In our latest weekly video, we discuss a foundational part of growing your business: working on your brand. Many branding exercises can be abstract and it’s often hard to understand how they directly affect your business. StoryBrand is different thanks to the actionable and easy to understand framework. Check out these top takeaways from Certified StoryBrand guide John Keehler, and learn how the seven key elements give brands the power to transform their business by making their customers the hero of the story.
Interested in applying the StoryBrand framework to your business? Request a free consultation today!
See Full Transcript Below:
John Keehler: Hi. I’m John.
Reagan Judd: Hey, I’m Reagan.
John Keehler: And, we’re going to talk about something today, a really foundational part of growing your business and that’s working on your brand. If you’ve been doing marketing for a while, especially if you’ve worked with an agency, you’ve probably been approached by some sort of a branding exercise, maybe even had the experience of going through one on your own. I always found in my agency experience that branding exercises were sometimes very abstract, very hard to understand how they actually impact your business.
Reagan Judd: Yeah. My experience in agencies, here in Dallas, around the country, have been a lot in the mid-market agency size. I know yours is a lot like larger agencies. Even here at RUNNER, in years past, when we were a little bit younger, we had, and most agencies have, a unique or branded, or brand strategy session or methodology that they follow. I’ve got to tell you, for many years, going through them, I always felt like clients walked away certain things that helped them, but not enough meaty, actionable items that came out of the strategy.
John Keehler: Yeah. At RUNNER, over the last year, we’ve actually adopted a new brand strategy framework, and that’s called the StoryBrand Framework. Some of you may have heard of this. There’s a book based on it by a guy named Don Miller. We’re actually certified StoryBrand guides. I went out to Nashville this last year and became a certified guide. It’s something that we’ve been offering to our clients. It’s a pretty unique framework and something that we really like in particular because it’s very actionable and very easy to understand.
Reagan Judd: Well, I love the methodology, right? I loved Don. I love what he’s put together, the idea for StoryBrand Framework, not only has it kind of changed the way we operate and work with our clients, but you can see, at the end of a workshop that we do with our clients, that they’ve gotten a lot out of it. It’s a very actionable exercise. I love the framework itself, the way it’s broken down into the elements that make a great story, which as we’ve learned over time, can often make for great messaging for your brand.
John Keehler: Just to give you a little bit of an explanation of the high level of what StoryBrand is, it’s essentially a branding framework that’s built on the idea of story, right? So, there are seven key elements to the StoryBrand Framework. Those are things like, you’re defining your character, what they’re looking for, clearly articulating their problems, thinking about both the rational and emotional sides of those problems, you’re really defining your plan for them. You’re defining what success and failure look like. It’s really, I think, an easy way for people to kind of put themselves in a story with your brand, and kind of see how your brand can lead them to success.
John Keehler: There are a couple of things that I actually want to call out about the StoryBrand Framework that were a little bit more aha moments for me or the places where we see the framework kind of click with clients that we work with. The first one, which I think is the biggest sort of transformative moment for a lot of companies, is this realization that you, as a brand, are not the hero of the story.
Reagan Judd: The most interesting part of the framework is that, the clarification of that.
John Keehler: This is something that where if you really take a look at most of the marketing being done by companies today, if you look at their websites, most of the time they spend is just talking about themselves.
Reagan Judd: Right.
John Keehler: Right. Where they’re the hero of the story. That’s the real kind of sea change with this framework is the customer is the hero. They’re really at the center of the story, and you, as a brand, are helping them succeed.
Reagan Judd: It’s usually a pretty big aha moment, right? Going through the exercise or teaching the framework to people, taking them through the workshop, is when they realize they should be positioning themselves as the guide to help their potential buyers or customers through the decision making process for buying whatever it is that company sells, then they find themselves with very helpful messaging that is addressing a problem that, that customer has.
John Keehler: Yeah. The key of this, right, the key of the whole framework is, it’s a very customer-centric framework, and the idea is, if you’re just talking about yourself all the time, nobody is going to pay attention to what you’re saying, right? But, when you talk about the things that your customer cares about, the problems that they want to solve, then they pay attention. They stay along with you for the story.
