Using Stories to Build Your Business

Building A Story Brand by Donald Miller

Your customer should be the hero of the story, not your brand. This is the secret every phenomenally successful business understands.

~Donald Miller, Author

We humans can easily remember stories at a great level of detail, while a ten-bullet list from a PowerPoint presentation is immediately forgotten. Stories are memorable and they induce strong emotions, and that’s why many successful companies use stories when wooing customers.

Now… What kinds of stories are most effective?

SB7 Framework

In the book Building a Story Brand, Donald Miller gives business owners a process for crafting effective stories. He calls the process The StoryBrand 7-Part Framework (SB7).

One point of the framework: Customers aren’t looking for a hero to rescue them. Customers are attracted to stories where they play the role of the hero, and they want to demonstrate power by rescuing themselves.

Whether they know it or not, the customer wants a guide who can counsel them into becoming a better hero.

For example, in the Star Wars movies, Luke Skywalker is the hero. To fully develop his heroism, Luke needed a guide, Obi Wan Kenobi, to point him along the correct path. The “hero needs a guide” theme is repeated in our favorite movies because it is a core component of human existence. Other examples:

And so on.

The Role of the Business Owner

StoryBrand Principle One: The customer is the hero, not your brand.

~Donald Miller

If the customer is the hero of the story, what role do we play as business owners?

The business owner is the guide. We guide the hero along the path (in the form of our product or service) that enables the hero (the customer) to fully develop their heroic skills.

Further Steps

Building a Story Brand describes other points of the SB7 Framework in detail, while offering advice on using SB7 to grow our businesses. The book is well worth the reading time.