Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller [Book Summary & PDF]

This book aims to teach people how to sell their product or service. Even better, it shows how people can change the lives of their customers for the better. Most customers want this and the book will greatly assist you in performing this service. If you have some other endeavor, such as making a team or winning someone else's heart then there may be words of wisdom for you as well.

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INTRODUCTION

Who is this book for?

“This is not a book about telling your company's story. A book like that would be a waste of time. Customers do not generally care about your story; they care about their own. Your customer should be the hero of the story, not your brand. This is the secret that every successful business understands.”

With these sentences, Miller begins this great, little book, which is closely related to its title.

This book is for those in business but could be used with other human endeavors. It teaches the businessperson how to sell their product or service. Even better, it shows how the businessperson can change the lives of their customers for the better. Most customers want this and the book will greatly assist you in performing this service. If you have some other endeavor, such as making a team or winning someone else's heart then there may be words of wisdom for you as well.

About the author

Donald Miller is a 48-year-old American who owns a company called StoryBrand. He has authored a number of very successful books, among them, Being Blue Like Jazz, To Own A Dragon and Building a StoryBrand. He has helped more than 3000 companies in their marketing, so he knows what he's talking about.

In this summary

This summary will discuss the following three points:

  1. Why Most Marketing Is A Money Pit?
  2. Building Your StoryBrand.
  3. Implementing your Story Brand BrandScript.

BOOK SUMMARY

WHY MOST MARKETING IS A MONEY PIT

In chapter 1, The Key To Being Seen, Heard, And Understood, Miller points out that pretty websites, fancy logos and designs etc. don't sell things; words sell them He endorses Maslow's well-known hierarchy of needs:

  1. Physiological needs (food, water, shelter, safety)
  2. Psychological needs (love, intimacy, esteem)
  3. Self-actualisation needs (fulfillment of potential)

Miller stresses two fundamental mistakes that most businesses seem to make:

  • Mistake 1: Businesses fail to focus on the aspects of their offer that help people.
  • Mistake 2: Their message is too complicated and the remedy is to create a story.

The key is Clarity. The mantra at StoryBrand is;

”If you confuse, you will lose.'Click To Tweet

The secret weapon

In chapter 2, The Secret Weapon That Will Make Your Business Grow is revealed. Don't bombard your audience with too much information. The transformation at Apple Corporation into the world's wealthiest company came after the professional storytellers at Pixar had surrounded Steve Jobs and completely changed him before he returned to Apple. Miller gives further examples, by using the well-known stories of Hunger Games and Star Wars, and shows how stories can be used to get results.

Stories feature three crucial questions:

  1. What does the hero want?
  2. Who or what is opposing the hero, so they do not get what they want?
  3. What will the hero's life look like if he or she does or does not get want they want?

Does your marketing pass what is called the Grunt Test? There are three questions that marketing must answer:

• What do you offer?

• How will it make my life better?

• What do I need to do to buy it?

The SB7 Framework

Chapter 3, The Simple SB7 Framework, is in many ways a summary of the whole book and can be regarded as the most important chapter in the book. The whole book is devoted to seven basic principles.

  1. The Customer Is The Hero, Not Your Brand. A character
  2. Companies Tend To Tell Solutions To External Problems, But Customers Buy Solutions To Internal Problems. Has a problem
  3. Customers are not looking for another hero; they're looking for a guide. And meets a guide. Miller gives some very good examples of this from such films as, The King's Speech, Hunger Games, Star Wars and even Pixar's Inside Out.
  4. Customers Trust A Guy Who Gives Them A Plan. Who gives them a plan.
  5. Unless Customers Are Challenged To Take Action Then They May Not Take It. And calls them to action.
  6. Every Human Being Is Trying To Avoid A Tragic Ending. That helps them avoid failure.
  7. Never Assume People Understand How Your Brand Can Change Their Lives. You Must Tell them. And ends in success.

IMPLEMENTING YOUR STORYBRAND BRANDSCRIPT

This section tells you how to go about this very important task. He spends a whole chapter on the subject of websites, which are your organization's window to the world and he correctly sees as very important.

The grunt test

You must make sure your website passes what he calls the Grunt Test and converts browsers to buyers.

  • The website should include, and often at the outset, an offer. He calls this, “An above the fold offer.”
  • Your website must feature obvious calls to action and in case you're unsure what this means read chapter 8 of the book again.
  • You must make sure that your website has images of success and plenty of them.
  • You must be clear about what it is that you are offering.
  • Finally and not surprisingly you should use a few words. Brevity is the essence of clarity.

Following this very important task of creating a good website, this section deals with larger organizations and how the StoryBrand approach can be used with them.

StoryBrand marketing roadmap

A roadmap is basically a guide. The first part of a StoryBrand Marketing RoadMap is creating a one-liner. Using Miller's own words,” a one-liner is a statement that helps people realize they need your product or service.” Miller attaches great importance to getting a one-liner.

The second part of the roadmap is to create a lead generator and to collect email addresses. A lead generator is something, which could be a PDF, webinar etc., which allows you to collect email addresses. Miller regards email addresses as extremely important.

The third step in creating a roadmap is having got the email addresses is to create an automated email drip campaign. This is a campaign, which releases information sparingly, not everything at once.

The fourth step is to collect and tell stories of transformation. Finally, in your roadmap, create a system that generates referrals. Happy customers should become the source of further referrals. Miller goes to great lengths to show you how to establish such a roadmap and having done that your success is almost guaranteed.

CONCLUSION

Key takeaways

  • Most Marketing Fails
  • Your Customer must be the hero
  • Make marketing a story with three parts
  • What does the hero want?
  • Who or what is opposing the hero, so they do not get what they want?
  • What will the hero's life look like if he or she does or does not get want they want?
  • Use the SB seven principles to build your marketing
  • Create a one-liner
  • Get a lead generator, so you can collect email addresses
  • Create an automated email drip campaign
  • Collect and tell stories of transformation
  • Create a system that generates referrals
  • By using this book your success is almost guaranteed

Further reading

The premise of Growth Hacker Marketing is that exponential growth as seen from the likes of Dropbox, Instagram and Facebook is not down to luck and it hasn't come from traditional forms of marketing. Their rapid growth has been engineered from the beginning and despite being late entrants into their markets, these companies have succeeded using new age marketing techniques. This short book from author Ryan Holiday is easy to read and an absolute must for the modern day marketer.

Other great reads are The Thank-You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuck – an insight into the changing platform of marketing where Vaynerchuck emphasises the importance of social media in any business venture. And Inspired by Marty Cagan which details the process of creating a product, whether that be internet based or physical.

Guidelines is my eBook that summarises the main lessons from 33 of the best-selling self-help books in one place. It is the ultimate book summary; Available as a 80-page ebook and 115-minute audiobook. Guidelines lists 31 rules (or guidelines) that you should follow to improve your productivity, become a better leader, do better in business, improve your health, succeed in life and become a happier person.

This summary is not intended as a replacement for the original book and all quotes are credited to the above-mentioned author and publisher

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