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Building A Story Brand

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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 connecting with customers provides readers with the ultimate competitive advantage, revealing the secret for helping their customers understand the compelling benefits of using their products, ideas, or services. Building a StoryBrand does this by teaching readers the seven universal story points all humans respond to; the real reason customers make purchases; how to simplify a brand message so people understand it; and how to create the most effective messaging for websites, brochures, and social media. Whether you are the marketing director of a multibillion dollar company, the owner of a small business, a politician running for office, or the lead singer of a rock band, Building a StoryBrand will forever transform the way you talk about who you are, what you do, and the unique value you bring to your customers.

First published October 10, 2017

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About the author

Donald Miller

152 books2,255 followers
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 having audited classes at Portland’s Reed College, Don wrote Blue Like Jazz, which would slowly become a New York Times Bestseller.

In 2004 Don released Searching for God Knows What a book about how the Gospel of Jesus explains the human personality. Searching has become required reading at numerous colleges across the country. In 2005 he released Through Painted Deserts the story of he and a friends road trip across the country. In 2006, he added another book, To Own A Dragon, which offered Miller's reflections on growing up without a father. This book reflected an interest already present in Donald's life, as he founded the The Mentoring Project (formerly the Belmont Foundation)–a non-profit that partners with local churches to mentor fatherless young men.

Don has teamed up with Steve Taylor and Ben Pearson to write the screenplay for Blue Like Jazz which will be filmed in Portland in the spring of 2008 and released thereafter.

Don is the founder of The Belmont Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation which partners with working to recruit ten-thousand mentors through one-thousand churches as an answer to the crisis of fatherlessness in America.

A sought-after speaker, Don has delivered lectures to a wide-range of audiences including the Women of Faith Conference, the Veritas Forum at Harvard University and the Veritas Forum at Cal Poly. In 2008, Don was asked to deliver the closing prayer on Monday night at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

Don’s next book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years humorously and tenderly chronicles Don’s experience with filmmakers as they edit his life for the screen, hoping to make it less boring. When they start fictionalizing Don’s life for film–changing a meandering memoir into a structured narrative–the real-life Don starts a journey to edit his actual life into a better story. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years details that journey and challenges readers to reconsider what they strive for in life. It shows how to get a second chance at life the first time around.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,722 reviews
Profile Image for C.
1,101 reviews1,046 followers
September 10, 2021
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 failure and end in success.

To the customer you must present yourself as a guide who has a plan to solve their problem. You can create your brand script for free at mystorybrand.com.

Businesses that invite their customers into a story are remembered. Others are forgotten.

The Key to Being Seen, Heard, and Understood
Most marketing doesn't work because it's too complicated. Using stories in marketing makes communication simpler and more predictable.

Focus on aspects of your offer that will help customers survive and thrive. All great stories are about survival (physical, emotional, spiritual). Position products and services as aid to helping people survive, thrive, be accepted, find love, achieve aspirational identity, bond with tribe that will defend them physically and socially.

Must identify what customer wants, what problems you're helping solve, and what life will look like after they engage your products/services.

The Secret Weapon That Will Grow Your Business
Basic story framework: A character who wants something encounters a problem before they can get it. At peak of despair, a guide steps into their lives, gives them a plan, and calls them to action. That action helps them avoid failure and end in success.

Questions your marketing materials must answer within 5 seconds
• What do you offer?
• How will it make my life better?
• What do I need to do to buy it?

The Simple SB7 Framework
Customer is hero, not your brand.

When you give a speech/presentation, position yourself as Yoda and your audience as Luke Skywalker.

Customers want a simple, clear path to do business with you.

If there's nothing at stake in a story, there's no story. If there's nothing at stake in whether a customer buys your product, there's no reason to buy. Must show cost of not doing business with you. Brands that help customers avoid something negative engage customers because they define what's at stake. Use negativity sparingly.

A Character
When you fail to define something customer wants, you fail to open a "story gap," and they have no motivation to engage you; there's no question that demands resolution.

Pare down customer's ambition/desire to a single focus and aim overall brand marketing at that. Marketing of individual products/services can aim at subplots of that focus.

