When describing your business, do you launch into a boring monologue? Does it start with “My grandfather started the company…” or “Well it’s kind of complicated.” If so, it’s probably being reflected in your bottom line.
Donald Miller (CEO of StoryBrand) shows us how to clarify a brand’s message so that it can connect with customers and the company can start growing again.
Donald Miller encourages us to create a “one-liner” about our business that will spark someone’s interest immediately. This has 3 parts:
1. Identify your customer’s problem
When Donald Miller walks on stage, he doesn’t talk about himself, he immediately opens with: “We have a serious problem, we’re wasting money on marketing.” Why? Because you don’t care about him; this is about you. The sooner you get to the problem, the sooner you can get to the hook.
You want them to think “that’s me! I have that problem!” If the customer initially relates with the problem, it will then help them understand the value of the product.
2. Explain your plan to help them
Okay, this is where you can talk about yourself. Tell them how your product will solve said problem. This is a great place to mention any of your competitive advantages, make sure they’re brief and understandable.
3. Describe a successful ending to their story
Make it the “controlling idea” aka the motivator for your entire business. Make it something they actually want.
Now, what have you created?
It’s a story that you’re inviting your customer into where they’re the hero of the story.
To show what this looks like, Donald Miller presents some sample customer-focused brand messages:
Pet Store – “Pet owners are concerned about what their pets are really eating, so we source our food from trusted, local vendors which ensures your pet stays happy and healthy.”`
Financial Planner – “Most people can’t get their heads around their financial future, so we created a financial map that puts all your info on a weekly dashboard, giving you peace of mind about your finances
Used Car Sales – “Nobody likes to haggle with a car salesman, so we removed the salesman entirely. You can choose and test drive a car hassle free, so you have a peaceful experience getting the car you want.”
We’ve talked to many companies who struggle to explain what they do, which is completely understandable! Your business is complex and it may be difficult to transfer that into a digestible piece of content.
At Reaction, when we help the businesses we work with figure out their branded key message, we often employ some of the techniques outlined by Donald Miller. This branded key message differs from an actual sales pitch as this is more around the awareness when your potential customers are first discovering your company on a website, or from marketing materials. We agree that it’s important to make your customer the hero of the story.
Some initial ways we would recommend employing the StoryBrand strategy are:
- Swap out your mission statement on your website with how you are going to solve your customer’s problem
- Talk less about your company history and more on how you have helped clients over the years (case studies or testimonials)
- Ensure your employees know your branded key message. That way when someone asks where they work, they can easily explain what your business does. Voila. An organic sales team