Hello! Welcome back to re7BookClub, our bi-monthly book review column.
In today’s review I’ll be talking about the volume Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller.
Many companies struggle to convert leads into customers, but their marketing materials always fail to communicate the unique value of the products or services they deliver.
“Building a StoryBrand can transform your results by helping you clarify the message you want to convey so that your customers will listen. So this book can help you change the way you talk about who you are, what you do and the value your business delivers.
“Building a StoryBrand is for marketers, copywriters and anyone else who wants to communicate more effectively with customers. The marketing messages and implementation techniques presented in an effective way within it are absolutely brilliant.
In short, Donald Miller says: think of your customer as the protagonist in your brand story. In every great story, a hero encounters a problem that they must solve. You’ll attract more customers when you position your brand as a guide to help the hero find the tools and confidence to succeed, giving them a blueprint for action.
Why don’t you sell enough?
In the first part of the book, Donald Miller outlines why many companies don’t sell enough. Often the problem is not the product or service offered, but rather the way it is presented to potential customers. No matter how good your website looks, for example, if you don’t communicate a clear, compelling message, you won’t get many sales.
“The truth is that pretty websites don’t sell things. Words sell things.”
So Miller outlines the two big mistakes most companies make when talking about their brands:
- Not focusing on the aspects of their product or service that help people survive and thrive
- Indirectly, they make customers think too hard trying to understand their product or service.
Therefore, the simpler and more predictable the way they communicate, the easier it is for customers to understand. Storytelling is so effective as a method of communication because it is extremely simple to understand, even by a child.
What is the solution?
In part two of the book, Miller outlines the 7 principles that will help you create a successful StoryBrand, namely:
- The customer is the hero of the story, not your brand.
- Companies tend to sell solutions to external problems; customers buy solutions to internal problems.
- Customers aren’t looking for another hero; they’re looking for a guide.
- Customers trust a guide who has a set plan.
- Customers don’t act unless they are told to.
- Every human tries to avoid a tragic end.
- Never assume people understand how your brand can change their lives. You have to tell them!
How do I do that?
In the last part of the book, Donald Miller outlines the concrete ways you can implement successful StoryBranding. The power of storytelling can help you build a better website, which is generally the basis of customer engagement dialogue. When story is conveyed throughout your marketing messages, it gives cohesion and clarity to your message and makes the benefits of your interaction clear to customers.
- Once you’ve created your StoryBrand, the first thing you need to do to implement it and put it to work for attracting new customers and growing your business is to embed it into your website.
- Once you’ve increased the effectiveness of your website for better customer acquisition, the next step is to apply the following 5 strategies:
- Create a One-liner.
- Create a lead generator and collect email addresses.
- Create an automated email campaign.
- Collect testimonials from customers.
- Create a referral generation system.
The 7 principles for a successful StoryBrand can also be targeted just as effectively within your company to transform the employee experience and organizational culture.
How can you increase your sales and improve your marketing strategy?
The solution is simple: focus on the story. All you need to do is structure your message as a story.
Understanding and using the story correctly is your biggest marketing advantage. It will help you stand out so people will listen to you. In short, Donald Miller puts it this way:
In any story, A CHARACTER WANTS something, but along the way encounters a PROBLEM. At that point, a GUIDE comes into the character’s life and provides a life-saving PLAN, urging them to take action. This action helps him avoid FAILURE and ends, of course, with SUCCESS.
One of the biggest changes you need to make is to understand that your business is not the hero in the story, your customers are. You need to get to know your customers, know who they are, what their desires are, what their expectations are of your products or services.
- The problem
At this point, you need to make sure you understand very well that your products or services are a solution to the problems your customers have. Often, people are more motivated to solve a problem they face than to improve their lives.
Customers aren’t looking for another hero in their story, they’re looking for a guide to help them get what they want. You should focus solely on communicating how customers get what they want when your product or service is with them.
When it comes to marketing, clarity is key. It’s also the clarity of your message that will bring you sales and therefore money. You need to be extremely simple when explaining to your potential customers what they need to do.
- The call to action
If you want to increase your revenue and beat your competition, urge your customers in a simple way to use your product or service.
- Avoiding failure
If buying your product or service doesn’t avoid failure, why should your customers turn to you?
Make it clear to people how their lives will change for the better and how good their lives will be after they buy your products or services.