Focus must be relevant to customer's sense of survival: save money, save time, build community, gain status, accumulate resources (make money, increase productivity, decrease waste), find meaning (be generous, be part of a cause).

Has a Problem
Position products/services as weapons customers can use to defeat a dastardly villain. Villain should be personified. E.g. time management software stops distractions in its tracks, because distractions dilute potential, wreck family, steal sanity, cost time and money.

Villain should be
1. A root source, not a symptom
2. Relatable, recognizable
3. Singular
4. Real (don't fear-monger)

Desire to resolve frustration is greater motivator than desire to solve external problem. E.g., Apple sold resolution to problem of users being intimidated by computers.

Give customers a sense of meaning; they want to be involved in a story that's deeper than themselves. Position products/services as tools customers can use to fight back against something that shouldn't be.

Frame buying your product/service as resolution to external, internal, and philosophical problem. E.g., Edward Jones: Villain: financial firms that don't listen to customers. External: I need investment help. Internal: I'm confused about how to do this. Philosophical: If I'm going to invest, I need an advisor who will thoughtfully explain things in person.

4 questions to answer in Problem section
1. Who's the villain?
2. What external problem is villain causing?
3. How is that problem making your customers feel?
4. Why is it unjust for them to suffer at hands of villain?

And Meets a Guide
Customers aren't looking for another hero. They're looking for a guide.

Guide must have empathy and authority.

Need empathy because everyone wants to be seen, heard, understood. Say, "We understand how it feels …" "Nobody should have to experience …" "Like you, we're frustrated by …" "We care …"

Express empathy by highlighting common interests.

Authority means competence and experience.

How to show authority through marketing
1. Testimonials. Use a few (~3), not too many, and keep brief.
2. Stats. E.g., number of customers, how much money they've saved, percentage their businesses have grown.
3. Awards. Include award logos or other indications.
4. Logos of recognizable businesses.

Who Gives Them a Plan
Customers trust a guide who has a plan.

2 types of plan
1. Process plan. Pre-purchase (steps customer takes to buy), or post-purchase (steps to use product), or both. Key is to alleviate confusion. Include 3-6 steps.
2. Agreement plan. Describe guarantee, values. Alleviate fears customers have about working with you.

And Calls Them to Action
You must believe in your product. If you don't clearly ask for sale, prospect senses weakness; they think you're asking for charity rather than to change their lives.

Transitional CTAs (lead generators)
• Free info (white papers, PDFs, podcasts, webinars, etc.)
• Testimonials
• Free samples
• Free trial

That Helps Them Avoid Failure
People are 2-3x more motivated to avoid loss than achieve gain.

Fear appeal
1. Make prospect realize they're vulnerable to threat.
2. Let prospect know they should take action to reduce vulnerability.
3. Let people know about a specific action/offer that protects them from risk.
4. Challenge people to take this specific action.

Use moderate levels of fear; people don't act on low levels, and block out high levels. Treat fear as salt in recipe; use sparingly.

Describe cost of not doing business with you: lose money, health risks, opportunity costs (make or save money), declining quality of life. E.g., for financial advisor: confusion about how money is invested, not being ready for retirement, lack of transparency from advisor, lack of 1-on-1 interaction, hidden fees. "Don't postpone your retirement. You've worked too hard for too long to not enjoy time with your grandchildren."

And Ends in a Success
Never assume people understand how you can change their lives. Tell them.

Vision you paint for prospects should be specific and clear.

How to write end to story: figure out how customer's life will look externally after their problem is solved, then how that resolution will make them feel, then how that resolution will make world more just place to live.

Promise that hero/customer will do one of following
1. Win a power or position.
2. Be unified with someone or something that makes them whole.
3. Experience some self-realization that makes them whole.

To make customer feel complete/whole: reduce anxiety, reduce workload, more time, self-realization, reach potential.

How to offer self-realization: offer inspiration, acceptance, transcendence.

People Want Your Brand to Participate in Their Transformation
Single greatest motivator: desire to transform into better version of self.

Companies that assist in identity transformation create passionate evangelists.

