In Building a StoryBrand (Nelson Books), Donald Miller offers a seven-part framework “that will change the way you talk about your business and perhaps the way you do business…Here is nearly every story you ever see or hear in a nutshell:
A CHARACTER who wants something encounters a PROBLEM before they can get it. At the peak of their despair, a GUIDE steps into their lives, gives them a PLAN, and CALLS THEM TO ACTION. That action helps them to avoid FAILURE and ends in SUCCESS.”
As I worked my way the first few chapters, I was reminded of an evening years ago when I had dinner in San Francisco with a prominent venture capitalist. I asked him how many funding proposals, on average, his firm received each month. “About 500.” How many led to meeting? “Oh, about 10-15.” What were the selection criteria? “As we check out the proposals, we have three questions in mind: [begin] Who are you? What do you do? and Why Should I care? The first two are easy to answer. The last one really separates the wheat from the chaff.”
The power of the StoryBrand is that it anchors important ideas in those human experiences with which most people can identify. Only then can they care and become emotionally involved.
Miller makes a key point here: “The reality is we aren’t just in a race to get our products to market; we’re also in a race to communicate why our customers need those products in their lives. Even if we have the best products in the market place, we’ll lose to an inferior product if their offer is communicated more clearly.“
* * *
Donald Miller is the CEO of StoryBrand and every year helps more than 3,000 business leaders clarify their brand message. Combined, Don’s books have spent more than a year on the New York Times Bestsellers list. His books include: Blue Like Jazz, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, and Scary Close.