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One Minute Book Review: Building a story brand - By Donald Miller

It’s known that in every business, the customers have to be the hero, not the brand. “Businesses that invite their customers into a heroic story grow. Businesses that don’t are forgotten.” It’s not the pretty websites that sell anything, it’s your words. And if you don’t clarify your message, the customer won’t listen. Your message has to be simple and predictable in order to be easier for the customer to digest it. Make your company’s message about something that helps people survive and communicate it in a way that doesn’t make the customer lose “too much calories”.

In your story you should include the hero “aka” your customers. And your audience has to know who is the hero, what the hero wants, what are his obstacles to get what he wants, and what are the final results to this road taken by the customer. “When we identify something our customer wants and communicate it simply, the story we are inviting them into is given definition and direction.”

When you fail to communicate your message, you won’t be able to open a story gap. If you don’t open a story gap in your customers’ mind, they won’t have the motivation to engage with your brand, because there’s no question that demands any resolution. “As you create a BrandScript for your overall brand, focus on one simple desire and then, as you create campaigns for each division and maybe even each product, you can identify more things your customer wants in the subplots of your overall brand.”

In your story you should also include a villain, which should be a root source, relatable, singular and real. “The villain is the number one device storytellers use to give conflict a clear point of focus.” In your story the villain initiates an external problem that causes frustration to the customers. This is where your company acts. Companies, in general, tend to sell solutions to external problems. The external problem you solve is causing frustration in the customers’ minds, and these frustrations are motivation the customers to call you.

“The only reason our customers buy from us is because the external problem we solve is frustrating them in some way. If we can identify that frustration, put it into words, and offer to resolve it along with the original external problem, something special happens. We bond with our customers because we’ve positioned ourselves more deeply into their narrative.”

Always put your customers in the hero’s position and your brand in the guide’s position. Every guide has a plan, so you should give your customers a plan, that describes the steps they have to take to buy your product, or the steps the customers need to take to use your product. “Once you create your process or agreement plan (or both), consider giving them a title that will increase the perceived value of your product or service.”

For the final steps, you should call your customers to take action. A call to action is oriented into making a sale, or the first step into the path that leads to a sale: That’s what you call a direct call to action. “Transitional calls to action, however, contain less risk and usually offer a customer something for free. Transitional calls to action can be used to ‘on-ramp’ potential customers to an eventual purchase.”

To sum up, have a clear and simple message to communicate, make your customer the hero of your story, and your brand the guide. Include a villain for you to fight along the way, this will give you more value. Focus on solving your customers’ external problems. Finally, call your customers to take action that leads to a sale.

Farid Rahme

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