Ask yourself, "how does customer want to be described by others?"

E.g., Dave Ramsey. External problems: consumer debt and financial illiteracy. Internal problems: confusion and hopelessness. Philosophical problem: moral question of accruing debt over things we don't need. Identity transformation: personal strength through strategy and commitment.

Building a Better Website
5 things website should include
1. Offer, above the fold. Short, enticing, exclusively customer-centric. Tell customers what's in it for them. Promise an aspirational identity. Promise to solve a problem. State exactly what you do.
2. Obvious CTAs. Put direct CTA ("buy now", "call now") in top right of site and center of homepage, above fold. Put transitional CTA (lead generator) next to direct CTA in less bright color.
3. Images of success. Show compelling images of happy people who've had pleasurable experience engaging your brand.
4. Bite-size breakdown of revenue streams. Put overarching message that unifies various streams on homepage. Put separate divisions on separate pages.
5. Very few words. People scan, they don't read. Use brief, punchy, relevant copy.

Using StoryBrand to Transform Company Culture
Your StoryBrand can engage employees as well as customers.

The StoryBrand Marketing Roadmap
5 almost-free ways to grow business
1. 1-liner
2. Lead generator
3. Automated email drip campaign
4. Collect and tell stories of transformation
5. Referral system

Create 1-liner that answers: Who is customer? What's their problem? What's your plan to help them? What will their life look like after you help them? E.g., "Most business owners don't know how to talk about their company, so we created a framework that helps them simplify their message, create great marketing material, connect with customers, and grow their business."

Lead generator must provide enormous value for customer and establish you as authority in field.

5 types of lead generators
1. Downloadable guide (~3 pages); give away the "why" and much of the "how"
2. Brief online course, webinar, training
3. Software demo or free trial
4. Free samples
5. Live events

Even if customers don't read your email newsletter, simply seeing it keeps your brand top-of-mind.

What to include in marketing emails
1. Talk about a problem
2. Explain plan to solve problem
3. Describe how life will look for reader once problem is solved
4. P.S.

Testimonials should showcase your value, results you get for customers, experience people had working for you.

Ask customers these questions to build case studies or testimonials
1. What was the problem you were having before you discovered our product?
2. What did the frustration feel like as you tried to solve the problem?
3. What was different about our product?
4. Take us to the moment you realized our product was solving your problem.
5. Tell us what life looks like now that your problem is solved or is being solved.

Referrals and peer recommendations are up to 2.5x more responsive than any other marketing channel.

Create a small educational PDF or video for customers to share with others. Tell customers, "We created this to help people solve X problem. If you have friends with X problem, please send this to them. We'd love to help them too."

Offer rewards for referrals (10% commission or something else).
Profile Image for T.marcetti.
21 reviews
June 20, 2018
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?
Profile Image for Julie Clarke.
16 reviews6 followers
September 16, 2017
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 a business. They were cruel and dehumanizing to me. They embarrassed me and effected my business. They tell businesses to Guide their customers, but they don't practice what they preach. Not only did they not allow me to take their course, they gave me a bogus reason why..

Like Jimmy John's, Chick-fil-a and Abercrombie & Fitch, Storybrand has a good product, but terrible unethical principals behind the scenes.
Profile Image for Sean Owen.
444 reviews23 followers
January 18, 2018
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 the author can't stop hustling jargony titled seminars and services. He ends up sounding like that family member who was sucked into a multi-level marketing company and won't stop bugging everyone to get into his network.
Profile Image for Laura Noggle.
677 reviews388 followers
August 23, 2019
***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 throughout that I want to revisit and work on. From simplifying your website, to establishing a simple tagline, this book has excellent advice.

Most Important Points:

- Sell the problem you solve, not the product.

- Don't be the hero, be the guide.

One of my best reads of 2019 so far.

*** Edit ***
It's been a couple weeks, and I can't stop thinking about this book and recommending it to people.

Further Notes:

"What stories teach us is that people’s internal desire to resolve a frustration is a greater motivator than their desire to solve an external problem."

