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Building a story Brand By Donald Miller Summary

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Cover_Image Building a story Brand, Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen By Donald Miller

Most of the Company spent million amount of dollar in the marketing campaign. When companies see the result they wonder what went wrong. Either the product was not good or the market campaign. But, No one wonders that the problem might be how they were talking about the product.

Companies spend money on graphics designer, artists and hire a professional to build a website. But the problem is none of them have ever read a good sales copy. So no one knows how to write effective sales copy that clarifies the message.

In this book, Building a Story Brand, you will learn how to clarify your message so customers will listen.

Clarifying Your Message.

You should learn how to clarify your message because a beautiful website does not sell the product, words sell your product. And if you do not clarify your words your customer will not listen.

What is your message? What are you selling on your website? Is your message is simple? Does the customer understand what you are selling within five seconds when he visits your website?

Your customer should answer the above questions within a first five seconds when he visits your website.

Side Effect of Complicate Marketing Campaign.

Most marketing collateral fails, as it is too complicated. The brain did not understand how to digest complicate information.

Make a simple message so the customer can understand. Brands make mistakes because they urge customers to burn calories to understand what they are selling.

Having to process too much information, the brain begins to ignore the sources of information.

Now, do you think? Your customer will do a return visit? Probably not? So when your potential customer visits your website, he is burning calories to understand what you are selling. And if he does not understand what you are selling. He will tune out.

Use Story to Promote your Brand.

You can use story to organize your information. Moviemaker uses stories. You can also use the story to put everything in order so customers can understand what you are selling on your website.

A story show an ambition, define challenges and provide a plan to help us conquer those challenges. The story allows you to entertain the audience. And it can also hold the attention for hours.

Story helps you to express information.

In the story, audience knows who is the hero, what the hero wants, what tragic thinks happens, if he does not win, what wonderful thing will happen, if the hero wins, and who the hero has to defeat to get what he wants – a villain. It is also true for the brand you represent.

Customers have questions and if you are not answering those questions. He will switch to another brand. And if you did not find what your customer wants, what problem your product is going to solve and how life will look like once the customer engages with your product. Your customer will tune out.

You must think, as what you are saying to your customer and what your customer are listening are two different things.

And customers make buying decision is not based on what you say but what they hear.

Polish your Words.

In building a story brand framework. You will learn how to create a filter so you can create a simple message in the essence of your brand.

Once you create a simple message. You can brand your product. Once you understand how story work, you can create your own story that integrates with your brand.

A Suffering Customer, Searching for help.

A character who wants something face a problem before he can get it. A guide enters in his life, give him a plan and force him to take action. The action helps him to avoid failure and end up with success.

Find customer problems and offer yourself as a guide.

You have now entered yourself into the customer story. Now as you find the customer problems. You deepen their interest in your product.

Every customer is here to solve some sort of problem. Once you define the customer problems, you place yourself as a brand to understand them.

The more you talk, the more interest customers will show. You can even look at the levels of problems your customer are suffering from internal, external, and philosophical problems. Let’s take a close look.

Internal and External Problems.

The external problem is physical, tangible problem, customers want to solve.

Customers not only want to solve external problems but he also wants to solve internal problems. The external problems are reasons that cause internal problems.

The internal problem is frustration, self-doubt, incompetent, confusion. Internal problems are the reason that your potential customers will call you.

You will increase the values of the product if your product solves internal and external problems.

Once you position your product as a tool to solve internal and external problems. Customers will sense pleasure and relief.

Because you offer relief. But, be careful, not to include ten external problems, five internal problems, as it might offend your customers.

Position yourself as a guide, not as a hero.

Customers looking for a guide to solve problems.

You should position your brand, as a guide, not as a hero. The guide is the one who already faces the problem and now has an experience of how to face such a situation.

Here are two things your brand should do to position yourself as a guide, empathy, and authority.


Empathy is more than a slogan. When you empathize your customer, you will create a bond of trust. And customers will only trust the brand, once they understand.

Expressing empathy is not difficult. Once you find the internal problem of customers. Then, you have to let him know that you understand his problems and would like to help him to find a resolution.

You must tell your customer that you care for him. As customers will never know until you tell them.

You must show real empathy. It means, you see him as you see yourself. When you show real empathy. Your customers will sense some sort of connection with your product.


Authority means showing competence, as a customer looking for a guide who is experienced. So here your brand should express authority without bragging.

If you deliver service to other business, place a logo of business in your marketing collateral.

Your customer will love to see that you already help other business to overcome the same challenge. You can also use images of customer happily using your product on your website. As it promises your customer that you will make their life better.

Once you make your marketing material, take a minute to see, have you put the right amount of competence? Make sure, you do not brag yourself.

Because when customers will open their mails. A customer is asking can this brand really help me to solve my problems?

A plan to solve problems and elevate fear.

At this point, you have identified customers problem and offer yourself as a guide by expressing empathy and authority to show trust.

But, this is not enough to make purchase. Your Customers are hovering over a Buy Now button. And their subconscious mind saying what will happen if this does not work?

Now, you need to ease the customer about doing business with you. You need to tell him, first click on the Buy now’ button, then scroll down and click here and then this. And your problem is resolved. This is a plan that helps him to make a purchase.

Kinds of plans.

