What’s your brand story?
Firstly what is a brand story?
Complete disclosure this is not my idea. This concept was created by Donald Miller. His Book, website and online interviews are cited at the end of this page if you want to find out more. I am not being incentivised in any way to boost or promote his framework.
I have used Donald’s approach to “create a story about your brand” with a handful of businesses. What it helps brands to do is better understand their customer’s point of view and how their product or service can help them. It also leads to clearer marketing strategy and messages that customers can better relate to which means you have more people connecting more often with your brand and actually understanding your offer.
I highly recommend you go through the process as a self-reflection exercise. Thinking about who your customers are and what your business offers. If it seems daunting that’s where I can step in and help you to create your own “story brand”. You can do that by completing the form on my business page.
So what is it in one sentence:
Building a brand story is about making your customer the hero of a story, Donald says… “every story in history has a hero and your customer is yours”
It’s based on Seven Big Ideas:
- The customer is the hero, not your brand
- Companies tend to sell solutions to external problems, but customers buy solutions based on their internal problems
- Customers aren’t looking for another hero; they’re looking for a guide 🧙
- Customers trust a guide who has a plan
- Customers do not take action unless they are challenged to take action
- Every human being is trying to avoid a tragic ending ☠️
- Never assume people understand how your brand can change their lives. Tell them 📣
Below I have shared a generic brand story to give you an idea of the process and hopefully nudge you into action.
What does our character want:
Simplicity. Ease. Cheap price. Good service on their terms. Help others and the planet 👍
What problem are we helping to solve:
Who is the Villain? The industry and our competitors, they are doing a bad job and giving us all a bad rep. Then when the customer does pick a business to buy from they are let down by the service, do not feel valued or rewarded for loyalty. It does not feel fair.
What external pressures do they feel?
They get an overwhelming choice of options and have to make a decision they may later regret or feel stupid about. It’s a bit of a risky guessing game. They may be on a deadline from a client or boss and just want to do a good job that makes them look good.
What internal demons are they fighting? 👹
Anxious, stupid, a sense that they are not in control and do not have a voice or someone to talk to. They feel frustrated and even intimidated by the choice they make. They also want to make sure their choice is ethical and green.
What are the philosophical problems they are dealing with? 🤔
The problem is these perceptions are wrong. Your industry and product is actually really easy to understand. Getting the service correct is easy too especially with today’s technology and communication options. Rewarding loyalty is simple too. Giving customers a say in the brand and access to other customers to feel apart of something becomes a greater feeling than the boring part of selecting a business to buy from.
How can we help to guide them:
We know our industry can be boring 💤 and perceived as hard work that’s why we exist to make it easy, give control back to you and get you interested again.
Show ourselves as a source of authority (we know our💩):
Our team has a collective X years plus experience in this industry (and we have a small team by the way) therefore we understand what the customer pain points are, how they are triggered and even better how to fix them.
We need to show the customer their plan for success:
What’s the process:
Three steps to smart success. 🙌
1. Simply visit our website, join the community or pick up the phone
2. If you are ready you can join us right away great, if not we can work with you to understand what you need first
3. Meanwhile, go and meet our community of customers they can tell you about our service
What’s your commitment to the customer?
The brand promise:
Your data is safe with us 🔒
Our service really is 5 star ✨
We will never sell you anything you do not need
We will take the time to understand your business and your customers 🤩
What actions do you ask them to take?
Make the easy switch now
Join the community and visit a networking meeting
Check your renewal date
Sign up to our free webinar
Visit our social channels to see what others are saying about us
Sign-up to our free webinar series to improve your business
Tell us when you might be ready to join us and we will remind you later
Subscribe to our blog
How does it end in success?
The customer joins a brand they are happy with and feel good 😏
The product and service was even better than they anticipated
I feel rewarded and valued by this brand
And they are doing their bit for the planet
And how does it help our customers avoid failure? 🤦♀️
No price shocks
Not going bust
Stops them feeling stupid 👩🎓
Stops them feeling anxious
How do we transform the customer’s perceptions:
Customers go from feeling:
Unsure and tentative
Previously ripped off
Untrusting of the industry and their current provider
Daft, silly or stupid when they make the wrong choice or do not understand something
Frustrated with the complexity and false promises 😢👿😫
Being a person who makes smart decisions that pay off in the short and long term
A person who does their bit for the environment
They understand the benefits of your product
It’s hassle-free and easy to make a decision to stay vs having to go hunting and searching around again
They trust the brand and have a better view of the industry overall 🌻🌞😎
Let’s create your brand story
I read Donald’s book a while ago then saw Jim’s post. I did not have the time to create our brand story so, Jim researched our business and industry and created one for us. I always use it to explain what we do and onboard new team members.
The Story Brand website
Here you will find a simple template to follow with good hints, tips and video content to create your own brand story. Once you are done you can share it too.
Donald Millers book
Learn more about building a “Story Brand” in Donald’s book.
It’s a New York Times best-seller and at about 200 pages it’s a quick read.
Here is the book’s YouTube channel
Lots of free content on here that goes beyond the book and will help you freshen up your brands’ image and sharpen up your marketing.