Q&A: StoryBrand Framework
September 15, 2019
As I was writing this blog, I took a snack break to go to one of my favorite juice bars. I ordered and glanced around at the vibrant interiors. Next to the rich colors of magenta and forest green in the form of exotic fruits and vegetables was a headline that read: “Wherever you are on the path to living well. Nekter can help you on your journey.”
In other words, as a customer, I not only had a companion but a partner in this whole healthy living thing. But the part about this being a journey really stood out as it gave me a sense of inclusion. This wasn’t a place where bodybuilders and rigid health nuts go out to alienate others with their stringent food philosophies. Rather, this was a message of “I can do this.” I could survive all the unhealthy temptations as long as I join this brand.
While that one headline may not seem groundbreaking, it is a powerful brand statement that tells a story. What this brand is attempting to do is build a genuine connection with its customers so they become lifelong fans and advocates. It’s a kind of branding that has recently become ever-present with the release of the StoryBrand book, which is now a complete learning experience with workshops and certifications.
In a crowded sea of sameness, companies want to stand out. According to marketing experts, storytelling seems to be the way to go. I sat down with our Senior Director of Strategy, Janelle Brannock, to get her perspective on how a StoryBrand framework comes to fruition and why it’s important.
What is the StoryBrand framework?
The StoryBrand framework was developed by Donald Miller and helps companies better connect with customers by understanding—and then speaking to—their needs and fears.
What is the main takeaway from StoryBrand?
By flipping the switch and making the customer the “hero” instead of the brand serving in that hero role, we’re able to develop a storyline that connects with consumers on a much deeper level, because they can see themselves in the hero’s shoes. Also, we need to remember that the best stories out there are about survival. Think about your favorite movie or book, and you’ll know what I mean. If we create a story around how our products or services help our customers survive something—or allow them to thrive or achieve something—we’ve captivated them.
Why is this framework so beneficial to a brand?
The StoryBrand approach really drives home the importance of storytelling, which can sometimes get lost in the process of promoting a brand’s products or services to its core audience. And it doesn’t need to be complicated, either; if you follow the “story in a nutshell” formula, you can create a compelling, spot-on brand story rather quickly.
Have you ever personally experienced being the “hero”?
We’re all heroes! Think about the last time you wanted to purchase a new pair of shoes, for example. Whether you know it or not, you were the hero in this situation: there was something you wanted (shoes), but you had to defeat something (maybe another retailer selling a similar shoe that wasn’t made as well) to get what you wanted (a nice pair of shoes that looked killer, lasted forever and felt like walking on clouds) and didn’t end in tragedy (wearing a similar pair of shoes that falls apart after a week).
If there’s a company out there reading this, what should they do to make sure their brand is resonating with the right people?
By creating a thoughtful story around your brand, you get to the heart of what your customer (the hero) really wants—and, most importantly, why she wants it. Any shoe company can deploy ads about shoe sales and the latest shoe trends. But if they also show they know why I want that pair of shoes (what amazing thing will happen to me when I do get them and what tragic thing will happen if I don’t), then they will have the upper hand in the psychology of consumer behavior.