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Mistakes business owners make with their brand story

building a storybrand brandscript

Writing your brand story can be a daunting task. Some people feel like their brand doesn’t have much of a story, so they don’t know what to write about. On the other hand, some folks are so enamored with their own product or service that their brand stories are all about them. 

Building a Storybrand Brandscript is a great way to give yourself some direction. It can help you overcome many pitfalls that can cause your story to come off disingenuous or uncompelling.

How building a Storybrand Brandscript helps your brand story shine

We have infinite choices for everything we buy these days, and the best way to stay relevant as a brand is to tell a compelling story that people can grab onto. Online marketplaces pitch millions of similar products and services at comparable prices. If we don’t have anything that drives us to one brand or another, we tend to go with a company that looks reputable enough and has competitive pricing.

Building a Storybrand Brandscript allows you to tell a compelling story about your brand that translates into a necessary part of your customers’ own stories. The Storybrand framework is a seven-step marketing strategy developed by Donald Miller that utilizes The Hero’s Journey, which is a tried and true storytelling framework that has been around as long as stories have been recorded. As such, the seven steps will likely paint a familiar picture.

1) A character

The character in the Storybrand framework is the customer.

2) Has a problem

The customer has a need that causes them frustration on some level. Your brand is a perfect solution to their headaches.

3) And meets a guide

You are the guide in the Storybrand framework—the empathetic party who understands the problem and wants to help.

4) Who has a plan

Your expertise in your field allows you to help them formulate a plan based on the best available information.

5) And calls them to action

This is where the character steps up and takes the plunge. You’ve shown them solutions, and it’s time for them to act.

6) That helps them avoid failure

If your guidance is on the mark, the customer will avoid failures associated with going an alternate route.

7) That ends in a success

When the story truly ends in success, the customer’s character arc is complete. They overcame the obstacles to get what they wanted. Your help as a guide was invaluable.

Tapping into your customers’ real-life frustrations is what makes you indispensable in their journey. Let’s look at some common branding mistakes and how a Brandscript can help you avoid them.


Branding Mistakes Examples

Learning some common branding mistakes to avoid can be just as important as identifying what is working for you. Here are some common mistakes to avoid.

Problem 1: Going too small, or not at all.

Sometimes, business owners don’t think their company really has a compelling story. Maybe they are simply filling a need in the community, and there’s no great story surrounding the company’s founding. It can be intimidating to compare your story with the stories of companies whose brand stories read like fiction. 

Lucky for all of us, the Storybrand framework takes you through a process that brings out the compelling story you are searching for. Don’t compare your story to others, you have a unique brand and your brand story can be told using the same formula used for all great stories. 

When you follow the framework and make your clients the heroes, a compelling story will emerge that people want to engage with.

Problem 2: They don’t identify their customers’ problem correctly

We are unable to solve problems we haven’t identified. If a car’s engine has problems, changing the tires will do little to fix the way it idles. Identifying our customer’s true problems correctly is the key to understanding how our brands can help alleviate them.

For example, people have mixed emotions associated with the dentist. Some people love the feel of a freshly cleaned set of teeth. Others may have PTSD flashbacks of a particularly painful root canal they had when they were younger. No matter what the case may be, we’re all simply looking for a bright and healthy smile and someone who can help us get there.

If you spend the time really identifying your customers’ drivers, you will see an overarching philosophical problem that your customers need to be solved.

Identifying your customers’ internal and external dilemmas will also help you discover their Storybrand philosophical problems. Identifying the internal and external problems allows you to understand why, philosophically, it’s just plain wrong for your clients to have to deal with those problems. Everyone deserves a better way of doing things which ultimately leads one towards their aspirational identity. 

An aspirational identity is simply this: How can you provide a “hero” version for the outcome of their story, rather than just getting something done? If you’re a landscaper, your customer’s aspirational identity may be a hands-off approach to their property being the envy of the neighborhood. Not only will their lawn be mowed and plants watered, but people will absolutely fawn over their crazy beautiful piece of land.

Problem 3: Their brand doesn’t extend beyond the product

If you’re sensing a theme building around the story, you’d be correct. That’s because few people will emotionally engage with a product itself. Unless your product or service is a revolutionary one that will end world hunger or save lives, it’s just another product that they can find through other channels. The engagement comes through emotion. That’s why storytelling is so effective.

If you find yourself constantly talking about the product in place of a story, it’s time to rewrite the script. Building a Storybrand Brandscript will steer your conversation to what really matters to your customers. That simple change in the discussion makes your brand infinitely more important to their lifestyle or worldview.

Problem 4: Their empathy is lacking

This one can be a little tricky. Empathy helps us connect, but if it feels unbelievable or misguided, it can miss the mark. If your attempts at empathy go unnoticed, you may have misidentified your customers’ problems and need to redefine them. If you’re on the mark as far as the problems, maybe your empathy is falling flat.

It’s okay to tell customers that you understand their feelings, but it’s an entirely different thing to show them that you take that to heart in everything you do. Marketing towards that sense of empathy through community outreach and public relations shows people that you are proactively pursuing solutions to the things they’re concerned with.

Problem 5: They talk too much about the brand itself

While people want to hear about your brand, they also want to hear about how your brand fits into their lifestyles. Constantly beating them over the head with how great your product is may seem like a good idea, but you get a lot more engagement by eliciting an emotional response.

In order to get that emotional response, your focus should be directed at demonstrating how you fit into their amazing story. They want to know how you are helping them solve their problems. If you can show them that, you transition from being a simple product or service into a real solution. Fully developing your brand story framework is a perfect way to sharpen your focus.

Problem 6: They don’t follow through on the framework

A problematic Brandscript is like a bad plot in a book or movie. It may be full of holes, and it’s uncompelling. Each of the seven steps in the Storybrand framework is essential. It’s great to identify your customers’ needs and offer them guidance, but that’s only half the battle. If you ignore the call to action, you don’t gain any customers. If you don’t follow through to their success, you haven’t effectively solved your customer’s problem. 

By delivering on their aspirational identity, or the feeling that they got all the things they wanted out of the transaction, your customers become excited about the whole process. They have a story to grasp onto. They can tell their friends and family about how you solved their initial problem and delivered a whole lot more.

Problem 7: They try to do it on their own

Sometimes, when we are too close to a project, we can run into speed bumps that wouldn’t be problems for someone on the outside. This is called the curse of knowledge, and when you know too much, it can be hard to simplify your story. Hiring a third party to help with your Brandscript can help you avoid those big, bad branding mistakes.

Some business owners are uncomfortable spending money getting help, but that money spent will pay for itself in no time. Don’t let branding mistakes define your brand in the eyes of your customers. Building a Storybrand Brandscript that is well thought out, ensures that your brand really understands its customers and delivers in a way that emotionally entangles the brand and customer. This builds brand loyalty. 

If you’re ready to develop a compelling brand story, it’s time to start thinking about what your customers REALLY want. It can’t be what you want them to want. This can be a tough thing to work through. Get help when you need it. Your Storybrand Brandscript will be much stronger for it.

We live the Storybrand framework and love to help. Reach out any time.