What is a Story Brand, and How Can it Benefit Your Business?
We live in a world of instant gratification and convenience, people want what they want, and they want it now. But they also want businesses to be personal and relatable. In today's digitally driven world, businesses can't afford to be faceless entities providing products and services. Businesses need to connect with their audience in a meaningful way and engage with them on a deeper level than ever before. This is where the Story Brand framework comes in. What started as just another book about marketing has quickly become an important element in how brands relate to their customers. But what is a Story Brand, and how can it benefit your business? A Story Brand is a way of thinking about your company that focuses on your emotional connection with your audience. It's about defining what makes you unique and how you can use that uniqueness to build trust and loyalty with the people who matter most: your customers. A Story Brand will maximize your business's visibility, profit, and impact when used correctly. To learn more about the Story Brand framework and how it can help your business, keep reading!
The Power of a Story Brand
The concepts presented in the Story Brand framework are nothing new. It's all about storytelling. While we may all be unique and have individual personalities, we all process information in the same way. Did you know people are 22 times more likely to remember things when presented in a story? Story Brand marketing uses the way humans process information to engage people with your brand message and convince them that with your product or service, they can be the hero of the story. The idea is that there are three things that make up a brand: product (what you do), promise (what you stand for), and personalization (who you are). The key to a Story Brand is finding ways to weave these three elements together into an overarching narrative that resonates with people.
Donald Miller, the author of Building a Story Brand, explains in his book that people usually make decisions based on two basic human needs: thrive and survive. Before we decide to make a purchase, we want to know how it will help us survive (water, food, shelter, etc.) or thrive in our environment (ease of use, social standing, saving time, etc.). What makes it difficult for marketers is that, as consumers, people don't want to spend time and effort processing the information to determine if your product or service fits into either of these categories, so your message needs to get right to the point. It might seem very technical and time-consuming to implement this into your marketing, but it's much easier than you'd think!
How to Build a Story Brand
Many businesses face the same marketing problems, and most don't even realize it's a problem! They focus all of their messaging on themselves. "We are experts in our field," "We have the best prices," and "We built ourselves from the ground up." While these things might be true, consumers don't care. Making it all about you isn't going to grab your customers' attention, but once you make it about them, they're all ears. Successful brands know this, and that's why they focus their message on their customers' needs instead of themselves.
What makes a Story Brand so special is that it takes the idea of customer-centred marketing and creates a roadmap for brands to use that's compelling and incredibly simple. Brands that adopt the Story Brand framework can use it in every aspect of their marketing strategy, from social media posts to billboards, commercials and even product descriptions. A Story Brand makes it easier than ever to relate to your customers and draw them into your sales funnel. By shifting your focus from you to them, you can go from a faceless entity selling something to a brand that connects easily and organically with your customers.
What is the Story Brand Framework?
The main thing to remember when creating your Story Brand, which we've mentioned above, is that your customer is the hero of your story, not you. Figuring out how to do this can sometimes be complicated, but the 7-part Story Brand Framework can make it easier! Let's take a closer look at it.
- Make your customer the hero- You need to put your customer at the center of your story. Forget about yourself, your products, the awards your brand has won, and pretty much anything else about you. Your marketing message should be focused on your customer's story, and you just happen to be there.
- Identify your customer's problem- To make your customer the hero of your story, it needs to be all about them. The easiest way to appeal to your customer's "survive and thrive" mentality is to address a legitimate problem they are facing. If you sell phone cases, the problem could be flimsy cases that don't offer enough protection.
- Introduce yourself as their guide- Once you have identified the customer's problem and reminded them of it, they will realize they don't know how to fix it. This is where you come in! You are here to help them find a solution to their low-quality phone case because you understand. Maybe you drop your phone on a regular basis and have had to replace it more than once because the phone case didn't protect it. Whatever it may be, you understand that flimsy phone cases equal broken phones, and you're here to help!
- Plan the steps to success- As with most things, there are steps you need to take before finding a solution. Your brand is here to lay out a plan to help them get there! It could be as simple as having a list of phone cases you carry to help them find the perfect fit for their phone.
- Extend a call to action- A call to action is essential to the Story Brand framework because it lets your customers know exactly what steps they need to take with you to solve their problems. Your customers will not likely make a purchase unless you ask them to. You may even want to include transitional calls to action for customers who still need time to make a buying decision.
- Show them failure- Even after you've done all this, customers might still wonder, "Why is this brand better than others?" This part of the Story Brand framework addresses that. You can show them how using another company's phone cases will not protect their phones as yours do, and they may spend more to have the same problem they initially faced.
- End with a win- You want to leave your customers feeling confident, so you need to show them what success looks like with your product or service. For example, your phone cases are developed with impact-resistant technology. Their phone will not break even if it is dropped from 100 feet in the air.
How a Story Brand Can Help You
Now, you may be thinking: My business is too small to develop and Story Brand and work it into my message, or my business already has a great brand strategy, and I don't want to change what's already working just to include a Story Brand. These are valid concerns; however, it's easy to scale down the Story Brand framework to make it work for you, so you don't have to overhaul your entire marketing efforts! Story Branding is a way to create an emotional connection with your customers that will build trust and loyalty, which makes it easier for customers to buy from you. By developing and implementing a Story Brand, you can get new customers, keep old ones coming back and take your business to new heights!
Encompass Online Marketing can Help You Implement Your Story Brand
By putting yourself in your customer's shoes, you can gain a whole new outlook on delivering your brand's message. Your story brand will help you stand out from the competition by giving you an edge in marketing, customer service, and branding. It also helps your business stick in people's minds when choosing where to spend their money. At Encompass Online Marketing, we have helped many clients develop and implement a Story Brand for their businesses, and we can help you too! If you're looking for a way to reach new customers and grow your business, contact us today!
Written by: Trenton Ross