How to Help Your Brand Cut Through the Noise — “Building a Story Brand” by Donald Miller

About Building a Story Brand


Chapter 1 The Key to Being Seen, Heard, and Understood

If you confuse, you lose.

Chapter 2 The Secret Weapon That Will Grow Your Business

People don’t buy products, they buy the products they can understand the fastest.

Chapter 3 The Simple SB7 Framework

A Character

Has a Problem

And meets a Guide

Who gives them a Plan

And calls them to Action

That helps them avoid Failure

And ends in Success

“Everybody wants to be taken somewhere. If we don’t tell people where we’re taking them, they’ll engage another brand.”


We must tell our customers how great their life can look if they buy our products and services.

Thousands of companies shut their doors every year, not because they don’t have a great product, but because potential customers can’t figure out how that product will make their lives better.


Chapter 4 A Character

Open a Story Gap

Pare Down the Customer’s Ambition to a Single Focus

Choose a Desire Relevant to Their Survival

People will always choose a story that helps them survive and thrive.

What Does Survival Mean?

What’s the Story Question for Your Customer?

Chapter 5 Has a Problem

“Readers want to fret.” — James Scott Bell

The more we talk about the problems our customers experience, the more interest they will have in our brand.

How to Talk About Your Customer’s Problems

The Three Levels of Conflict

Companies…sell solutions to external problems, but people buy solutions to internal problems.

The only reason our customers buy from us is because the external problem we solve is frustrating them in some way.

Philosophical problems

People want to be involved in a story that is larger than themselves.

The Perfect Brand Promise

What Challenges Are You Helping Your Customer Overcome?

Chapter 6 And Meets a Guide

Every Hero is Looking for a Guide

The Fatal Mistake

The Story is Not About Us

Those who realize the epic story of life is not about them but actually about the people around them somehow win in the end.

The Two Characteristics of a Guide

Express Empathy

Demonstrate Authority

How to Make a Great First Impression

Chapter 7 Who Gives Them a Plan

Making a purchasee isn’t a characteristic of a casual relationship; it’s a characteristic of a commitment.

The Plan Creates Clarity

If you confuse, you lose.

The Process Plan

The Agreement Plan

What’s the Plan Called?

Chapter 8 And Calls Them to Action

The Power of the “Buy Now” Button

Do You Believe in Your Product?

Two Kinds of Calls to Action

Those Who Ask Again and Again Shall Finally Receive

Transitional Calls to Action

What are the Stakes?

Chapter 9 That Helps Them Avoid Failure

Brands that don’t warn their customeers about what could happen if they don’t buy their products fail to answer the “so what” question every customer is secretly asking.

Where’s the Mayhem?

What’s There to Lose?

What are You Helping Your Customer Avoid?

Clarify Your Message so Customers Listen

Chapter 10 And Ends in a Success

Always remember, people want to be taken somewhere.

The Ending Should be Specific and Clear

How to End a Story for Your Customer

1. Winning Power and Position (the Need for Status)

2. Union That Makes the Hero Whole (the Need for Something External to Create Completeness)

3. Ultimate Self-Realization or Acceptance (The Need to Reach Our Potential)

Closing the Story Loops

Keep it Simple

Chapter 11 People Want Your Brand to Participate in Their Transformation

Heroes are Designed to Transform

Smart Brands Define an Aspirational Identity

How Does Your Customer Want to be Described by Others

Great Brands Obsess About the Transformation of Their Customers

Examples of Identity Transformation


Chapter 12 Building a Better Website

The degree that you implement your StoryBrand BrandScript is the degree to which people will understand why they need your products.

Start With Your Website

The fewer words y ou use, the more likely it is that people will read them.

Chapter 13 Using StoryBrand to Transform Company Culture

The Curse of the Narrative Void

Just Because You Know the Story Doesn’t Mean Your Team Does

Is Your Thoughtmosphere on Script?

The number one job of an executive is to remind the stakeholders what the mission is, over and over.

Ready to Get Your Company on Mission?

Where there’s no story, there’s no engagement.

The StoryBrand Marketing Roadmap

Your Step-By-Step Plan

One: Create a One-Liner

Two: Create a Lead-Generator and Collect E-mail Addresses

Three: Create an Automated Email Drip Campaign

Four: Collect and Tell Stories of Transformation

Five: Create a System That Generates Referrals

Business is one of the most powerful forces in the world for good.

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