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Building a Storybrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen
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Building a Storybrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  12,377 ratings  ·  1,223 reviews
New York Times bestselling author Donald Miller uses the seven universal elements of powerful stories to teach readers how to dramatically improve how they connect with customers and grow their businesses.

Donald Miller's StoryBrand process is a proven solution to the struggle business leaders face when talking about their businesses. This revolutionary method for connectin
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by HarperCollins Leadership
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Chad Warner
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: marketers, business owners
Recommended to Chad by: Andy Tabisz
One of the best branding and messaging books I've read. Miller shows how to use storytelling to make your messaging and branding simpler and more effective. I like the straightforward, common sense approach.

Here's the basic story framework you can customize to write your "brand script": A character who wants something encounters a problem before they can get it. At the peak of despair, a guide steps into their lives, gives them a plan, and calls them to action. That action helps them avoid failu
Julie Clarke
This is a good book, but I have a hard time giving a good review. I was the biggest fan of Miller and StoryBrand. I bought all the courses, listened to all the podcasts, read the advanced reader copy of this book. I was a true evangelist for StoryBrand even after they tried to charge me twice for a $2k course. I met Don and his team in person and I enrolled in their Guide program. I have never received such terrible treatment. I've never been treated this poorly by another human being, much less ...more
Jun 20, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
First three chapters are a sales pitch to get you to buy the book you already bought. If you cut out every variation and instance of the line "I'll eventually tell you something, if you buy this book," I bet this book would be cut down to about 10 pages.

Who would have guessed that a message about the importance of a clear message would be so convoluted?
Laura Noggle
***June 2019, 1st Reread: Just as excellent as the first time around. Working on implementing many of the principles. Will probably read this again.***

Want to improve your story? This book is for you.

Sometime you read things when you need to hear it. As an entrepreneur, and a writer, it can be easy to get lost in the narrative. Your story can be easily convoluted and needs to be simplified for maximum effectiveness.

I will definitely read this book again. There are many actionable steps througho
Sean Owen
I don't enjoy business books, but occasionally I have to read them for work. The general thesis of "Building a Storybrand . . ." makes sense. There's a lot of marketing noise and unless you are really clear in your communication and focused on your customer's story you're not getting through. A clear message will have benefits externally with customers and internally with employees. A good observation, but hardly the basis for a 200+ page book. The rest of the book is inane anecdotes. Even worse ...more
Rachel Schmoyer
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every copywriter needs to read this book. The business you are writing for is not a hero. The customer is. Genius.
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This had useful overall advice for using storytelling for marketing. The incessant plugging of the author's website was annoying on audio. Also, it called to attention how he's not following his own advice all that well. Because the main point is the customer is the hero, but there's an awful lot about how amazing he is according to himself and not that much relatively in terms of memorable stories of customers in their own words.

A better book just on the concept of the Hero's Journey as the bl
Nada Elshabrawy
So far my favorite business book ever. Highly recommended.
May 23, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Very unusual that a book on how to do something begins by telling you what everyone is doing wrong, and then proceeds to continue to make that same mistake throughout the book. One of the very first things that Miller begins discussing is how customers, well everyone's, stories are all about them. He then posits that businesses must then make our stories about the customers. The worst thing is that Miller then proceeds to tell story after story making himself the hero.
I get it. I know that Mill
Masoud Mirzamani
May 03, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Why this book is rated this high I don’t know!
It was full of forcing itself to be sold. Which is strange because if we’re reading we already being sold! and what was that SB7 anyway?
If anyone tells me if you play by these limited rules, your win is guaranteed, which by coincidence that person happens to be a salesman, I know as a fact that it is a lie to win me over not me to win.
He won though. I lost my time on this. But I learned one thing. Most marketing books are products by a salesman (who
Michael Huang
The central lesson is: to market your product, come up with a story. The story is not about you or your business, but about the customer. If you are unafraid of being stifled by a framework, the book offers the so-called SB-7 to help you craft your story: character, problem, guide, plan, calls to action, failure, and success.

1. The character is the customer/Frodo.
2. He has a problem: house is ugly/need to destroy the ring.
3. He needs a guide: your painting company/Gandalf.
4. There needs to be
Regin Toftegaard
Short, to the point and eye-opening

I can't even count the number of books I have read about marketing. Most of them have been good, but none of then managed to give me the clarity and concrete tools on how to build brand stories. This book has changed all that, and finally I have been given the much needed guide to create stories that sell
Jun 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amy by: Samuel Buchmeyer
I am skeptical of any book that throws around phrases that sound like the (™) symbol should go after them.
i.e. Look at the title of this book. StoryBrand(™) , anyone?.
But this one pleasantly surprised me! It was short, practical, and insightful. It is definitely one I plan to come back to and probably will buy in physical copy. (Audio version worked fine. I think for quick reference, print would be better.)
That said, none of it blew my mind. And I can't really blame the book for this. My brothe
Rachel Schultz
I haven’t read too many leadership or business books but my husband says a lot of them could have been a blog post and then are fluff. This book had substance every chapter and good marketing ideas.

