Better Communications with StoryBrand

by | Leadership, Non Profits, Strategic Communications

If you’re new to StoryBrand, you’re about to discover a powerful tool to transform your organization’s communication and marketing efforts.

This communications framework quickly and effectively aligns your team and organization at all levels — so you use meaningful shared language everywhere, from casual conversations with stakeholders all the way to annual reports, presentations, and sales or marketing collateral.

Teams can learn StoryBrand as a tool for creating messages together, and getting everyone on the same page more easily. 

Here’s a quick intro to how the framework functions.

How does StoryBrand work?

Your audience is busy and distracted. News about the work you do competes with thousands of other messages every day. Without clear, consistent, and engaging communication at every level of your organization, important initiatives risk being ignored, and chances of gaining support and involvement could be lost.

The StoryBrand framework helps tackle these challenges. By speaking to your audience’s needs, desires, and challenges, you can build emotional connections, connect more deeply with your audience, and motivate people to take action.

Clear, memorable, emotionally-resonant messaging helps people understand and care about what you do, which can be used to increase the engagement and support that are essential to your organization’s mission.

Who uses StoryBrand?

StoryBrand is used effectively by large and small organizations across almost all industries. Some recognizable companies using StoryBrand include: Ramsey Solutions, Toms Shoes, Compassion International, Profit First, Advocare, Young Living, General Mills, Tempur Sealy, Chick Fil A, Intel, Steelcase, Ford/Lincoln, and Berkshire Hathaway.

“Brands that participate in the transformation of their customers win in the marketplace every single time.”

– Donald Miller
Author of Building a StoryBrand

Core Principles of the StoryBrand Framework

1. Leverage the Power of Story

Humans have used stories to communicate for millennia because they are structured in a way that our brains find easy to follow and remember.

Stories fundamentally shape how humans process information and make decisions. By harnessing core principles of story, we can communicate with greater clarity and impact.

Stories cut through the noise and make us pay attention. This is critical in a busy marketplace, where your audience is bombarded with thousands of marketing messages every day, on every device.

Stories are remembered and passed from one person to another. Using story to deliver your key messages makes them more memorable.

2. Your Customer is the Hero

The StoryBrand framework organizes your message around a classic narrative arc, where a Hero (your customer, stakeholder, or client) encounters a problem and overcomes it with the help of a Guide (your organization).

This is a fundamental shift away from traditional messaging (all about the organization’s achievements) and towards a customer-centric message — where your organization guides people to overcome their hurdles and achieve their goals.

By positioning the audience as the hero and your organization as the guide, you create a psychological bond. The audience sees themselves in the story and feels that your organization truly understands and can address their needs.

3. Simple is Effective

To encourage people to digest and take action on information, we create simple, clear, precise communications. Simplicity is harder than it looks. We “burn the calories” to simplify complex ideas so our audience will receive exactly the message we want them to.

Be Consistent Across Your Organization

By using the StoryBrand framework every time you create a new product or campaign, you can ensure your core messages are consistent across every interaction (from social media to client conversations), and help your team maintain a unified, connected voice.

This framework helps to simplify communications. You’ll start each new messaging project with clear guidelines and create a set of key messages that can be turned into various different pieces of collateral. (The same impactful talking points should underpin all your communications — including customer interactions, marketing campaigns, presentations, and more.)

Similar to a Brand Design Guide, you can establish a Brand Communications Playbook — a standardized set of messages and guidelines your team can use to strengthen the overall impact of your communications.

Questions to Reflect On:

    1. How do you currently talk about the work you do?

    2. When you explain your work to people, are they interested to learn more? When/if you meet an ideal client in real life, are they interested in how you could help them?
    3. Does your whole team know how to talk effectively about your organization? Or does each person have a different approach, with varying results?

If you need help getting everyone to talk more effectively about your work, ask about our team trainings!

Learn More:

Read “Building A Story Brand” by Donald Miller. Available on Audible and at booksellers everywhere.

This podcast episode is a nice quick overview of the StoryBrand approach. It’s a little old, but still a good one.