• Saskia

Successful brands are masters of storytelling and you can do it for your business, too!

Updated: Apr 23

Learn this valuable marketing skill of storytelling for businesses with this simple 7 step framework!

Legendary brands like Apple and Nike are successful because they understand that stories build emotions. And emotions create memories in the brains of the viewers. But most brands and businesses are sorely missing this secret sauce.


The biggest pitfall that companies are doing when advertising or posting on social media: they just talk about their features, services and products. But they are forgetting that people only read what they are interested in. And they are mostly interested in entertainment and in finding solutions to their problems. So ideally you can frame your service or product with a story. The stories you can tell to your audience don't have to be complicated.


As a way to start think about how they would use your product or story. And more importantly why would they buy from you. So think about it like a persistent drop into the endless internet ocean. People scrolling on social media and minding their business. With your constant stream of little stories they build up and idea and a feeling towards your content. This builds up until the point they finally click on your ad or your post or they go and visit your website or shop to find out more.


Here's a simple 7 step framework to help you become a master storyteller:

Most stories follow a similar structure:

A *character* who wants something

encounters a *problem* in their pursuit.

Suddenly a *guide* steps into their lives

who gives them a *plan*

and *calls them to action*.

That action helps them avoid *failure*

and ends in *success*.


We can boil storytelling down to 7 key elements:

1. A character

2. Their problem

3. The guide

4. The plan

5. The call to action

6. Avoiding failure

7. Achieving success


Here's how to craft each element of your story:


1. Character:

• Choose your target customer

• Identify what they want

• Make this the centre of your story

Example: Nike chose underrepresented girls who want to play tennis as the character of this ad:


2. Problem:


• What problems does your customer face in getting what they want?

• Address these problems directly.


Example: Apple identified privacy as the core problem for their hero in this ad:


3. Your guide:


• Position yourself as the solution.

• Demonstrate yourself as a credible solution.

Example: This Nike ad positions their shoe right next to a winning athlete:


4. The plan:

• Tell your hero how you're going to solve their problem.


Example: Apple creates amazing visual guides for their products:


5. The call to action:


• Once you've demonstrated your value, urge the hero to take action.

• Great calls to action are clear and compelling.


Example: Nike probably has the most compelling call to action in the history of advertising - Just Do It:


6. Avoiding failure:


• You've already identified the hero's pain point - the problem.

• Now show them how you're going to help them avoid the pain of failure.

Example: In this ad apple shows you how you can make your life less complicated by switching to iPhone:


7. Achieving success:


• Show the hero what success looks like at the end of their journey with you.


Example: Instead of listing specs and features. this iPhone ad nails it by simply showing you what success looks like - a beautiful picture:


And here is the dose of self-marketing: I can help you setting up your marketing and advertising strategy and create an action plan on how to move your company forward and generate leads for your business. Contact me here.


If you enjoy my marketing tips, please follow me on Instagram, twitter, TikTok or LinkedIn.


And most importantly, the source for this thread: Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller. If you found this useful, I strongly encourage you to buy and read the book.

(Found via Zain Khan @heykhan)