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Building a Storybrand

book cover image and link to amazon

I grabbed this book on a whim, and it ended up being one of the best books I've ever read on marketing. On the one hand, the concept is simple: Use stories to communicate your message. But it had one concept that I had never heard before:

Weave a story where your customer is the hero, and you are the guide.

In this book, Donald Miller lays out a simple and easy framework to clarify your message. He uses the story of the hero's journey to explain how to communicate your message in a way that resonates with your customers. None of this is groundbreaking, but I had never heard the distinction that your customer should be the hero rather than your product being the hero. This felt like a game changer.

The SB7 Framework

The author lays out a series of chapters which help you work out the details of your story. The chapters are as follows:

  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 ends in success
  7. That helps them avoid failure

He also has a live tool which lets you build your brandscript as you read the book. I found this super useful.

Deeper Level

At a deeper level, the book itself is organized in a way that puts you through the same process they're recommending. I felt each chapter was a step, and I was being pulled to action to sign up for his website, buy his courses, purchase workshops, etc. On the one hand, it felt a bit manipulative, but on the other hand, it was a great example of the principles he was teaching. On their website and in their auto-emails, I saw they were practicing what they preached and I noted key items they described in real-time as I was being marketed to.

I do wonder, however, if someone with a proper marketing background would see this as silly. I don't have a marketing background, so I found it very useful. It does seem that I rarely see a company or product that is marketing with the level of clarity that he is recommending... so perhaps this would be useful to more professional people as well?

I really liked the book, and I feel like I'll continue to look for ways to rebrand my efforts using this style.

good vs. bad marketing

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