"As an experiment, let’s see if you can cut half the words out of your website.
Can you replace some of your text with images?
Can you reduce whole paragraphs into three or four bullet points?
Can you summarize sentences into bite-sized soundbites?
If so, make those changes soon.
The rule is this: the fewer words you use, the more likely it is that people will read them."
Profile Image for Andy.
1,377 reviews467 followers
January 8, 2022
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 blueprint of all stories:
The Hero's 2 Journeys (3 Audio CDs Seminar) by Michael Hauge The Hero's 2 Journeys
Profile Image for Miguel.
Author 2 books7 followers
March 4, 2020
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 Miller set out to start his new brand. Moving away from the "Progressive Christian" brand that he used to be associated with. However, an entire book praising his own accolades was not the way to re-brand. There are some good tidbits here and there, but I would not recommend picking this one up. I feel that the writing was much more self-congratulatory than it should have been. So much so that I stopped reading midway through because I couldn't take any more.
If you want a book to help you with telling a better marketing story for your brand, I would recommend picking up Robert McKee's Story and Storynomics: Story-Driven Marketing in the Post-Advertising World. That is a much better approach and doesn't suppose that everyone else is less important or not as smart as the writer.
Profile Image for Rachel Schmoyer.
Author 4 books18 followers
November 17, 2017
Every copywriter needs to read this book. The business you are writing for is not a hero. The customer is. Genius.
Profile Image for Masoud Mirzamani.
29 reviews11 followers
May 4, 2019
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 also can write) to be sold.
As a takeaway from this book, I think I should look into how I came to buy it. Damn you amazon!
Profile Image for Kristianne.
122 reviews17 followers
February 28, 2023
Sooo much practical value packed into this book! I was first introduced to the concept of the StoryBrand Brand Script through the writing program I'm doing (the Author Conservatory), and I found reading through the book so helpful for clarifying certain points I hadn't completely understood before.

I'll definitely be going back to this book again and again for my marketing. It makes me really excited about updating and improving my website and materials to match the framework!
Profile Image for Michael Huang.
831 reviews37 followers
March 30, 2018
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 a plan: your expertise in choosing color/walk to Mordor.
5. Calls to action: now that they trust you, relieve any customer hesitation (money-back guarantee) so that they can act.
6. Failure: in story you need the suspense of possible failure due to the villain: your competitor (show how you are not like "them")/Sauron.
7. Success: make the hero feel good about himself. Create a premium product for exclusivity; Create a sense of completeness when someone buys your stuff; Create a sense of self-acceptance.

The connection between marketing and story telling feels affected at times. But the author succeeded in showing he knows how to manipulate your sorry psychology to make you cough up your mulah. Makes me wonder whether I got tricked in paying $$$ for my Pelikan M1000.🤔
Profile Image for angelareadsbooks.
389 reviews68 followers
September 24, 2020
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 will use that in my work as a marketer. But I was truly disappointed to see such a deep thinker become whatever he is now. This book was repetitive and very surface level. And I felt like I was being pitched at the entire book. Let me know when the old Donald Miller returns because this just isn't for me.
Profile Image for Regin Toftegaard.
1 review3 followers
January 6, 2018
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
Profile Image for Amy.
2,578 reviews401 followers
June 6, 2020
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 brother recommended it to me with promises that it would be better than Seth Godin. And it so was. But if you run in this world, if you listen to the podcasts or as in my case attend grassroots leadership trainings, this is familiar stuff. It is good stuff. It is helpful. But it isn't anything we haven't heard from Donald Miller (or * insert name of trendy marketing guru *) before.
I do recommend this one, however, if you are either unfamiliar with story marketing or want a refresher or even just thinking of updating your website. Like I said, this was a useful book.
Profile Image for Josiah.
825 reviews177 followers
February 25, 2018
As a fiction writer, I really liked this storytelling approach to marketing and branding. It's cool, it makes sense, and I'm pretty sure it's going to work. I'm currently in the planning stages of launching two new brands related to fiction writing and this book has been very valuable in thinking through how to communicate to customers effectively. Miller's points on making the customer the hero and the focus instead of your organization was particularly helpful. And I love the Story Brand path Miller explains in this book. Highly recommended.

