The Story framework, developed by Donald Miller, is based on the idea that you can connect to your customers better by presenting your brand messaging with a storyline intent. By positioning the customer as the main character in their story and positioning your brand as the guide will give them a better connection to their problem and how you, as their guide, can help them solve their problem.

Ok, I’m In! What’s the Script?

As with all storytelling, there is a basic formula or script to follow. The story framework is just like that, created to help guide your customers through their problem-solving journey.

Storytelling techniques start with the character, or in this case, your customer. Define what it is your customer wants. In your customer/character’s journey, they will be introduced to a guide; that’s where you come in! The guide enters the story to help the customer solve their problem.

The 7 Step framework

Principle One: “The customer is the hero, not your brand.”

The most significant takeaway from the story framework is realizing your brand isn’t the hero; the customer is. Positioning your messaging with that key element in mind will change how you present your brand to your customer. Understand who your customer is, what their desires are, and how they relate to what you are selling.

Principle Two: “Companies tend to sell solutions to external problems, but customers buy solutions to internal problems.”

For this principle, it’s essential to understand three parts of what defines your customer’s problem.

External: The actual problem

Internal: How the actual problem makes them feel

Philosophical: A belief statement about the actual problem

Most companies will tend to try and sell the customer on the external problem, although most customers are more motivated to solve the inner frustrations they feel. Understanding and providing solutions for all three levels of problems the customer faces will help them connect to your brand and even more create a brand advocate.

Principle Three: “Customers aren’t looking for another hero; they’re looking for a guide.” 

In every story, the hero can’t do it alone! They need a guide. This is where you come in! Luke has Yoda, Harry has Dumbledore, Frodo has Gandalf, you get the idea.  

This principle is vital for a company to understand the Story framework. If you position your company as the hero and not the customer, the customer will remain distant. The hero shouldn’t have to compete with your brand, what they are looking for is a guide who can help them on their journey to success. 

Principle Four: “Customers trust a guide who has a plan.”

As the guide, it’s up to you to provide the customer with an easy step-by-step plan to move forward on their journey. Taking the next step in their purchase is a big commitment for the customer, and they won’t have confidence in their guide without knowing your plan for success.

Principle Five: “Customers do not take action unless they are challenged to take action.”

In storytelling, heroes won’t take action on their own. They need to be challenged to overcome their obstacles in pursuit of success. They need to know there is a clear reason why they need to move forward and take this action. Unless you clearly call people to action, they won’t take it.

Principle Six: “Every human being is trying to avoid a tragic ending.”

Customers want us to cast a vision of what their lives can look like if they use our products or services.

Principle Seven: “Never assume people understand how your brand can change their lives. Tell them.”

As a hero needs to know what they are fighting for, your customer needs to understand what is at stake. If there are no consequences for not doing business with you, there is no reason to do business with you.

Features of a Storytelling Website

Your website is generally the first taste a customer has of your brand. It’s important not to overwhelm them with your brand and talk about yourselves and your success too much. Keep it simple! Cut out the noise and think of your home page as more of an elevator pitch.

Five Basics to Include in Your Site

Offering Above the Fold

Creating an offer above the fold relates to the amount of scrolling your customer will have to do before they understand what your company can offer them. Most customers won’t spend a lot of time digging through your site to understand what’s in it for them. Make your value and offer obvious to your customer so you can grab their attention.

Clear Call to Action

A call to action is what will direct your customer to engage with your business. A call to action may be a button to call your business directly, an offering to opt-in to emails, or a contact us form.  Your call to action should be prominent and formatted to grab the user’s attention.

Images of Success

The images you use on your site hold more weight than just showing your product off. To really engage with the customer, you want them to be able to place themselves with the product and how it can change their lives or make their day-to-day easier. An image of a customer happily holding or using your product can carry the same sort of recommendation as a review.

A Breakdown of Your Revenue Streams

If you have a broad product offering, either try to analyze your most profitable products or scale down your products to services, categories, or offer by industry.

Few Words

Try not to overload your customer with information. The fewer words you can use to drive your message home, the better. As you’re redesigning your site, stick to your story framework and communicate the message that will engage the customer.

Why it’s Important

Let’s face it, the reason they are looking at your site is to find a way to better themselves. Let them be able to see how they can be profitable and successful with your help! By positioning your client as the hero, you are giving them the ability to see how you can help them grow.

How Strategy can help

Strategy can help you navigate your message framework to engage with your customer. Ready to see what your site can be? Contact us today to get started.


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