Building a Storybrand

Building a Storybrand

Building a Storybrand: synopsis

Building a Storybrand is the brainchild of Donald Miller.  His central thesis is that marketing messages succeed when they are abundantly clear, not cute or clever.  He’s fond of saying, “If you confuse, you’ll lose.”  

He contends that the most powerful and clear marketing messages employ the concept of using a story to invite customers into a narrative.  

In order to help people succeed, they have to believe that you and your brand can help them achieve their success for themselves.  

Building a Storybrand: introducing the seven-part Storybrand framework

The brilliance of the Storybrand concept is that it distills the concept of “story” down to a simple seven part framework:

  1. A character
  2. has a problem
  3. and meets a guide
  4. who gives them a plan
  5. and calls them to action
  6. that helps them avoid failure
  7. and ends in a success

Miller argues that this is the basic framework for every story written in the last several thousand years.  Think about it for a second, and you’ll see that every movie, book, and TV show you can name follows this basic framework.

SB7 framework
Storybrand framework

Take Star Wars, for example:

  1. A character (Luke Skywalker)
  2. has a problem (needs to destroy the Death Star)
  3. and meets a guide (Obi-Wan Kenobi)
  4. who gives them a plan (become a Jedi)
  5. and calls them to action (“Use the Force, Luke.”) 
  6. that helps them avoid failure (avoids death/capture by Darth Vader)
  7. and ends in a success (Destroys the Death Star and becomes a Jedi)

Building a Storybrand: expanding the seven-part Storybrand framework

Miller goes on to expand on the Storybrand framework to help you create your own “brandscript” for your business.  

I went through this exercise to create the framework for marketing The Scope of Practice.  I expand on this further in my free guide, “Creating a Personal Mission Statement,” which you can download for free here.  Here’s a summary of my work on this process:

1. The Character

Here is the description for the character in the story of The Scope of Practice. 

Transforming the customer from being overwhelmed and stressed out by personal finances and running a business to restoring the joy you receive from helping your patients, knowing you have the knowledge and skills to handle all the other responsibilities that come with that.

2. The Problem

  • External problem: Physicians and dentists have a large amount of personal debt.  Beyond that, they begin working with little to no knowledge of how to actually run a practice.
  • Internal problem: Overwhelmed, stressed, undervalued at your job.
  • Philosophical: You should be able to help your patients and do what you love without being stressed by all the other obligations that come with managing your medical practice.

3. The Guide

This is probably his key takeway point: successful brands/companies position themselves as the guide and the customer as the hero.  If you position yourself as the hero, then you’re competing against the customer to be the hero of the story.  

Be Yoda, don’t be Luke Skywalker.

The guide needs two characteristics to be valuable to the hero: empathy and authority.  Here’s how I framed it for The Scope of Practice:

  • Empathy: As a fellow physician, I understand how overwhelming it can be to step out of clinical training and into a career, and I have seen firsthand the lack of education on how to run a practice and manage finances.
  • Authority: I was fortunate to grow up in a family where my parents were intentional about teaching me personal finance.  Working with colleagues who didn’t benefit from such early financial training inspired me to become certified as a Master Financial Coach through Ramsey Solutions.  In this new role, my first 300 coaching clients paid off over $1.2 million of debt in just 2 months.

4. The Plan

This should be a simple, 2-4 step plan that lays out a process for people to easily follow.  Here’s what we came up with for The Scope of Practice:

  1. Check out our online resources which cover personal finance, business management, and personal development topics.
  2. Subscribe to “The Scope of Practice” to get exclusive content relevant to your needs as a physician or dentist.
  3. Use the knowledge you’ve gained to reclaim the joy of what you love most – helping your patients.

5. The Call to Action

On your website, this could be as simple as a big button that says, “subscribe.”

6. Avoiding Failure

Avoiding failure and achieving success should be fairly obvious based on your business’ stated mission.  Here is what it looks like for The Scope of Practice:

Failures to avoid

  • Drown in debt for up to 25 years
  • Come home from work drained
  • Feel like you don’t have control of your future

7. Achieving Success

  • Experience the freedom of living debt-free
  • Work in a field that you love with people you enjoy
  • Come home energized because you’ve spent your day doing what you love.
  • Be able to focus on helping your patients every time you put on your white coat.

Building a Storybrand: putting your brandscript to work

1. Building a better website

In this section, he gets very practical and walks you step-by-step through the biggest things you need to do in order to ensure that your website is very clear and follows your Storybrand narrative.  

2. Transforming your company culture.

Successful companies use their brandscript to infuse their mission throughout the company and drive the company’s mission forward.  

3. Writing better emails

Miller then goes on to discuss ways to use the brandscript to create more focused/targeted emails to achieve your objectives.  

Building a Storybrand: the “one-liner”

It’s not necessarily one line.  You might also call this your “elevator pitch.”  Imagine having only enough time to explain your company’s mission to someone on a short elevator ride.  You need to be clear and concise.  

Here’s what we came up with for The Scope of Practice:  

Most physicians and dentists enter their profession with a huge amount of personal debt and little to no idea of how to actually run a clinical practice.

The Scope of Practice is a place where you can gain the knowledge you need to run your business successfully and master your personal finances.  

Recommendation/endorsement 

This is one of my top five favorite books on business.  It’s incredibly clear, highly practical, and tremendously useful.

This book will help you clarify your marketing message and get your brand to where you want it to be.  

This book gets five stars from me.  I highly recommend it!

Buy the book on Amazon by clicking here.

If you like that book, you’ll love these books as well:

Full disclosure: if you buy the book using any of the links on this page, I’ll earn a small commission from Amazon Associates.  Your support helps defray the cost of maintaining the site, and I really appreciate it!

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