Rating: 4.5 Stars (Excellent).
Profile Image for Rachel Schultz.
Author 1 book25 followers
May 8, 2019
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 based on how this author has named everything in his company, he LOVES IT!!!!
Profile Image for Kyle.
99 reviews1 follower
February 7, 2018
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.
Profile Image for G.M. Burrow.
Author 1 book106 followers
January 6, 2019
Helpful and easy to read. Tons of solid advice for communicating exactly what your company does. "If you confuse, you lose."
Profile Image for J. Aleksandr Wootton.
Author 8 books134 followers
December 11, 2020
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 their own story." The mistake most businesses make is subconsciously presenting themselves as the hero. But potential customers are encountering you from within their own story, in which they are the hero. Glancing through your website or brochure, being shown through your pitch deck, they're getting the idea that if they teamed up with you, their story would have two heroes. That might be cool, but what the potential customer wants is not a fellow hero, or even a sidekick, but a guide.

Miller teaches businessfolk how to present themselves as the guide. It seems subtle, but it makes a world of difference.
Profile Image for Ioana.
821 reviews
February 4, 2022
Creează un StoryBrand: Clarifică-ți mesajul astfel încât clienții să-l audă de Donald Miller este cartea ideală pentru toți antreprenorii care vor să își crească afacerea, indiferent de cifra de afaceri, dar și extrem de utilă pentru cei ce vor să își încerce norocul în lumea business-ului.
Cu un limbaj pe înțelesul tuturor, exemple din diferite industrii și multe sfaturi ce pot fi puse în aplicare de oricine vrea să aibă succes cu afacerea sa, volumul desființează mitul conform căruia marketingul este o muncă doar pentru cei specializați, Miller venind cu un ghid practic și simplu ce garantează, într-o oarecare măsură, succesul afacerii.

Profile Image for Andreea Chiuaru.
Author 1 book762 followers
August 5, 2020
E interesantă perspectiva cu care vine, dar rețeta pe care o propune nu e chiar atât de aplicabilă. Am rămas mai degrabă cu o idee generală decât cu un plan de acțiune. Nu mi-a plăcut tonul de sale pe care îl are pe alocuri, am simțit că autorul a încercat să mă convingă de ceva ce nici el nu crede în totalitate: că există o rețetă după care se poate construi povestea unui brand în absolut orice domeniu. Pentru branding personal/zona de servicii e probabil useful, mai ales pentru cineva mai la început de drum sau care își construiește abia acum identitatea. Însă e departe de a fi o carte de pus obligatoriu pe listă.
Profile Image for Jay French.
2,041 reviews74 followers
June 27, 2019
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 the role of the guide – a Yoda to the customer’s Luke Skywalker. I liked that the author referred to dozens of classic movies to give examples of the story structures he’s explaining. This made things clear, although the author promotes the movie “Tommy Boy” as an example so many times you think there must be some other movie with that name that you somehow missed. But no. “Tommy Boy” is obviously the author’s guilty pleasure movie. For those familiar with the storyline comparing men’s movies and women’s movies in “Sleepless in Seattle”, most if not all the movies the author uses are “men’s” movies, with “Tommy Boy” as the poster child. No “An Affair to Remember” here. The author does pitch his classes an excessive number of times. I tend to dislike books-as-ads, especially if the book doesn’t stand by itself providing value. This one, I believe, does provide value. The suggestions offered are simpler than many other corporate storytelling books. The advice is better than some. I can see building stories for my demos at work using the structure described here, and I would expect better outcomes than using story techniques from the pure demo-creation books I’ve read. Nice work.
Profile Image for Cori.
813 reviews139 followers
December 27, 2021
I picked up this book because it was recommended in a blog for writers.

Within the first couple sentences, I went "uh-oh." And then a few later, "ooooh?" And then by the end, "oh!"

In a word, worthwhile! The book addresses marketing and ways to use the seven points of story-telling to capture a customer's attention and grow your business. However, not only is this applicable for marketing and business growth, writers and leaders would benefit from the concepts as well.

