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Section 1: Why traditional marketing is a money pit
Section 2: Build your own storybrand
Section 3: Implementing your storybrand
Table of Contents
Traditional marketing which talks about how good your company is and how impressive your products are is an incredible waste of resources. It's just background noise and it confuses customers. To be noticed, you've got to clarify your message and explain how you help customers survive and thrive.
"How many sales are we missing out on because customers can't figure out what our offer is within five seconds of visiting our website?" — Donald Miller
Marketing today is tough because there's so much noise in the marketplace. Everywhere people turn advertisers are shouting about their brands. Most marketers are making two critical mistakes:
1Marketers keep talking about product features – rather than focusing on the aspects of their offerings that will help people survive and thrive. The human brain's primary job is to help us survive. To get people to notice your products or services, you need to use stories which describe how your product helps people survive, be accepted, find love or realize their dreams.
2Marketers force people to burn too many calories in an effort to understand their offer – which again goes completely against human nature. Potential customers will tune you out if you throw too much information at them at once.
With that in mind, the key to being heard in today's marketplace is to make your message about something that helps the customer survive and to do that in a way they can understand without burning too many calories. The most powerful tool for achieving that is to use stories involving your customers.
"Story is a sense-making device. It identifies a necessary ambition, defines challenges that are battling to keep us from achieving that ambition, and provides a plan to help us conquer those challenges. When we define the elements of a story as it relates to our brand, we create a map customers can follow to engage our products and services." — Donald Miller
If you really want to communicate with customers, the best way to clarify your message is to use what is called the "SB7 framework". It looks like this:
The point is stories work because they can make music out of noise. Stories are intensely engaging and can hold a person's attention for hours. Stories are incredibly addictive and if you can figure out your customer's story and then place yourself smack in the middle of it, impressive things can happen.
"The reality is we aren't just in a race to get our products to market; we're also in a race to communicate why our customers need those products in their lives. Even if we have the best product in the marketplace, we'll lose to an inferior product if our competitor's offer is communicated more clearly." — Donald Miller
The marketing power of stories is perfectly illustrated by Steve Jobs and Apple. In 1983, Apple launched a computer called Lisa with a nine-page ad in the New York Times spelling out Lisa's technical features. The computer bombed and Steve Jobs left the company. When he returned after a stint running Pixar, Jobs launched Think Different which highlighted interesting stories. Apple stopped featuring products in their ads and instead made customers their heroes. The company's business soared on the strength of simple and relevant customer stories.