storytelling strategist shares 2024 marketing trends

You Read “Building a Story Brand”… Now What?

So, you’ve finally read the infamous “Building a Story Brand” book that everyone and their mother recommends and now you’re sitting there wondering, “What’s next?” If so, I get it. While StoryBrand lays a solid foundation for understanding the basics of storytelling in marketing, I believe it’s just that—a foundation. Here’s my hot take and StoryBrand opinion on what it misses and why it’s time to take your storytelling game to the next level.

 

Storytelling strategist shares her StoryBrand opinion

The Good, the Bad, and the StoryBrand

First, let’s give credit where it’s due. StoryBrand does a stellar job of simplifying storytelling by positioning the customer as the hero and your business as the guide. It’s a great way to start thinking about your messaging. It forces you to get crystal clear on your customer’s pain points and encourages a deeper connection with your audience’s emotions.

But here’s the thing: for most businesses, it’s not enough.

Marketing has evolved significantly since the release of StoryBrand, and so have audience expectations. People are tired of the same old tactics. We need fresh strategies to captivate an audience with ever-shortening attention spans (hi, Gen Z). The book provides a singular approach to storytelling, but let’s be real—storytelling isn’t linear. It’s a fluid, dynamic process that should evolve as your brand and audience do!

 

 

The Biggest Problem With Storybrand

One of my biggest gripes with StoryBrand is its rigidity. While the framework is great for beginners, it can be too constrictive for those looking to branch out and explore multiple angles in their marketing. The framework, as presented in StoryBrand, can stifle this creative flexibility, leaving your content feeling stale and formulaic.

Moreover, the focus is heavily on your brand story. Yes, a solid brand story is crucial, but to truly connect with your audience, you need to go beyond that. Share your everyday life. Show the messy, complex, and human side of your business. Life doesn’t fit neatly into a framework, and sometimes, neither should your storytelling. Authenticity comes from sharing real, raw aspects of your journey, not just a polished brand narrative.

 

Going Beyond StoryBrand

As I said, Storybrand is still a great read when it comes to the foundation of storytelling as a business owner. And now that you understand the basics, it’s time to infuse them into your brand in a way that sets you apart. Here’s how:

 

Have More Than One Hero/Guide Story

I’ve already touched on this, but don’t limit yourself to a single narrative. Your brand can have multiple stories that highlight different aspects of your business and resonate with various segments of your audience. Each story can have its own hero and guide if that format is working for you, tailored to specific situations and challenges. By showcasing a variety of experiences and perspectives, you create a richer brand experience that can appeal to a broader range of potential clients.

Be Intentional

While I do believe one story is too limiting, it’s also worth mentioning that you should be deliberate about the stories you share. Think about what each story is supposed to achieve. Is it to educate, inspire, or entertain? Being intentional helps ensure your stories align with your brand’s goals and values. This thoughtful approach ensures that your storytelling is not just engaging but also strategic, helping you meet your business objectives while connecting with your audience on a deeper level.

Use Stories to Differentiate Yourself

Next, use stories to differentiate your brand. Nobody needs to read another “how much I love coffee” story. Don’t be afraid to show your personality, share behind-the-scenes moments, and let your audience in on your journey. These distinctive narratives can set you apart from competitors, making it easier for your audience to remember and refer your brand.

Connecting on a Human Level

Remember, we are humans talking to humans. Your audience wants to see the real you. Share your wins, your failures, your quirky moments. This authenticity builds trust and fosters deeper connections with your audience. By being genuine and relatable, you create a loyal community that feels personally connected to your brand.

 

Storybranding for business owners. Akua Konadu's StoryBrand opinion.

Understanding Pain Points

StoryBrand nails it when it comes to understanding and addressing your customer’s pain points. It forces you to focus on what matters to your audience and how your product or service can make their lives better. This customer-centric approach is gold and in my opinion, should remain a cornerstone of your marketing strategy.

The book also emphasizes the emotional journey of your audience, encouraging you to go beyond surface-level pain points. While I think that’s a good start, it doesn’t dive deep enough. You need to understand not just what your audience feels but why they feel that way, and how you can genuinely help them.

 

The Final Takeaway: My StoryBrand Opinion

My StoryBrand opinion is that it is a fantastic starting point, but it’s just that—a start. The real magic happens when you take those foundational principles and build upon them. So, take what you’ve learned, get creative, and let your storytelling evolve. Your brand—and your audience—will thank you for it.

And, if you’re ready to level up your storytelling game and truly connect with your audience, let’s chat! Curious about what sets your storytelling style apart? Take this quiz to discover personalized strategies that’ll take your skills to the next level, all with a bit of guidance from a seasoned storytelling pro—yours truly! 

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