Clarifying Your Brand Message

Defining your brand message is essential for great marketing. However, this is one of the hardest things to do with clients. Listing your target audiences is not enough. You need to take this a step further and get into your customer’s head. Think about their problems or frustrations and what success would look like to them.

About the Book: Building a StoryBrand

Fortunately, there is a framework to help you do this! The StoryBrand Framework simplifies the process, enables you to connect with your customer, and makes it easier to talk about your brand in effective, simple terms. Building A StoryBrand was written by Donald Miller, a New York Times Bestselling author (Buy a copy today!).

Building a StoryBrand highlights where most businesses go wrong, the seven universal story points, how to simplify and improve your brand message, and how to implement this message throughout your marketing.

Where Most Businesses Go Wrong

Most businesses focus too much on boasting and making their business look like such a success. How many times have you heard another person boast about working with Fortune 500 companies, having the largest and fanciest office, or working with a client with X amount of revenue? That’s wonderful, but your customer really doesn’t care and isn’t going to purchase based on impressive stats displayed on your website and marketing materials.

The two most common mistakes businesses make are:

  1. Fail to focus on how their products or services help people survive & thrive
  2. Make customers work too hard to understand the business’s offerings

It is important to remember we are all human beings. We all have innate needs. We are all also bombarded by information, advertisements, and noise daily. So much so, we tend to filter it out and ignore it. Instead of falling into this trap, speak to your customers need to “survive and thrive” to capture their attention.

From your high school psychology class, do you remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was one of the earliest motivational theories that consists of a five-tier pyramid of needs. According to the theory, the needs at the lowest part of the pyramid need to be satisfied before the individual moves up the pyramid to higher needs. From the lowest to the highest level of needs, the pyramid is as follows:

  1. Psychological Needs – Food, water, warmth, etc.
  2. Safety Needs – Security, safety, resources, health, etc.
  3. Belongingness – Love, relationships, friendships, family.
  4. Esteem – Competence, achievement, confidence, respect, etc.
  5. Self-Actualization – Creativity, morality, problem solving, spontaneity, etc.

Maslow’s pyramid is a great reminder that all of us are scanning are scanning our environment for information that is going to help us survive and thrive. With an understanding of how your offering helps customers survive and thrive, you can tell a story that simplifies your message and helps customers understand how your offer will benefit them. Make it personal to their needs so that it speaks to them & captures their attention.

The Storybrand framework is a formula to clarify your brand message. Spoiler alert – If you continue reading this blog or purchase the book, you will never watch a movie or tv show the same way again. The author warns this will ruin movies for you! Once you know the framework, everything seems so predictable.

Seven Universal Story Points

Have you ever looked at a website and wondered what the company does? Far too often, the marketing message is confusing, over-complicated, and impossible for their customer to understand. Instead of overwhelming your customer, what if you told a story? A story that describes the problem, solution, and calls your customer to action is one great way to simply and help your customer understand your value.

The classic story framework makes your message clear and eliminates the noise and confusion. Regardless of the specific storyline, every story features 7 universal points: The character wants something but encounters a problem that poses a roadblock to their desired goal. A guide appears at the opportune time, gives them a plan, and calls them to action. That plan of action helps achieve success and avoid failure.

How to Simplify Your Brand Message

So, how does this apply to your brand? Every brand needs to be able to identify what their customer wants (i.e. character), what is the problem preventing the customer from getting what they want, and what does success look like to the customer.

At a more basic level, you should be able to answer these questions for each target audience:

  1. What problems are they looking to solve?
  2. Which products/services offer a solution?
  3. How will the customer benefit?
  4. How does the customer get started?

Ultimately, it is all about positioning your customer as the hero in the story and your brand as the guide to help your customer achieve their desired transformation!  To help you clarify your message, you can build your own StoryBrand script at

How to Implement Your Message

The last section focused on how to implement your message on your website, how to transform your company culture, and how to create your marketing roadmap.

To build an effective and engaging website, make sure you implement the following:

  1. A simple, one-sentence offer above the fold that describes how you can help your customer achieve success, fix their problem, or exactly what you do
  2. Clear and consistent call-to-actions specifically tell the customer what to do (i.e. Request a consultation or Buy Now).
  3. Images of success to help your customers visualize what they could achieve or what the end result would look like
  4. Provide clarity with an overarching message with a clear breakdown of divisions or revenues (i.e. why so many businesses have sub-pages for their services).
  5. Simplify your message with as few words as possible and build a hierarchy of content so that detailed individuals can click to read more for greater detail.

For a marketing roadmap, there are 5 simple and easy Tactics to implement:

  1. Create a one-liner that describes what you do.
  2. Capture leads through an email opt-in
  3. Create an email drip campaign to nurture your prospects
  4. Incorporate case studies that tell stories of the transformation
  5. Create a referral system

Together, the StoryBrand Framework and the StoryBrand Marketing Road Map has helped thousands of businesses increase their revenue. The book “Building A Story Brand” is definitely worth reading! And there are plenty of free resources to help you define your StoryBrand script and marketing roadmap. If you want additional assistance there are paid online courses, workshops, and certified agencies/copyrighters.


Source: Miller, Donald. Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen. HarperCollins Publishing, 2017.