Are you a movie buff?

Even if you are not, surely you’re familiar with movies where one character saves the day for others, be it rescuing damsels in distress, soldiers trapped behind enemy lines or passengers aboard a burning train.

Rescue has always been a central theme to most best-selling movies and books.  Not to mention the fairy tales of childhood!

Think about iconic stories such as Star Wars, The Hunger Games, The Odyssey, and Frozen—they all revolve around a journey to save others.

This concept of rescue isn’t just useful in entertainment.

It’s also deeply rooted in the most successful marketing strategies, particularly through frameworks like StoryBrand.

The StoryBrand framework helps businesses bring clarity to their messaging through a story-based approach.  Most story-based marketing positions the company as the hero at the center of the story.

One of the major paradigm shifts that sets StoryBrand apart from other story-based methods is that it position the customer as the hero of the story and the business as the hero’s guide on the journey to success.

Utilizing this framework enables you to convey instant value, engage with your target audience effectively, and expand your business.

The key to the StoryBrand Framework is that it helps you create clarity. In a world oversaturated by information, people are naturally drawn to clear, concise messaging and turned off by confusion. So if your marketing messages are confusing, you’re likely losing customers.  One common mistake is that people think their messaging IS clear, when it’s actually not.

Incorporating the StoryBrand Framework into your marketing can help you avoid this mistake by ensuring you clearly understand the most important pain points of your customers as well as how to guide them on their journey in an easy, compelling way.

In this guide, we will walk through the key aspects of StoryBrand Framework.

Let’s get started.

What is the StoryBrand Framework?

The StoryBrand Framework is a storytelling formula for marketing designed by best-selling author Donald Miller. It helps business communicate even complex messages in a simple and clear way.

StoryBrand is a storytelling approach for marketing that follows a familiar pattern used in the most captivating books and movies.

It is all about the hero’s journey. But with an important twist!

Why Does StoryBrand Work?

The StoryBrand Framework is quite effective due to its alignment with human psychology. We all are naturally drawn to stories, particularly those featuring victory over adversity.  In fact, human brains are literally hard-wired to relate to the world via stories.

The StoryBrand Framework helps people connect by capitalizing on this natural affinity for stories. It helps build stronger relationships and keeps people interested and engaged.

Entrepreneurs frequently use storytelling to convince investors during pitches and on social platforms. Companies like Apple use concise, compelling storytelling across all of their operations. They recognize that the focus should not be on themselves but rather on how they impact their customers’ lives.

Similarly, within the StoryBrand Framework, the customer takes on the role of the hero of the story, facing challenges along their journey. In this narrative, your brand switches to the role of the guide, offering a clear pathway for the hero to navigate through their obstacles.

If you tell a positive customer-oriented story on your website, social media, email or blog, people will be drawn in. If you focus on your company as the central hero, you risk losing potential customers because you have not drawn a clear line between your brand and how your products or services can help them solve their problems and achieve their victory.

What Exactly Does the StoryBrand Framework Involve?

The StoryBrand Framework is driven by its narrative structure based on the following pattern:

There is a Character [Hero]:

Every story begins with a central character or hero, and in the context of marketing, that character is your customer. They have desires, needs, and challenges that they’re seeking to address.

The Character Has a Problem:

The character faces a primary problem, which has different levels including the surface level challenge in the external world, as well as the internal level of how that challenge is making them feel. There is often also a deeper meaning to the problem, touching into what the character believes in and values philosophically.

The Character Meets a Guide:

This is where your business enters the picture as the guiding force that can help the customer navigate their challenges and overcome their problem. Through empathy and authority, you position yourself as the trusted advisor who understands their needs and has the expertise to offer solutions.

The Guide Gives Them a Plan:

Your role as the guide is to provide a clear and actionable plan for how the customer can overcoming the obstacle. By outlining a step-by-step process and establishing mutual agreement, you instill confidence and trust for your customer in their journey with your brand.

The Guide Inspires the Character to Take the Action:

Effective marketing isn’t just about providing information – it’s about inspiring action. Whether it’s a direct call to purchase your product or a transitional step to further engagement, you guide the customer towards taking that crucial next step.

To Achieve Success:

Ultimately, success is achieved when the customer’s overcomes their problem and experiences their desired transformation through your using your products or services.

And Avoid Failure:

Conversely, failure occurs when the customer remains fails to overcome their problem and remains stuck, unable to find resolution or improvement.

Story Brand Template


How Does StoryBrand Create Clear, Compelling Marketing Messages?

You have positioned your customer as the hero of your story. You are intimately familiar with their challenges.

In the role of their guide, what should the tone of your marketing message sound like?

Focusing on clarity ensures that your marketing message cuts through the typical noise and speaks directly to the customer’s problem.

Here is a StoryBrand Framework example to help you understand the context better:

In your story, you have Sarah, the manager at a food company, as your hero or main character. Sarah is tasked with finding sustainable packaging options to align with their brand’s eco-friendly values.

But she struggles to find environmentally-friendly packaging that meets her company’s requirements for durability and cost-effectiveness. She feels pressure to find a solution quickly but worries about compromising on quality or budget.

You as a packaging manufacturer step in as the Guide to help her win the day. You understand Sarah’s problem and offer her both empathy and authority so she trusts you to be her guide —

“Finding sustainable packaging solutions that are reliable and cost-effective can be stressful. Our eco-friendly designs use innovative materials that not only save money, but are proven reliable by thousands of food companies across the globe.”

You offer Sarah with a 3-step plan showing her how easy it is to engage with your company to meet her company’s packaging needs and sustainability goals. Perhaps the first step is scheduling a call with a representative so they can conduct a thorough assessment of Sarah’s requirments.  And the next step will be the proposal of a tailored eco-friendly packaging solutions that meet Sarah’s criteria for durability, cost-effectiveness, and sustainability based on that assessment.

Now you urge Sarah to take action. Your primary CTA will be for Sarah to ‘Schedule a Call’ to get her assessment.  You tell Sarah how taking this action will positively impact not only her company, but her personally.  In addition to establishing her brand as eco-friendly and her products as sustainable, she will shine in her role as a solution-maker.

Story Brand Template


How the StoryBrand Framework Can Boost Your Marketing Efforts


Creating Clear Marketing Messaging:

By following the StoryBrand Framework, businesses can eliminate confusion and clearly communicate who they are, what they offer, and how they can help potential customers succeed.

Eliminating Confusion:

In today’s fast-paced world, people have short attention spans and little patience. They don’t want to spend time deciphering what a business offers. With StoryBrand, businesses can cut through the noise and immediately convey their value proposition, making it easier for customers to understand how they can benefit.

Connecting with Customers:

Customers want to feel understood and valued, not like just another dollar sign. StoryBrand allows businesses to demonstrate empathy by showing they understand their customers’ problems and genuinely want to help solve them.


Choosing Between DIY StoryBrand Implementation or Hiring A StoryBrand Certified Guide

 When it comes to using the StoryBrand Framework for your business, you might wonder whether to do it yourself or hire a StoryBrand consultant. Let’s break it down:

Doing it yourself (DIY) can be useful if you’re really good at marketing and have deep understanding of the nuances of the StoryBrand framework.  But the simplicity of the StoryBrand framework often fools people into believing it’s simple to apply.

Often companies will try to use the framework on their own, only to find they have badly missed the mark.  That’s because of the Curse of Knowledge.  Because companies are so intimately familiar with their products and services, they tend to make a lot of assumptions about what their customer does and doesn’t understand.  Even when they feel certain they have created a clear and compelling message using StoryBrand, their message is often disjointed, still too confusing or both.

That’s when it might be better to get help from a StoryBrand Certified Guide. They are skilled and experienced in applying the framework to a wide variety of businesses so they are able to step back to the 10,000 foot view and truly hone in on the customer’s perspective without blinders.  By getting out of your own way and trusting a Certified Guide to apply StoryBrand on your behalf, you can make sure you’re getting the most out of the StoryBrand approach and will see the best results for your business.


The StoryBrand Framework can help transform your business by creating a clear roadmap for effective communication. It builds emotional connections with customers, driving business growth.

Looking to capitalize on StoryBrand for your industrial company?

At Zafari, Inc, we specialize in leveraging the power of the StoryBrand framework to transform businesses and improve their marketing efforts.

As a StoryBrand Certified Guide for over 6 years, we bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the table. We guide our clients through every step of the process – from clarifying their messaging to creating compelling marketing materials that resonate with their target audience. We’d love to help you too.