Building A StoryBrand: Create The Ultimate Brand Story

Joel Woolley

While most of the resources in this section are free, this book will set you back $30, but it's money well-spent! The value you get out of Donald Miller's Building a StoryBrand is insane.

The words you use to market your product are super important. Donald Miller says, "People buy products only after they read words that make them want to buy those products." So how can we find the right words to use?

Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller is the ultimate guide to messaging. You'll learn to talk about what you do and how you add value in a way that any ordinary person can understand.

As a result of changing your messaging, you can start to generate more leads, drive more sales, and engage more customers.

Donald Miller's Building a StoryBrand

Let's take a dive into the StoryBrand marketing framework. Here's how the story starts:

1: A Character that wants something.

The story starts when a character wants something. When it comes to your brand, this is simply the service that you offer.

Don mentions that the key to nailing this piece of the framework is to define only one thing the customer wants. The moment you add too many problems, you dilute the story.

2: The Character encounters a problem.

We've got a solid starting point. We know what the Character wants. But the story only gets interesting when the Character encounters a problem.

The problem is the most crucial piece of the story. It's the hook!

The reason most people will be doing business with you is that your brand solves a problem. So we got to keep repeating that problem over and over again until it registers in our customer's mind.

A great example of this is Panadol. When you have a headache, what do you grab? Panadol. Why? Because you know it will get rid of your headache.

3: The Character meets The Guide.

Now that we've identified the problem, what can our Character do to overcome it? They meet a Guide.

Don is always great at using blockbuster movies to illustrate his points. For example, in The Hunger Games, Haymitch plays the Guide to Katniss. In Star Wars, both Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda play the Guide to Luke Skywalker. The Guide is here to help the Hero.

In your marketing, your brand is The Guide, and the Character is your customer.

So remember this, the story isn't about you. It's about your customer.

4: The Guide gives the Hero a plan.

The Guide is now a part of the story, but that doesn't mean that your Character is ready to take action. Often, they need to know what the next step is going to be.

For your brand, what are the next steps a customer needs to take to purchase from you? What's the plan they can follow?

These steps should bring clarity. So you will have to look at where in your business processes a client needs clarity. Is it before they make a purchase? Or after they have made a purchase?

You can see an example of the plan on my Brand Messaging page.

  1. Book a Zoom call with Joel
  2. We create your Brand Messaging Kit
  3. Get expert coaching

It doesn't need to be more complicated than that.

5: The Guide calls the Hero to action.

Even with a clear plan, the Hero still needs one more thing to take action. They need someone to call them to action.

Make it very clear about what you want your customer to do. Do you want them to Book a Zoom Call? Say that. Or do you want them to Buy Now? Use those exact words.

Don't be passive and use words like Contact Us or Learn more. When your call to actions are clear and direct, you will generate more business.

6 & 7: Define what's at stake: success and failure.

Last but not least, you need to create a picture in your customer's mind of what their life could look like if they choose to go with you and if they don't.

Make sure you use lots of pictures of "success". On your website, show lot's of happy people using your product. Talk about how your brand can save someone money or help them claim back lost time.

If you're dealing with other businesses, talk about how you can grow their business, unite their team, and increase their profits.

But we also must share about what can go wrong. Or another way to put it is what are the consequences?

For your brand, don't be afraid to go a little 'negative'. You don't have to exaggerate the truth, but you need to inform your customer about what can go wrong.

Don says, "if nothing can be lost, there is no story."

So this is a very high-level view of the StoryBrand marketing framework. Learning and understanding this framework has been a game-changer. Not only in how I talk with customers but also in how I communicate every day.

The StoryBrand Marketing Framework

Where can I buy Building a StoryBrand?

If you would like to read Building a StoryBrand, you can purchase the physical book from MightyApe or Book Depository. There's also an eBook available on iBooks or Kindle.

After reading Building a StoryBrand, you can sign up for their free BrandScript tool at We use this here at My Brand Story to keep all our Brandscripts all in one place online.

StoryBrand also has Certified Marketing Guides that can come in and overhaul your marketing. I'm New Zealand's first StoryBrand Guide, and I'd love to answer all your StoryBrand questions. It's simpler than you think. Book a Zoom call with me and find a time that suits you.

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