If you learned about the Hero’s Journey in high school literature class then you know a lot of what’s in here. He applies that to marketing. Occasional things weren’t the best but I liked, even though I have a general distaste for when people name their business or products stylized LikeThis. But bas
Justin Ryder
Reads like an ebook of common sense.
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent resource on integrating story into your branding and marketing! Filled with movie analogies and helpful tips, this book is one I will revisit again and again.
G.M. Burrow
Mar 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Helpful and easy to read. Tons of solid advice for communicating exactly what your company does. "If you confuse, you lose." ...more
J. Wootton
Dec 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: job
Clear, succinct, sufficient. Length and content are perfectly paired (a rare achievement). Miller's entertaining presentation of a timeless narrative formula gives readers the first 80% of what they'll need to explain what their business does and why busy people should care. An indispensable "Stop! Read This First" for anyone setting up or overhauling the company website or outreach materials.

Miller's core insight builds on the notion, well-known to storytellers, that "everyone is the hero of th
Jun 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, business
I’ve read more than a dozen books on telling stories for business, and I find that they take different tacts to tell their own stories. I find this StoryBrand book is a bit more basic than most I’ve seen recently, but to me the simplicity in its storytelling suggestions is a good thing. Instead of drilling down into story archetypes and theory, this book suggests looking at a handful of aspects of the story. Key takeaway is to put the customer in the role of the hero, and to put the company in t ...more
So, I decided to give this book a chance. A marketing book group I'm apart of chose this book and seemed excited about it. I have avoided most of Donald Miller's works during this new reiteration of him. I was a huge fan of him during his Blue Like Jazz days. And his newer works just don't jive with me. I should have stuck with my preconceived notions. Have you ever read a book that could have just been an article? This was true of this book. I appreciate the Brandscript program he created and w ...more
Jan 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Helpful and straightforward look at what makes brand stories work.

As for the writing, it's hits about standard for this business.
Emma Whear
Jun 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Out of all the "cheesy/inspiration/you can do it with a little magic/motivation" books I've read lately, this one takes the box cake, throws it away, and makes a homemade gelato.

Seriously, charming, witty, insightful, breezy.

Good job, team.

Super, super love the idea of re-branding your company along the lines of "stories" and putting your customer as the hero and yourself as the guide, versus the other way around.

I actually started underlining part way through instead of just guffawing.
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book simplifies storytelling so that you can apply it to your business, your brand, or your life, I suppose, and make it more compelling. A story has a hero -- the customer. That hero has a problem. The hero with a problem meets a guide. The hero with a problem meets a guide who gives the hero a plan. The hero with the problem and a guide who gives the hero a plan issues a call to action. The hero with a problem and a guide who gives the hero a plan issues a call to action and helps the her ...more
Kelly Hodgkins
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller shifts the paradigm surrounding the key perspective when creating a brand story and highlights the power of storytelling to making a brand heard in the marketplace. Donald starts by saying, “Your customer should be the hero of the story, not your brand.” His logic behind this is sound and easy to test, each of us is a consumer of brands, and, yes, brands that make me the hero and act as my guide draw me deeper.

He offers this approach to get the most out of
Claire Brear
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent. Simple, practical, and helpful with loads of useful examples. Just what I needed right now for my business.
Daniel Espinoza
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
The point that is driven home by numerous mentions and several movie references is: Your customers are the hero and your business needs to be the guide.

What follows is a checklist (called a framework to seem high class) of tasks to refine a company’s marketing copy.

Where the book really shines is not leading with “you need an email list” like everyone does. Email lists are mentioned, but the best part of the book is clear examples of webpage headlines, email list copy, and company one-liners.
I've been listening to the StoryBrand Podcast since the first episode and always get something out of it. This book organizes all of that info and provides a framework for putting it all together. Solid advice for companies of any size. ...more
Trevor Winsor
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I’d give it 6 stars if I could. So practical and simple, yet so powerful in its message and truth. Will weekly come back to this book as a resource to shape my thinking and my messaging!
Mohammed Al-Zadjali
Listened to the audiobook about a month ago, what I took from it were simply to:

1. Realize the power of storytelling for marketing.
2. Sell the problem that your product solves, not the product itself.
3. Avoid being a hero, and be the guide instead.

Apart from that, I was bombarded with the constant plugging of the authors' website all throughout the book, the plugging was especially annoying through audio. Every time the author had a good thing going on in this book was suddenly cut short by a st
Milda Stasaitytė
The rating is based solely on my personal and limited experience, since, well, it was 99% irrelevant to me. I took it hoping it would deal more with the actual communication, writing per se, social media etc. rather than business marketing strategies. My bad.

+ I liked reading about the key metaphor - the classical story as a framework/philosophy of branding. I also liked how it helped me realize some things I constantly see (and am strongly irritated by) as a customer.

- I didn’t like how overall
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Donald Miller grew up in Houston, Texas. Leaving home at the age of twenty-one, he traveled across the country until he ran out of money in Portland, Oregon, where he lives today.

Harvest House Publishers released his first book, Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance, in 2000. Two years later, after havin

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When it comes to whiling away the dog days of summer, nothing is better than a good book. Or two. Or three. Let’s say ten! We’re getting...
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“In every line of copy we write, we’re either serving the customer’s story or descending into confusion; we’re either making music or making noise.” 7 likes
“Imagine your customer is a hitchhiker. You pull over to give him a ride, and the one burning question on his mind is simply Where are you going? But as he approaches, you roll down the window and start talking about your mission statement, or how your grandfather built this car with his bare hands, or how your road-trip playlist is all 1980s alternative. This person doesn’t care.” 5 likes
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