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StoryBrand by Donald Miller: 7-Part Brandscript

StoryBrand by Donald Miller believes storytelling is the most powerful tool in the world to grab the attention of the human brain. It is fact that our brains are wired to connect with a story.


When we talk about story as a StoryBrand Guide, we are not talking about “telling a story”, we are talking about “creating a story” that your client is part of.


Most businesses want to tell a story; the story of their history, how they got started, or their product. However, a more compelling way to get your client to want to communicate and connect with you is to write a story where they are the lead character.


Talking about their struggles, problems, and the way they want life to be rather than the way life is at the moment.


People are more likely to engage with you when you invite them into a story that is all about them rather than telling them a story about a product or service.


Next time you write an email, craft a post or even design a new page on your website. Try writing it in a way that is all about your client’s aspirational identity (who they want to become after using your product), their struggles and how you understand them.  That’s what the story is about.


When you learn to use story in your brand’s communication, you are far more likely to connect with the right customers and convert more often. Donald Miller’s book outlines a framework called the “BrandScript”, a 7-part Framework that helps you communicate your brand.


On the surface, the concept sounds pretty simple.  After all, your customers know what you do, right? It’s not until you read this book that you start to see just how confusing and cluttered your marketing messages are.


It is my honest belief that anyone responsible for marketing will benefit from Donald’s insight; whether you are a web designer, graphic artist, copywriter, business coach, CEO or business owner, this book is a MUST READ!


This book changed my business. It also changed my life as a Certified StoryBrand Guide! I loved the message so much that I was the first person in Australia to jump on a plane to Nashville to work with Donald Miller and his team to bring the framework to organisations here in Australia and worldwide.


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The Core of the Book is the 7-Part BrandScript, SB7


The StoryBrand Framework allows Brands to clarify and simplify their marketing message to capture the attention and wallet of their customers.


The StoryBrand Framework that Donald developed, called the SB7 Framework, has been tested in the real world and has proven to work time and time again. This includes helping struggling companies increase their sales from $1 million to over $20 million per year in less than 2 years using this strategy.


SB7 is a process that helps you become a “Master Communicator” in your market.


In this book, you will learn how to:


– Tell the story of your business in a way that creates an irresistible pull for your customers

– Drill deeper into what drives your customer’s behaviours and decision making process

– And get more of your ideal customers to know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you.


This book is about how marketers can identify their most valuable customer segments by creating a story that resonates with what matters most in their target client.


Often, it helps to start by completing a StoryBrand BrandScript:


A Character / Hero

As for StoryBrand marketing, the main character is always your customers. It will never be your brand. Many businesses make a mistake of placing their brands or businesses as the hero.


Customers live in their own story, and they are the protagonist of it. Your role is to help your customers achieve their goals and dreams by guiding them how.


If you can learn to look at your business through the eyes of your ideal customer, and tell their story, you will connect with your audience.


In movies, such as Star Wars, everyone saw themselves as Luke Skywalker or Princess Leia. They could relate to the story and it inspired them to be a hero in their own world and accomplish great things.


The same is true for businesses; we want our clients to see themselves using our product and we can do this by telling their personal stories of struggle and their dream persona.


One reason marketing campaigns or businesses fail is that they place their brands as the main character. They always talk about their brand without knowing that they cannot get the customers to listen using this method.


The customers are the star of the story. Talk about their needs and problems, not how fantastic the brand is.

In this section, you should know who your target customers are and learn their wants and desires.


Has a Problem

Every exciting story should have a conflict.


In the movie, The Dark Knight, the main character had multiple challenges that he needed to overcome. It includes the villain, The Joker, who has an evil plan to destroy the city of Gotham. This makes it challenging for Batman to stop The Joker from destroying the city.


In business, you need to focus on what is holding your customers back in life and/or their businesses when they purchase from you. This gives them a reason why they should spend money with you.


Your customer’s problem is the hook of the StoryBrand framework that you will use in marketing. It is one reason your customers will listen to you if you talk about their issues.


In StoryBrand, the problem refers to the villain, the hindrance that stops or slows the customer from getting what they want.


The main character’s problem has three levels: external, internal, and philosophical.


The external is the physical problem that the main character has to overcome to succeed. Examples are accidents, disasters, and illnesses.


The internal refers to how this external problem makes the main character feel. Is it making the customers angry, unconfident, anxious? Like the external problem, the hero should resolve the inner conflict in the end.


The philosophical level is the wrongness of having this problem, the battle between good or evil. Resolving this conflict provides a sense of meaning to the main character. It commonly contains words, such as “you deserve,” it is wrong,” “it isn’t right that you…,”


This section is crucial to identify a single villain that hinders the main character from succeeding. You should also determine the external, internal, and philosophical problems.


Application Example:

In the Allstate Insurance’s campaign, the problem was personified as Mayhem. He represented the disasters that could destroy your house or the bad drivers, which are external problems.


By encountering these conflicts, the main character can feel worried and helpless, which are internal problems.