Reagan Judd: The part about the platform or the methodology that I like the most is learning to infuse empathetic and authoritative statements into your messaging, right? That’s the way companies can infuse talking about themselves because, of course, a buyer wants to know that you are good at advising them on web development, or you are accomplished at helping them change the tires on their car, whatever it is, you do want to show that you have credentials and authority. But, by being empathetic, you’re connecting with that buyer on an emotional level and allowing them to connect with your brand. I love that part of the framework.
John Keehler: Yeah. The way that we talk about it a lot with our clients is, you want to lead with empathy, right, and then authority is something you sprinkle in.
Reagan Judd: Sprinkle in, yeah.
John Keehler: One of the conversations we have a lot in the StoryBrand community, right, is authority is like the little bit of salt or pepper that you sprinkle onto to recipe. It’s not the flour. We want to talk a little bit about what this has meant for some of the clients that we work with, like what does it really accomplish for them going through an exercise like this.
Reagan Judd: Well, like you said before, the framework really is actionable, right? So I think what we’ve experienced is that, not only is the framework good for that high level clarification of your brand’s message, your voice, but the framework itself is actionable in other forms or really each initiative that you’re trying to work on for your marketing efforts. You can apply the framework to a single page on your website, and if you use the seven elements of StoryBrand, it will make a beautifully architected webpage. If you are going to give a speech to an audience at a trade show or have a speaking engagement, if you followed the StoryBrand Framework to put together your presentation or your speech, even, you could use it for that. And then, for really specific things like making sure that the ads that you create to a company, a larger ad campaign, it gives you a framework to make sure things are consistent, that it lifts the overall campaign.
John Keehler: Yeah. One of the things that I really like about it is, when we do a workshop with a client, they get language that they can immediately use.
Reagan Judd: Right.
John Keehler: My experience in the past with some of these brand frameworks is, if they’re too abstract, if they’re not very actionable, you end up with a great mission statement, but it’s not consumer facing language that you can use. That’s the thing that I really love about this framework is, you can take the language you develop in the workshop and just start using it in headlines, and emails, and things like that.
Reagan Judd: Yeah. I’m not saying that there’s anything bad about a company coming up with their mission statement, right? But, a brand strategy session for companies that don’t have that much time, that need to take action quickly, and that’s just about every company we come across, right? They don’t need to spend a full day hemming and hawing about their mission statement and refining that down to the last word. What they really need is an email sequence to stay in touch with prospects. What they really need is a better landing page. What they really need is a redesigned home page because their conversion rate is terrible, .2%. StoryBrand really does provide a great way to get there. It really does.
John Keehler: One of the last things I want to talk about, as well, is, in terms of StoryBrand, we’ve often had in our workshops people from sales as well as marketing attend, and I think that these kinds of branding exercises will also create much better consistency inside of the organization in terms of messaging, right? It’s not just about the messaging that marketing is sending out, but the messaging that the entire organization is sending out.
Reagan Judd: I love the congruence between sales and marketing. I love that topic and how there’s really not a lot of difference anymore between the right hand and left hand. Sales and marketing, they really need to be connected. Having both groups, or at least one senior group in the sessions with us to go through StoryBrand, you see a lot of aha moments between both groups, looking at each like, oh, yeah, we could really gel around the way we talk to consumers, or person A and person B, we could really gel around that by working on how we clarify our message for that person, together.
John Keehler: So then you had a quote you wanted to share too.
Reagan Judd: Yeah. I mean, something to close with. The time limit of this is just awesome. But, we’ve got an email, or we took a company out of Irving through, it was one of our more recent StoryBrand sessions. Just this morning, the email comes in, and we got some feedback. This customer, she said, “It was great to work with the three of you on the StoryBrand workshop.” That’s sweet. But, she said, “As you have witnessed, we are working hard to move mountains and innovate our own marketing platforms and messaging. The three of you were a big part of the change catalyst, as the workshop from StoryBrand was our first step in the new direction.” And so, you can see that it’s really helped kind of set the stage for where they’re going with this whole thing.
John Keehler: Absolutely.
Reagan Judd: That’s good. It’s good feedback. I think that’s our list for today. We appreciate your time.
John Keehler: If you need some StoryBrand work, reach out to us.
Reagan Judd: Yeah.