‘Directives’ From Donald Miller’s Building A Story Brand

‘Directives’ From Donald Miller’s Building A Story Brand

If you haven’t guessed, the DTC team loooves to read. One of our recent favourites is Donald Miller’s Building a Story Brand.


We decided to take his Story Brand Framework and turn it into key ‘directives’ (aka content that becomes action). 


Copy and paste this into a document and get your team collaborating on these questions to weave narrative into your brand (+ get your organization aligned):


1. What does the person we seek to serve -- the hero -- want? Remember to think based on survival and thrival (e.g. conserve time, financial resources, build social networks, meaning, desire to be generous, gain status).


2. What is our customer’s -- the hero’s -- problem?

  • Villain // Every story has one: the root cause of the problem→ 
  • External problem // The 'obvious' problem → 
  • Internal // How does the villain make our customer feel
  • Philosophical // Why is this just plain wrong? →

3. The hero meets a guide -- us! There are two ways we can position ourselves as the guide:

  • Empathy → What brief statement can we make that expresses empathy and understanding? 
  • Like you, we are...
  • We understand how it feels to…
  • Nobody should have to experience…
  • Like you, we are frustrated that...
  • We care about you because...
  • Authority → How can we demonstrate competency in solving our customer’s problem?
  • Testimonials
  • Customer stories
  • Stats
  • Awards
  • Logos (B2B)

4. We give them a plan → The plan creates clarity.

  • Process Plan // Are there 3-4 simple steps our customers can take that would lead to a sale or explain how they would use our product after the sale?
  • Example: 1. Schedule appointment 2. We create a customized plan 3. We send a tailored product
  • Agreement Plan // List the agreement we can make with our customers that would alleviate their fears of doing business with us // This plan tends to work in the background
  • Example: 
  • Give ‘The Plan’ a name (e.g. The Barista Blueprint) → 

5. We call them powerfully to action → 

  • Direct CTA
  • Order now
  • Call today
  • Schedule an appointment
  • Register today
  • Buy now
  • Indirect / Transitional CTA (e.g. samples, free information, free trials)? Great for brand equity and warming up the relationship.
  • Get Free Sample
  • Download Free Coffee Guide: Start Your $1 Trial

6. That ends in success // What’s the positive changes our customer will experience from having purchased our product? → 


7. And helps them avoid failure // What’re the negative consequences of not buying our product? → 


8. Character transformation // From --------> To

  • How were they feeling before they encountered our brand?
  • Who will they become after they’ve joined our brand?
  • Aspirational identity → Who do they want to become? Example: From anxiety-ridden, confused, and lost // To: Competent, in charge, relaxed → Free.

Was this ‘directive’ helpful? Hit ‘Reply’ to let us know! And be sure to check out the book here.

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