Building A Storybrand – Donald Miller Book Summary

Building A Storybrand – Donald Miller | Free Book Summary

Building A Storybrand – Donald Miller

Customers buy solutions to internal problems, while companies sell solutions to external problems. Making your customer the hero of a story is the goal of StoryBranding.

The key to be seen, heard and understood

Customers will not listen if we do not clarify our message. Simple and predictable communication is easier for the brain to digest.

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When talking about their products and services, brands make two critical mistakes:

  • They fail to focus on the aspects of their offer that will help people survive and thrive
  • They make their customers burn too many calories in order to understand their offer.

Make your company’s message understandable to readers or viewers without expending too many calories.

The Hero’s Story

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What is the basic tenet of the Hero’s story?

  • A CHARACTER who desires something encounters a problem before obtaining it.
  • A GUIDE enters their lives at the pinnacle of their despair, presents them with a PLAN, and CALLS THEM TO ACTION.
  • This action saves them from FAILURE and leads to SUCCESS.

Fundamentals Of A Hero’s Story

  • What does the hero desire?
  • Who or what is standing in the way of the hero achieving her goals?
  • What will the hero’s life be like if she gets (or doesn’t get) what she desires?

Prospective customers must be able to answer the following questions:

  • What do you have to offer?
  • How will it improve my life?
  • What do I have to do to get it?

Identifying and defining the story gap

When we identify what our customers want and communicate it clearly, the story we invite them into gains definition and direction.

Identifying a potential desire for your customer creates what is sometimes referred to as a “story gap.” The idea is to create a barrier between a character and what they desire.

Creating A Brandscript

Focus on one simple desire as you create a BrandScript for your overall brand, and then you can identify more things your customers want in the subplots of your overall brand.

Customer desire examples:

  • Conserving financial resources;
  • conserving time;
  • developing social networks;
  • gaining status;
  • amassing resources;
  • the innate desire to be generous;
  • and the desire for meaning

The Villain

The villain is the most common device used by storytellers to give conflict a clear point of focus.

The villain does not have to be a person, but it must have personified characteristics.

The antagonist should be:

A source that is relatable, singular, and real.

The more you talk about the villain, the more people will want a tool to help them defeat him.

In a story, a villain causes an external problem that causes an internal frustration that is, quite simply, philosophically incorrect.

Solving Problems

The external problems we solve are causing internal frustrations in people’s lives, and, just like in a story, it’s those frustrations that are motivating them to call you.

The only reason our customers buy from us is that the external problem we solve frustrates them in some way. If we can identify that frustration, and solve it, we are solving their internal problem as well.

The philosophical problem in a story is about the question “why?”

A philosophical problem can best be discussed using terms like “ought” and “shouldn’t.”

People want to be involved in a story that is larger than themselves.

Adding credibility and authority

A hero looks for a guide from someone who knows what they’re doing. The guide does not have to be perfect, but he or she must have significant experience assisting other heroes in winning the day.

There are four ways to increase the authority of your marketing.

  • Statistics;
  • Testimonials;
  • Awards;
  • and Logos

The Call To Action

There are two types of calls to action: formal and informal.

  • Direct calls to action are distinguished from transitional calls to action.
  • A direct call to action is something that leads to a sale, or at the very least is the first step on the path to a sale.

Transitional calls to action, on the other hand, are less risky and usually provide the customer with something for free. Transitional calls to action can help potential customers “on-ramp” to a purchase.


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