Plans are of many kinds. But the purpose of the plan is to clarify two messages.

  • How customers can do business with you?
  • How to reduce the risk of investing in the product?

If you do not make a plan. Your potential customer will wonder. Now what you want me to do? And this will create confusion. And he ends up with not making purchase. He uses confusion as an excuse not to do business with you.

You can make two kinds of plans if you are selling something expensive: a process plan and a post-process plan.

A process plan allows your potential customer to do business with you. It includes steps on how to make a purchase.

A post-process plan allows your customer to understand how he can use your product, once he makes a sale. The key is to reduce the confusion by making a simple plan. So do not add more than six steps in process-plan.

Agreement plan to build better, relationship.

Another plan you can make is agreement-plan. A process plan allows you to remove confusion likewise, agreement plan allow your customer to fly fear and get relief.

It helps you to increase the bond of trust. And, it also a good idea, to feature your agreement plans on the wall of your business, on shopping bags and the packing.

But, you do not need to feature your agreement plan on the home page of your website. The best approach to make a plan is to put the entire thing your customer is concern about.

Name your Plans.

Once you make both the plans. The next step is to name it. You do not need to name via process-plan or agreement plan.

Because you can do a lot better. You can name your agreement with ‘our quality assurance’ or you can come up with other thought-provoking ideas. Now you provide a plan for your customer to do business with you.

But, before making a final commitment. You need to compel your customer to take actions.

Compel your Customer to take action.

The goal is to compel the customer to take action. Your potential customer will only take action when he forces by the outside force. The outside force is you. If your call to action is not bold enough, you will lose the customer.

You should put a buy now button in the top right corner of your website. And it must not clutter with other buttons or widgets.

The same button should also place in the center of the website, again and again as people scroll your page. The purpose of doing this is to invite your customer to do business with you.

Two kind of call to action.

You can use two kinds of call to action to urge customer to buy your product.

The one is direct call to action and another is transitional call to action.

A direct call to action is requesting to buy the product. You are asking customer to schedule an appointment, call today, order now, register today, or putting a buy now button on your website are the example of direct call to action button.

But in transitional call to action, you offer something for free in the initial stage. Like, giving a free E-book.

Direct call to action Button.

Direct call to action can also include at the end of every e-mail, in radio ads, in television commercials and even you can put it at the end of every team member signature and in all of your business card.

The two important places where you must put your direct call to action button. The first in the top right corner of your website. The second above the fold. Because when somebody opens your website, his eyes move in the Z pattern. From top left to top right.

The eyes first see the logo and tagline of the website and then, a direct call to action, which informs him, without confusion, what you are selling. And then, again a some Buy Now button above the fold, that urge him to do purchase.

For better result, the color of Buy Now button should be different from any other button on the website.

But all the buy now button should be in the same color. But make transition button less bright than direct call to action button.

Benefit of transaction call to action.

  • When you help customers by providing him a free PDF. The next time he encounters a problem, he will first come to you to get relief from problems.
  • Transition call to action makes you generous. As you are providing your stuff for free. The more you give to customers the more they will invest their money in the future.
  • Offering a free-trial period is also a transitional call to action. That works like risk removing policy before onboarding.
  • Giving a free sample of your product.
  • Creating a testimonial of happy customers, fire your potential customers a sense of trust. Because they see other people successful ending and now they also crave for the same.

Cost of not buying your product.

You need to aware customers on what will happen if they do not buy your product.

Because as a brand your job is to pursue customers. If you fail to do so, customers will run away. You must tell customers. What will he loses if he does not buy your product?

If you do not bring the negative stake high enough. Customers will not take any action. But, you do not need a great deal of fear. As too many warning will also turn off your customer. A few bullet points that tell terrible, awful things will happen if the customer does not buy your product. Neither too much nor too little, otherwise, you will turn off your customer.

Note: Show at least three consequences to not buying your product.

Destination, your product is taking your customer.

Customers do not want to end at the same place where they started. Define where is brand taking people?

Are you taking them to financial security or better physique?

Create a table with two columns.

The first column is where the customer is before buying your product. The second column is where you have taken your customer after buying your product.

Now think how customers will feel before and after buying your product. What is the status and how their average day will look like? These are questions, your brand needs to answer.

customers want you to participate in their transformation.

Everybody wants to change everybody wants to become different, better and more self-accepting.

If your brand helping people to become physically fit, more acceptable, and more at peace. Then definitely customers will love to engage with you.

Here you are not only selling a product, but you are also changing the lives of people. Spend some time and think, how you improve the lives of customers and how customers see themselves after having your product.

Re-design your website.

Your website should offer three answers when your customers’ visits.

  • What does your website offer?
  • How they improve their life?
  • How to buy a product, the website is selling?

Once you come up with the above three answers. Your goal is to edit your existing marketing material. Your brand Script should be including in your email campaign, elevator pitch, and sales script. The more you execute Story brand Script formula, the more clearly you will communicate to customers.

You may also like:
Crush It Summary.
The Business School Summary.
Purple Cow Summary.

Above article is the extract version of the book “Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen” written by “Donald Miller”.


Rahul is a WordPress writer and the founder of Rystandard.com. A blog to encourage you to make changes for the better. If you would like to connect, follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

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