Connect with your customers through storytelling in marketing

Using storytelling in marketing

People love stories. Stories inspire us, fuel our imagination and invoke emotions. But what does that have to do with marketing?

Effective storytelling is a powerful marketing tool for a business because it makes your brand memorable. It communicates your values, and it's what we do as humans. Stories can create a connection between you and your customer. And with that connection comes trust. For example, my story of why I started this business from my kitchen table because of a significant life event has allowed me to connect with some of my clients who have also had significant life changes that led them to start a business.  This story helped me to communicate my values of being self-reliant, entrepreneurship, finding a work-life balance and the ability of human beings to overcome difficulties. I often find these are the values that my clients share. You don't have to have a major life event to relate to the need to find a work-life balance that works for you.

Read more about How to Write Compelling Stories for your NGO or Charity.

Let’s go through some key elements that a great story needs.

Be relatable

Your story's “main character” needs to be somebody your customer can relate to. If you’re talking about yourself in the story, make sure your customers can relate to you. Know your audience so that your story specifically resonates with them.

Identify the problem

What problem or obstacle does the protagonist of your story face? Is this a problem your customers can identify with? Ensure your story includes their journey through the problem as they searched for the solution.

How was the problem solved?

How did your main character overcome the problem? What was the resolution? Does it match or reflect the solution your customer is looking for?


If you want to learn more about using stories in your business marketing, I recommend Donald Miller's training on Story Brand and his famous book Building a Story Brand.


Story telling for marketing concept - Everyone Has a Story text typed words on a old vintage typewriter

About Donald Miller and StoryBrand

Donald Miller is a well-known marketer who has taken an innovative approach to marketing through storytelling. As the founder of StoryBrand, Miller has revolutionized how businesses think about marketing and customer engagement. His StoryBrand framework, encapsulated in his popular book "Building a StoryBrand," provides companies with a seven-part formula based on the principles of storytelling. The framework helps businesses clarify their message, making it easier for customers to understand what they offer and why it matters. With a focus on positioning the customer as the hero and the brand as the guide, Miller's approach has been widely adopted and praised for its effectiveness in cutting through the noise in today's crowded marketplace. His insights have made him a sought-after consultant and speaker, helping countless businesses improve their marketing strategies and achieve greater success.

Donald Miller's StoryBrand approach to marketing is a seven-part framework that helps businesses clarify their message so customers will listen. The framework is based on the principles of storytelling and aims to position the customer as the story's hero, with the brand serving as a guide. Here are the main points and steps:

The Seven Parts of the StoryBrand Framework:

  1. A Character: Identify who the customer is and what they want. This sets the stage for the story.
  2. Has a Problem: Clearly articulate the problem that the customer is facing. This problem can be internal, external, or philosophical.
  3. And Meets a Guide: Introduce your brand as the guide who has the expertise and empathy to solve the customer's problem.
  4. Who Gives Them a Plan: Offer a simple, step-by-step plan that outlines how the customer can achieve their goal or solve their problem.
  5. Calls Them to Action: Create a strong call to action that prompts the customer to engage with your brand.
  6. That Helps Them Avoid Failure: Highlight what's at stake and what the customer stands to lose if they don't take action.
  7. And Ends in a Success: Show the positive outcome that the customer will experience if they engage with your brand.

Strategy and Steps:

  1. Message Clarity: The first step is to clarify your message using the seven-part framework. This often involves a "BrandScript," a tool that helps you fill in each part of the framework.
  2. Website Wireframing: Use the clarified message to create a wireframe for your website that follows the StoryBrand structure.
  3. Lead Generators: Create valuable content that addresses your customer's problem and offers a solution, encouraging them to give you their contact information.
  4. Email Campaigns: Develop automated email campaigns that guide the customer through the StoryBrand journey, from problem to solution.
  5. Sales Letters & Collateral: Use the StoryBrand framework to create compelling sales letters, brochures, and other marketing materials.
  6. Employee Training: Train your team to use the StoryBrand framework in their customer interactions, ensuring a consistent message across all touchpoints.

By following these steps and adhering to the StoryBrand framework, businesses can create a more effective, customer-centric marketing strategy.

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