Leaders can find a way to connect their team's mission to their work, helping connect meaning to their job. For example, the leader is not the hero of the story. The leader is the guide. The Gandalf to the Frodo. The Obi-Wan to the Luke Skywalker. Our job is to help the team member find their identity in the story as the hero.

Writers can find a way to pull in readers by identifying their plot points and helping the reader personally connect to them.

I'd rate this book a G.
Profile Image for Autumn.
227 reviews233 followers
January 30, 2018
Helpful and straightforward look at what makes brand stories work.

As for the writing, it's hits about standard for this business.
Profile Image for Dmitry.
700 reviews68 followers
June 21, 2019
(The English review is placed beneath Russian one)

И всё-таки мне довольно удивительно видеть у этой книги такой высокий рейтинг. На протяжении всей книги я постоянно возвращался к нему, чтобы ещё раз убедиться, что мне всё это не показалось, ибо книга крайне слабая и как по мне, такой высокий рейтинг – крайне не заслужен.
Во-первых, автор. Автор не маркетолог, не менеджер, не консультант, не академик. Автор – писатель спиритических/религиозных книг. Это первое удивление, которое я испытал, т.к. подобное явление случается крайне редко. Ну, это всё равно, что если бы Стивен Кинг вдруг написал книгу по корпоративным финансам.
Во-вторых, автор ничего нового не предложил. Всё, что он написал, было сто раз сказано как в академических, так и популярных книга по бизнесу в целом и по маркетингу и менеджменту – в частности. Именно поэтому я так и не смог поставить книге самый низкий бал. Да, все идеи автора довольно здравые и верные. Что же не так? Форма. Автор вовлекает правильные идеи в какую-то очень странную форму. Так, он пишет о каком-то выживании, которое вы должны обеспечить своим клиентам, то о герое, то ещё о чём-то похожем. Что это? Зачем это? Пока я читал книгу, я постоянно вспоминал похожую идею, точнее идеи, которые были высказанные в трёх книгах. Первые две, это «Герои и красавицы в рекламе» и «Герой и бунтарь». Во второй книге, которая также более похожа на рассматриваемую, авторы предлагают идею того, как с помощью юнговских архетипов можно создать выдающиеся бренды. Идея интересна и вся книга посвящена этой идеи (в отличие, опять же, от рассматриваемой). Третьей же является книга «Тысячеликий герой» в которой рассматривается механизм работы мифа как такового (т.е. один миф или точнее одна основная идея, вмещает все мифы, что были придуманы человеческой цивилизацией, т.е. их все можно свести к нескольким пунктам). И вот если вы читали все три книги, то вы сможете представить и понять идею данной книги. Я, честно сказать, не очень сильно утруждал себя этим, т.к. всё это уже очень давно читал, а данная работа, опять же, написана слишком не конкретно, расплывчато, ибо автор потом пишет и про работу сайта (как должен выглядеть хороший сайт) и про директ-маркетинг и про многое другое, про менее важные моменты в маркетинге. Да, всё что он написал верно, но всё это пишут десятки других авторов в своих книгах по маркетингу, для которых маркетинг является профессиональной областью. Так что беда данного автора в том, что он расфокусировался. Плюс, его теория героев и злодеев всё же довольно усложнена, слишком много всякого нагромождения.
Вторая важна идея автора – чёткий и ясный месседж который вы посылаете потребителю. Т.е. будьте понятным потребителю. Опять же, идея не новая и лучше всего её отобразил Джек Траут в своей книге «Сила простоты».
В общем, основная идея, вся эта идея его бренд-истории, состоит в том, что потребитель стоит в центре, которому предлагается ясный, чёткий и простой месседж по решение его проблемы (а не вашей!). Что не ново. Или возьмём такую цитату из книги: «1.Что вы предлагаете? 2. Как это сделает мою жизнь лучше? 3.Что я должен сделать, чтобы купить это?». Абсолютно верно и правильно. Так же как всё верно сказано автором про сайт и пр.
Почему же я не рекомендую? В самом начале я дал ответ. Но главное, это расфокусированность, отсутствие одной-двух главных тем и простой, лёгкий, чёткий подход. Идея автора с его постоянным цитированием разных кинолент (Звёздные войны и пр.) мне показалась малоубедительной.
И последнее. Да, я понимаю задумку автора. Книга ориентирована не на сотрудников отдела маркетинга, не на маркетологов, не на бренд-менеджеров и тем более не на директоров по маркетингу с их MBA степенью. Книга, как и книга «Герои и красавицы», ориентирована на самую креативную часть представителей маркетинга как целого, т.е. на сотрудников отдела реклама. С этой и только с этой точки зрения книга будет интересна.

