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An Introduction to The StoryBrand Framework

Clients come to us to grow their businesses. This usually means they’re looking to reach more qualified traffic and convert them to leads. One of the first places we start is by looking at the brand messaging because it’s the foundation for powerful lead generation. You’re wasting money without a clear articulation of who you are and the value you bring to a potential customer. Attention spans in digital channels are especially limited and people aren’t going to spend much time trying to understand who you are and how you can benefit them. Simply stated, when you confuse, you lose.

Most marketing agencies have some version of a process they take clients through to define the brand. Many of them are too abstract and difficult for clients to understand. For this reason, the hard work done in these branding exercises doesn’t always make its way into the messaging.

The StoryBrand Framework

At RUNNER, we chose a proven framework to offer our clients – the StoryBrand framework. It leverages the familiar, universal language of the story that we experience with every book we read or movie we see. Because of StoryBrand’s easy-to-understand, relatable framework, we’ve found organizations are far more likely to implement the messaging across the organization, making for truly effective marketing.

The StoryBrand framework consists of 7 core elements that essentially outline a customer’s journey to success through your brand. It starts by identifying who your customer is and what they’re looking for, followed by clearly articulating their problems. You then establish authority for your brand and offer a plan and calls to action that motivates them to do business with you. Finally, you cast a vision of success when they do business with you and remind them what failure could look like.

What Makes StoryBrand Different?

While simple, this framework is transformative for many brands. We’ve found there are three principles of the StoryBrand framework that are the most impactful to clients we take through building a framework:

  1. You are not the hero.

    You probably think you’re already doing this. But take a closer look. Most companies spend quite a bit of time talking about themselves rather than their customers. Fundamentally, the StoryBrand framework is from the perspective of the customer. It emphasizes positioning your brand as the solution to your customer’s problems. When you make your customer the hero, they pay attention.

  2. Always start with empathy. Add a dash of authority.

    Keeping in mind the customer is the hero, you should always lead with an understanding of their problems and empathy for how it makes them feel. These emotions are often neglected in marketing, yet are often the key to motivating action. This empathy must be backed up by authority, but you simply need to provide confidence by checking the box that you’ve been there, done that. If the StoryBrand framework is a recipe, empathy is the flour, and authority is the salt.

  3. Show the stakes.

    Most brands are reluctant to talk about failure, but the StoryBrand framework includes defining failure as a way to remind potential customers what’s at stake. Like authority, this can be done in simple ways without overwhelming your messaging with negativity. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge that you understand what it means for them to not succeed.

Creating a StoryBrand framework for your business is a great foundation for future growth.

Schedule a Consultation for a free evaluation of your current brand messaging and a proposal to guide the development of your own StoryBrand framework.

John Keehler

John Keehler

Chief Strategy Officer

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