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Storytelling vs. StoryBranding

March 28, 20243 min read

"Storytelling makes the company the star of the show, whereas StoryBranding enters into the customer's world." - Sarah George

Watch video or read below – your choice!

Who doesn't love a good story? 

When I was a little girl, I listened to stories about lost princesses, evil villains, and Prince Charming coming to the rescue. Each story followed a similar pattern. There was a main character, a problem, a journey, and a happy ending. 

What if I told you that we're all wired to respond to these Disneyesque stories – especially when being marketed to. Except in this case, it's not called storytelling; it's called StoryBranding

Let's discuss the difference between these two concepts and how changing your communication can help you become part of your customer's story. 

What is StoryBranding?

If you've been in my digital realm for some time, you've probably heard me talk a lot about StoryBrand or StoryBranding. This tried-and-tested marketing framework, created by Donald Miller, empowers businesses of all kinds to effectively connect with their existing customers and potential prospects. 

Over the years, I've come to believe in the StoryBrand framework so much that I’ve become a StoryBrand Certified Guide to help my clients grow their brands and become confident in their messages. 

StoryBranding, however, is not to be confused with storytelling. 

In marketing, storytelling focuses on the business' authority rather than crafting a message about solving the customer's problem. Picture going to a business' website only to read success stories and accolades. Not only is this BORING, but it also doesn't relate to the customer or convince them why they need the service or product. 

StoryBranding on the other hand, speaks to the customer and what they care about. It has elements that formulate a compelling story while still showing authority.

A good story hooks the reader from beginning to end. It makes the reader invested because they can relate to the heart of the story or problem. The reader is left feeling as if you've read their mind and understand their struggle, how it affects them, why it isn't going away, and exactly how to help solve it. 

At the end of the day, storytelling makes the company the star of the show, whereas StoryBranding enters into the customer's world.

How to Implement StoryBranding 

Truth be told, we're all a little selfish. Everybody wants to make their life better and easier. Focusing on how your product or service can benefit your customer is the first step to positioning yourself as part of their world rather than them entering into yours (the company). 

Start by knowing your customer (aka the main character). Figure out exactly who they are, what their problem is, and how you can position your brand as the guide to their happy ending – ultimately making them the hero of their story. 

So, whether it's a newsletter, email, website copy, or social media posts, get inside your customers' heads and get them to say, "Yes, this is me!" Become part of your customers' stories so they can trust you and what you have to offer and, if all goes well, be loyal followers of your brand for many years to come. 

Let Me Help You Tell the Right Story

The good news in all of this is that you don't have to do this alone! As a certified StoryBrand guide, I can help you create a marketing framework, learn your customers' likes and dislikes, and write compelling copy that makes their problem feel seen. So, let's connect and get writing your brand's best-selling story!

Sarah George

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