Still, I'm surprised to see this book has such a high rating. Throughout the whole book I was constantly coming back to it to be sure that I didn't imagine it all, because the book is extremely weak and as for me, such a high rating is not deserved.
First, the author. The author is not a marketing specialist, not a manager, not a consultant, not an academician. The author is a writer of spiritual/religious books. This is the first surprise I have experienced, as this phenomenon happens very rarely. Well, it's like if Stephen King suddenly wrote a book on corporate finance.
Secondly, the author did not suggest anything new. Everything he wrote was said a hundred times in both academic and popular books on business in general and on marketing and management in particular. That's why I couldn't give the book the lowest score. Yes, all the author's ideas are quite sensible and correct. What is wrong with that? The form. The author attracts the right ideas into a very strange form. So, he writes about some survival that you have to provide for your clients, about a hero or something similar. What is this? Why is that? While I was reading this book, I was constantly thinking about similar ideas that were expressed in three books. The first two were "Heroes and beauties in advertising" and "The Hero and the Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes". In the second book, which is also more similar to the one under consideration, the authors propose the idea of how to create outstanding brands with the help of archetypes. The idea is interesting and the whole book is dedicated to this idea. The third is the book "The Hero with a Thousand Faces", which examines the mechanism of the myth as such (i.e., one myth or rather one basic idea, contains all the myths that were invented by human civilization, i.e., they can all be reduced to a few points). And if you have read all three books, you will be able to present and understand the idea of this book. I, frankly speaking, did not bother with it, because all this has long been read, and this book, again, is written too vaguely, because the author then writes and about the work of the site (how should look like a good site) and about direct marketing and much more, about the less important moments in marketing. Yes, everything he wrote right, but all this is written by dozens of other authors in their books on marketing, for which marketing is a professional field. So the trouble with this author is that he has lost his focus. Plus, his theory of heroes and villains is still quite complicated, too much piling up.
The second important idea of the author is a clear message that you send to the consumer. That is, be clear to the consumer. Again, the idea is not new and is best reflected by Jack Trout in his book "The Power of Simplicity: A Management Guide to Cutting Through the Nonsense & Doing Things Right".
In general, the whole idea of his brand story is that the consumer is in the center, who is offered a clear and simple message to solve his problem (not yours!). Which is not new. Or take a quote from the book: "1.What do you suggest? 2. How will this make my life better? 3.What do I need to do to buy it? Absolutely right and correct. It's also true what the author said about the site, etc.
Why do I not recommend it? In the beginning I gave an answer. But the main thing is that it is defocused, the absence of one or two main themes and a simple, easy, clear approach. The idea of the author with his constant quoting of different films (Star Wars, etc.) seemed to me unconvincing.
And lastly. Yes, I understand the author's idea. The book is not aimed at marketing department employees, marketing specialists, brand-managers and especially not at marketing directors with their MBA degree. The book, as well as the book " Heroes and beauties in advertising ", is focused on the most creative part of marketing representatives as a whole, i.e. on advertising department employees. From this and only from this point of view the book will be interesting.
Profile Image for Emma Whear.
410 reviews20 followers
June 26, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Leah.
648 reviews87 followers
October 13, 2021
Great book, big impact, my only complaint is that it's very repetitive and could have been much more condensed.
Every story has the same framework or blueprint: there's a character/hero, a hero that wants something but faces problems, a guide who helps them on their way, a villain who tries stopping them, how they solve the problem, how it is after they solve the problem.
The breakthrough is that your business, service, product, whatever - that is the guide for the hero - you being the business you are not the hero you are the guide.
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