Book Review: “Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen”

This is a short and to the point book on marketing. It defines a process to help you craft an engaging brand message. The approach is based on scripting your message according to the general pattern of what a story is:

A hero has a problem and meets a guide that gives them a plan and calls them to action that helps them avoid failure and end in a success.

Note that in this story, your company is NOT the hero, you are the GUIDE.

Movies (the good ones) follow this pattern. (Try it out on movies you like, it works!). According to the author, using this approach gets customers engaged and excited about your company.

The book deconstructs the formula and breaks it down in seven steps:

  • A hero
  • has a problem
  • And meets a guide
  • That gives them a plan
  • And calls them to action
  • That helps them avoid failure
  • And ends in success

Each step gets its own chapter, and at the end of the chapter, you should have clear actionable outputs that ultimately allow you to craft a meaningful brand story. Note that this is not a silver bullet. You need to put in time and effort and probably should see it as an ongoing process of constant improvements.

Ultimately, the story that comes out should allow you to review your mission statement, your website, your business literature, pretty much everything associated with your company.

For me, it was well worth time and effort. I’m unsure if it’s going to improve my sales or allow me to grow my client base but it certainly allowed me to better understand what is lacking in my message. It also gave me an inkling as to what I should do to fix things.