Story Brand By Donald Miller | The Story Brand Framework

Have you spent ridiculous amounts of cash on marketing without any gain? I sure have. And I was left wondering what to do. As I launched each new campaign I would hit the “Go Button” with so much stress, because I had no framework to work from to know if what I was sending out would be a success. I had a scatter shot approach. You might feel the same way, it’s OK. You are not alone. But before you drop major cash on your next marketing campaign, check out Building A Story Brand by Donald Miller. He has developed the framework we needed for decades. 

The StoryBrand podcast shot up to the 10 ten podcasts list in iTunes within a couple of weeks of it’s debut. Donald Miller’s co-host has a phd in communications and leads science backed insight to how to make your brand convert. Story Brand offers an online course and private workshops. Here is the main page of the story brand site, which they A/B test at a phenomenal rate. You can find the graphics from the book here. And the StoryBranding software is a great tool for working thought the Story Brand framework.

Top Takeaways

Donald Miller teaches that we should clarify our messages by putting customer’s story first, rather than what we usually do – talk about ourselves.

Be The Guide Not The Hero

This is likely the single most important teaching from the book. Too often we position our company as the hero swooping in and saving the day for our clients. 

Instead we should think of our clients are the heroes, we are the guide.

Focus on Client's Basic Needs

Focus on writing sales copy with words that connect with our customer’s basic needs. 

  • Survive and thrive
  • Find love
  • Achieve an aspirational identity
  • Bond with the tribe physically and socially

Cut Out The Noise

In the classic marketing text published in 1980, ‘Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind’ by Al reis and Jack Trout, claims person sees over 70,000 words of marketing copy every day. I can only imagine that this number has gone up considerably since then. We are constantly bombarded by marketing ‘Noise’ and it is making customers lose interest and attention to what we are selling. 

In Donalds podcast he mentions a small business owner that cut his marketing copy on his website by 300% and doubled his sales leads in less than one month. 

Although I do love the “They Ask You Answer” Approach to content and blogs. We need to be careful about answering questions that your potential new clients are not asking – at least not asking yet. 

Sell Today – Educate Tomorrow – Sandler Sales Training, Fort Collins SBDC

So rather than bombarding our sales leads with information, ultimately confusing them or selling features leads are not interested in. Donald recommends clarifying your message to the point that it passes a “Grunt Test”.


The Grunt Test

Within 5 seconds our customers should be able to figure out:

  • What we are selling
  • How we benefit the customer
  • How to buy it

I love Donald’s example of a cave man wondering if they should buy aspirin. Here is the 5 second “Grunt test” For Aspirin:

–In Caveman Voice– “Aspirin. Make headache feel better. Buy at Wallgreens.”

Thats All Well And Good. But, How Do You Do That?

It is easy to say that is what we need to do. Donald goes one step farther and also provides a framework to make your copy pass the grunt test. Here it is:

  • You know how {everyone has this type of problem}? 
  • So {we did this awesome thing that solves that problem]
  • That way {you benefit like this}
  • Contact us 

See how that is framed like a story? Pretty cool. And even cooler, Donald is a black belt master at doing this on the fly. Check out this video where Donald Miller clarifies company messages like some kind of super enlighten guru black belt master. 

I was simply floored when I first saw how easily he does this and I am still nowhere close, but over time, it has gotten easier to see 

  • How new client leads seek out solutions to the problems they are having. 
  • How I can guide them to our awesome solution

Why It Works

“The human brain is drawn toward clarity and drawn away from confusion.” – Donald Miller

When you organize information into a story the brain does not need to work as hard. The more simple and predictable your marketing copy is, the easier it is for the brain to digest. Stories put everything in order so the brain doesn’t have work figuring out what might come next.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *