Sometimes we get introduced to concepts we just can’t shake. Ideas and methods that just make sense and then the following desire to apply it. When I first started building websites over twenty years ago the idea of using an idea framework seemed unnecessary. You simply made pages and put the relevant content in them.
Idea frameworks like StoryBrand became necessary as marketing and branding became more complex and competitive, and businesses needed new ways to stand out in a crowded marketplace. In the past, branding and marketing were often focused on the features and benefits of a product or service, with little attention paid to the emotional needs and desires of the customer. As competition increased, however, businesses began to realize that they needed to create a more emotional connection with their customers in order to stand out and build loyalty.
StoryBrand and other frameworks like it go beyond simple UX (user experience) by focusing on the emotional aspects of branding and marketing. While UX is important for creating a user-friendly and effective website, it doesn’t necessarily address the emotional needs and desires of your site and visitors. Frameworks like StoryBrand provide a way for businesses to create a compelling brand story that speaks directly to the emotions and desires of their target audience, creating a deeper connection and building loyalty.
In addition to their emotional appeal, frameworks like StoryBrand also provide a clear and concise way for businesses to communicate their message, cutting through the noise and creating a message that resonates with their target audience. By following a framework like StoryBrand, businesses can avoid the confusion and inconsistency that often comes with a fragmented marketing message, and instead create a clear and consistent brand story that speaks directly to their customers.
Other frameworks exist like StoryBrand, and many can be used together and rarely conflict but rather focus on different audiences such as Design Thinking, User-Centered Design, Atomic Design, and Conversion Rate Optimization. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of different frameworks, businesses can create a tailored approach that best meets their specific goals, target audience, and industry.
The StoryBrand framework helps you create a website that tells a story – a story that resonates with your site’s visitors and inspires them to take action. The framework consists of seven elements: a character, a problem, a guide, a plan, a call to action, a failure, and a success. Let’s look at two specific examples of how to apply these elements to web design:
Example 1: A personal trainer's website
To apply what we have learned about our fictional personal trainer's site using StoryBrand the flowing can be added to their site.
- A clear and concise headline that communicates the personal trainer’s value proposition, such as “Transform Your Body with Personalized Training Programs” or “Get Fit and Feel Confident with Expert Coaching.”
- A brief introduction that establishes the personal trainer’s credibility and highlights their unique approach to fitness and wellness. This could include information about their training and certifications, their philosophy on fitness, and their approach to working with clients.
- Testimonials from satisfied clients, with before-and-after photos and descriptions of their transformation. This can help build social proof and establish the personal trainer’s credibility.
- A detailed description of the personal trainer’s services and programs, with information about what’s included, how the program works, and what clients can expect to achieve. This could include information about workout plans, nutrition coaching, accountability and support, and other services that the personal trainer offers.
- A clear call-to-action (CTA) that encourages visitors to take the next step, such as “Book Your Free Consultation Today” or “Join Our Online Community and Start Your Fitness Journey.”
- Engaging visual content, such as photos and videos of the personal trainer in action, client success stories, and workout demonstrations.
- A blog or resources section that offers helpful tips and advice on fitness and wellness, as well as updates on the personal trainer’s services and programs.
Example 2: A software company's website
To apply what we have learned about our fictional software companies site using StoryBrand the flowing can be added to their site.
- A clear and concise headline that communicates the software company’s value proposition, such as “Simplify Your Workflow with Our Powerful Software Solutions” or “Transform Your Business with Customizable Software Solutions.”
- A brief introduction that establishes the software company’s credibility and highlights its unique approach to software development. This could include information about the company’s history, expertise, and approach to software development.
- Testimonials from satisfied clients, with examples of how the software has helped them achieve their goals. This can help build social proof and establish the software company’s credibility.
- A detailed description of the software solutions that the company offers, with information about what the software does, how it works, and what benefits it provides. This could include information about features, integrations, customization options, and pricing.
- A clear call-to-action (CTA) encourages visitors to take the next step, such as “Request a Demo” or “Get Started Today.”
- Engaging visual content, such as screenshots and videos of the software in action, client success stories, and case studies.
- A blog or resources section that offers helpful insights and advice on software development and related topics, as well as updates on the software company’s products and services.
StoryBrand is a great concept to apply but it is not without its drawbacks. The StoryBrand approach may oversimplify complex issues and fail to communicate the full depth and complexity of a brand or product. Additionally, while the framework can be adapted to suit different brands and industries, it may not be flexible enough to accommodate all unique needs and challenges. It’s also important to note that the StoryBrand framework is primarily focused on branding and marketing, and may not be a comprehensive solution for all aspects of web design and marketing.
This has been one of my longest blogs, but this subject required it. I always appreciate when talking about concepts including examples of how to apply them. It makes using them more effective for me. StoryBrand has been around for years (since 2009) but I was only very recently introduced. I was curious so I quickly read the creator’s book. It is called “Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller”.