follow the journey of a main character, and oftentimes, we try to relate to them. This is why the StoryBrand Framework’s seven steps start with perhaps the most important of them all: make your customer the lead character, not your business.
Step 1: Establish the Customer as the Hero
Every story needs a main character — a hero — and people love to play that part. This is why the StoryBrand framework’s first step is to make the customer the hero of your branding. Instead of talking about what your company has achieved, center your message around how you can help the customer on their hero’s journey.
Step 2: Identify the Customer’s Problems
Every story includes a conflict that needs to be resolved, and your products and services should be the instrument the customer uses to solve the conflict. Before you can help the customer solve their conflict, you have to identify what it is.
Step 3: Establish Your Brand as Their Guide
All heroes have guides. Odysseus had Athena in Odyssey, Frodo had Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings, and Daniel LaRusso had Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid. Main characters who depart on the hero’s journey need a wise guide that helps them learn how to resolve their conflict. When building a StoryBrand, your brand’s character should embody this “guide” that shows the hero the right path.
Step 4: Lay the Path to Success
The hero needs to know which steps to take in order to resolve the conflict. By showing them the way, you’re establishing yourself as their friend and guide on the path to success.
Step 5: Have a Call to Action
After establishing what steps the main character needs to take, it’s time for you to push him/her to take them. In this scenario, that’s done through call-to-action buttons and phrases, which are already a part of most marketing strategies.
Step 6: Show them What Failure Looks Like
In this part of your story, it's time to show the customer what will happen if they decide not to take your guidance. This is your chance to make your value proposition and showcase what differentiates you from your competition.
Step 7: Have a Happy Ending
After you tell your customers what will happen if they don’t choose you, it’s time to show them what will happen if they do. This is where you make your final pitch to convince them to choose you and take action.
Madak uses StoryBranding when creating websites because putting the customer at the center of the story is what helps brands grow. This simple switch from focusing on the company to concentrating on the customer helps people feel more connected to and understood by the brand.
Reach out to us today if you want to learn more about the logistical aspects of creating your website with StoryBranding in mind. Let us guide you so you can guide your customers on their journey!