Since the dawn of humankind stories have existed as a way to bring people together, provide entertainment, spread the news and remember historical events, and although we may have moved along from cave paintings to more sophisticated mediums – the yearning and enjoyment of good stories haven't changed. What has changed is the accessibility we have to them and therefore the need for a story to be compelling enough to keep our attention amongst unlimited alternatives.
The importance of this is no different whether it's a piece of art, movies, novels or business and the new breed of successful business minds understand the power of an engaging story, using a seven-step method called StoryBrand, to engage with the right audience, deliver a clear message and win business.
StoryBrand certified guide is a select group of specialists who are using the StoryBrand method, with giants such as Procter & Gamble, Berkshire Hathaway and even the White House under the Obama administration. CEO, Donald Miller, says, "The SB Seven framework amounts to the seven things that happen in almost every single story." "Almost every good story has a character with a problem that meets a guide who gives them a plan and calls them to action that either ends in success or failure." In a business context, StoryBrand certified guide expand on that with their clients along the following lines:
The character is the customer, and a company needs to have a strict focus on exactly who they wish to help. The customer must become the hero.
It's challenging to think of a good story where a character doesn't encounter a difficulty or problem which they need to solve. The key to overcoming the problem that the customer is facing is, first, to be fully aware and honest about the specifics of it.
The old saying that "there's no substitute for experience" rings more accurate than ever when a customer experiences a problem for the first time. Being walked safely through the same obstacle by a wise and trusted mentor is invaluable.
As with any critical or momentous decision, having all parties committed and trusting of the plan is vital. The problem has to be crystal clear to develop a strategy that everybody agrees on.
There's no use having the most spectacular plan in the world if it's not going to be executed. Customers need to be free from confusion and uncertainty and comfortable to take action.
Many stories have a sad ending, but in some instances, particularly in business, only a happy ending will do. Customers should know that taking no action is a decision that may ruin the end of their story.
The happy ending inspires confidence in others to follow a similar path, and for those that are successful - to continue using what is working.
For a business to reach its full potential, it should make the customer the hero and remove any confusion from the hero’s decision-making process. Creating a strong narrative that resonates with customers in today’s competitive market separates the elite from the obsolete.