The philosophical problem is the wrongness of being in a helpless situation where the people have to pay a hefty amount of money to fix what Mayhem had destroyed. It isn’t right that for homeowners and drivers to be in this situation, they deserve protection against Mayhem.


Who Meets a Guide

In StoryBrand, the guide is where your brand comes in. The role is to guide the customers and teach them the best way of getting what they want.


A customer will have doubts about your product, but if the brand can address the question by connecting to their emotions, it shows that you have a genuine interest in helping them succeed.


In Disney’s movie Moana, a demigod named Maui acts as a guide to help Moana be able to achieve her desire and overcome the villain.


Empathy and authority are the main characteristics of a guide. Empathy by making your customers feel that you understand or sympathise with their situation. Authority by being the leader who guides your customers and letting them know you have what it takes to help them.


Application Example:

On campaigns, the empathy statements usually include the following words that aim to connect and gain the hero’s trust:

“We understand”

“We care”

“Like you, we care about….”


Brands show authority by telling the customers about their achievements or experiences. Statements such as “We have been in service for more than 10 years” or “We have worked with 100+ brands” are examples of authority. Showing testimonials, awards, statistics, or brand logos of the previous customers is also a way to establish authority.


Who Gives Them a Plan

The plan consists of small steps or information that removes the customers’ doubts or makes them feel at ease of getting what they want.


In the movie, Harry Potter, the plan is presented by Hermione Granger, who gives out information about the wizarding world to Harry and Ron.


On campaigns, your brand provides step-by-step instructions or forms that will help customers get what they want. You can also show how the process works by giving examples of simplified versions that are easy for reference.


The StoryBrand plan is either in the form of a Process Plan or an Agreement Plan.


The Process Plan aims to eliminate the customers’ doubts and confusion. It consists of three to four steps that the customers need to purchase or use your product.


The Agreement Plan aims to reduce risks to reduce the customers’ fear when doing business with you.


Application Example:

Results and Co website process plan:

Step 1: Schedule a Call

Step 2: Plan Is Created

Step 3: Grow Your Business


Agreement plan examples:

Lists of values

Quality-control standard certifications


And Calls Them to Action


The call to action in StoryBrand is where the customers have to put some skin in the game to get what they want. The main character commonly needs an external force to get them into action.


In the movie, The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen is called to action when she hears the announcement for her and Peeta Mellark to become “tributes”.


Katniss and Peeta don’t want to fight, but they have no choice. They must battle and kill the other tributes and win the competition and the grand prize. The character needs something or someone to call them into action.

In campaigns, It is a direct or transitional call to action, asking the customers what they should do to get what they want.


The direct call to action leads the customers to do what you primarily want them to do. In contrast, the transitional call to action leads the customers to further their relationship with the brand.


Application Examples:

Direct Call to Action:

  • Buy Now
  • Subscribe Now
  • Call Us Now

Transitional Call to Action:

  • Free trial
  • Free ebook
  • Free webinar

 That Helps Them Avoid Failure

Failure is the unpleasant outcome your customers are trying to avoid.


In movies, it is when the story ends in tragedy, such as Romeo and Juliet, where the title characters’ relationship ends in disaster.


On StoryBrand campaigns, the failure can be a consequence of not using your products and services. For example, it could be having to go to jail or never getting the car promised because the customer didn’t pay their bill on time.


Failure is the stake, the effect of what is likely to happen if the main character fails to take action.


Application Example:

In Volvo’s “Moments” commercial, the stake was the girl’s life and dreams for the future. If the driver used a car that didn’t have Volvo’s safety features, the girl’s life would be put in a situation that could threaten her life and plans for the future.


And Ends in Success

Success is the outcome that your customers want to happen. Just like in Disney movies, it is when the life story of a character ends in a happy ending.


In StoryBrand, success is what the main character wants to achieve by taking action. On campaigns, your brand helps customers get what they need and sends them back into reality happy and satisfied that they took action and succeeded in achieving their goal.


Marketers make the main characters envision how their lives will change by undergoing this process. Don’t think that the customers can easily understand the benefits of using your product.


The brand should state the success clearly, so the customers will see that they will get what they want after using your product.


Application Example:

In Volvo’s “Moments” commercial, the girl’s life has been spared because the driver used a Volvo car. The girl has successfully crossed the road to begin her life’s journey by being on the first day of school.


The book also contains links to great resources, one in particular,, where you’ll find a great template to craft your own StoryBrand BrandScript.


I recommend reading the book (or downloading the audiobook) and completing your BrandScript online. I found that it makes the process easier.


If you want to read a basic summary of each of the elements, read my next BLOG, The StoryBrand Framework.


Donald Miller talks about keeping people’s attention. Whether it’s a public speaking event or a marketing email, you need to make sure that your products and services are solving a problem. Business owners who focus on solving problems are more memorable than others who only talk about the stuff they’re selling.


Featured Video, Donald Miller, How to Get Anyone’s Attention


Donald Miller talks about keeping people’s attention. Whether it’s a public speaking event or a marketing email, you need to make sure that your products and services are solving a problem. Business owners who focus on solving problems are more memorable than others who only talk about the stuff they’re selling.

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