Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller

Building a StoryBrand

Table of Contents

Reading Time: 5 minutes



Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller - Notes

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Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller - Notes

Deepak Shukla’s Notes On Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller – Notes:

Hey guys,

I finished reading this book on the 10th January 2021.

Here’s a synopsis of the book I grabbed from Amazon:

“New York Times best-selling author Donald Miller uses the seven universal elements of powerful stories to teach listeners how to dramatically improve how they connect with customers and grow their businesses. ”

And here are my actual notes I took whilst I was listening to this on Audible:

  • Building
  • How to create a log line
  1. The character
  2. The problem
  3. The plan
  4. The success
  • Hollywood one liner for your business is critical (Log line)
  • Create a system that generates referrals
  • Collect stories of transformation from your customers
  • Created a drip campaign for each site
  • Create a lead generator and collect email addresses
  • Create a one-liner
  • Steps company should go through
  1. Create brand script with leadership team
  2. Audit existing thoughtmosphere
  3. Create custom story brand cultureimplementation plan
  4. Optimize internal communications to support the plan
  5. Install a self sustained team to enhance the culture
  • Mission is story you care about and that you can get your people passionate about
  • Need a CEO keynote presentation (Deepak does this)
  • Onboarding more about company’s customer’s than it is about the company itself
  • Curriculum taking new start through story of the customer and how the company positions themselves as guide in the story
  • The onboarding Experience is more like getting adopted then being hired
  • Kill the narrative void
  • 5 things a Website must include
  1. An offer above the fold
  2. Obvious calls to action
  3. image’s of success (people smiling)
  4. Bite-sized breakdown of your products
  5. Fewer words you use more likely client understand what you do
  • Smart brands define an aspirational identity
  • Everyone wants to become some different or someone better
  • Chapter 11 – People want your brand to participate in their transformation
  • What problems are you really solving in your customers life? Start basic because these are real problems than evolve
  • Fubu – for us by us
  • American Eagle – used real images with no touching up
  • Acceptance – helping people accept themselves as they are
  • Associate your company with intellectual or athletic accomplishment
  • Transcendence – 1 for 1 buy some shoes (Tom shoes) and give another pair to people in need
  • Can you associate your brand with inspiration?
  • Product gives you more time
  • And also reduced workload
  • Your product as reducing anxiety (and feeling of completeness)
  • Give customers more self esteem status etc is powerful
  • Everybody wants status
  • Showing people happily engaging with your product and having a before and after
  • Every customer wants to know where we will take them
  • Remember. People always want to be taken somewhere
  • What are the consequences of your customer not doing business with you
  • Stop burning money on outbound ad and sales campaigns. Inbound is the future. SEO is what you need. Call us now
  • Fear is salt in the recipe just need a pinch of it
  • Fear appeal
  1. Make reader or listener know they are vulnerable to a threat
  2. Since they are vulnerable – should take action to reduce their vulnerability
  3. Know about specific CTA that protects them from the risk
  4. We should challenge people to take this action today
  5. We should challenge people to take this action today

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  • Use messages from the failure category in marketing
  • Transitional calls to action
  • 2 CTA on all pages across PL sites
  • Heroes need to be called upon by outside forces
  • Ask them to place an order
  • Part 5: And Calls Them to Action
  • Do you share unique values with your customers?
  • What fears do customers have about your Industry?
  • Process plan = steps customer needs to take to do business with you
  • Process or agreement plan
  • Plans create clarity and derisks working with you
  • In every movie you can think of the guide gives the hero a plan he can follow
  • Part 4: Who Gives Them A Plan
  • Hero trusts somebody who knows what they’re doing
  • Commonality should be huge part of your pitch
  • Are you like me?
  • Guide must have empathy and authority
  • This is true in life as well as stories
  • Always position customer as the hero and the brand as the guide
  • Customers aren’t looking for another hero. They are looking for a guide
  • Steps to create a brand script
  1. Go to and create a brand script
  2. Brainstorm all literal and metaphorical villains into a list
  3. Brainstorm external problems your product solves – is there one that represents a wide swathe of products?
  4. Brainstorm the internal problem, frustration or doubt customers have as it relates to your brand – is there one that stands out?
  5. Your brand part of a larger internal story is there a philosophical stance your brand stands against
  • Brainstorm all the literal or metaphorical/philosophical villains your brand stands against
  • Villains that your customer face
  • Brands that do this: Tesla
  1. Villain = gas guzzling technology
  2. External = I need a car
  3. Internal = I want to be early adopter of new technology
  4. Philosophical = my choice of car ought to help save the environment
  • Frame the buy now button as the action the customer must take in the story
  • Resolution of internal, external and philosophical problems often most poignant and climatic moment in movies at the end.
  • The brand promise
  1. Finally. Get the attention you deserve
  2. Helping the little guys get the attention they deserve
  3. Finally, have your prospects come to you
  • Brands that give customers a voice in a larger narrative add value to their products by giving their customers a deeper sense of meaning
  • Eg Romeo and Juliet ask if family squabbles and tribal unrest are more important than romantic love
  • Philosophical problems should be talked about with words such as ought and should
  • Eg why is it important that Bridget Jones finds love?
  • Eg Why is it important that Hamlet avenge his father’s death?
  • Philosophical problems. Solving the problem of why?
  • Framing our product as a solution to both internal and external problems raises our perceived and actual value
  • What frustrations do your services resolve
  1. Organic rankings you can brag about
  2. Rank above your competitors and Google it everyday
  3. Be proud of where you are on Google
  • In every story hero has the same question – Do I have what it takes?
  • These are all problems customers will initially come to you with
  • Moneyball = need to win baseball games
  1. Internal problem was that coach failed in his career as a baseball player so wanted to see if he could redeem himself as a manager
  2. Eg in Starwars Luc Skywalker was told he was too young to join the resistance so he doubted his ability till the end
  • Eg bomb that will go off in speed if Keanu Reeves doesn’t keep speed of bus above 50mph
  • External problem is often physical tangible problem hero has to solve to make problem go away
  • Villains job is to wreak havoc on the hero
  • 3 levels of conflict
  • What is the chief source of conflict that your service defeat
  • Your customer should be the hero of your story
  • Businesses that bring your customer into a heroic story grow
  • Need to get a copywriter in for Pearl Lemon
  • Focus on aspects of your offer that will help your customer survive and thrive
  • Communication must be simple
  • Story formulas are critical
  • Our message must be clear always
  • Stories can hold a person’s attention for hours
  • Story makes music out of noise
  • Simple messages we can repeat over and over until it’s instilled into our consciousness
  • Apple went from 9 page advert to 1 and with two words ‘Think Different’
  • Be like Q in the Bond Movies
  • Apple doesn’t make the best laptops. They make the most memorable ones