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Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen Hardcover – October 10, 2017
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From the Publisher
Every day most business leaders make a mistake that costs them thousands to millions of dollars; they don’t explain clearly what it is their company does.
People buy things because they read words that make them want to buy things, and the StoryBrand Framework makes talking about your brand simple and effective.
This paradigm-shifting approach to connecting with customers gives you the ultimate competitive advantage, revealing the secret to helping customers understand the benefits of using your products, ideas, or services.
Building a StoryBrand does this by showing you how to capture your customer’s attention with clear, effective marketing messages.
Whether you are the marketing director of a multibillion dollar company, the owner of a small business, or a politician running for office, Building a StoryBrand will forever transform the way you talk about who you are, what you do, and the unique value you bring to your customers.
The seven universal story points all humans respond to
The real reason customers make purchases
How to simplify a brand message so people understand and act on it
How to create the most effective messaging for websites, brochures, and social media
About Donald Miller
Donald Miller is the CEO of StoryBrand, the cohost of the Building a Storybrand Podcast,and author of several books. Combined, Donald’s books have spent more than a year on the New York Times Bestsellers list.
Every year, Donald helps more than 3,000 business leaders clarify their brand’s marketingmessageto help their companies grow.
Donald is widely considered one of the most entertaining and informative speakers in the world. His audiences are challenged to lean into their own story, creatively develop and execute the story of their team, and understand the story of their customers so they can serve them with passion. Donald's thoughts on story have deeply influenced leaders and teams for companies like Pantene, Chick-fil-A,Intel, Prime Lending, Zaxby's, and thousands more.
He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Betsy, and their dogs, Lucy and June Carter.
Seth Godin, Author of All Marketers are Liars
“This is a seminal book built around an idea that will clarify, energize, and transform your business. Donald Miller offers a specific, detailed, and useful way to change the way you talk about the work you care about.”
John C. Maxwell, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Donald Miller will teach you a lot more than how to sell products; he will teach you how to transform the lives of your customers. Your customers need you to play a role in their lives, and this book will teach you how. If you want your business to grow, read this book.”
Dave Ramsey, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“This is the most important business/marketing book of the year. All communicators know the power of Story. Donald Miller has captured the process to make your marketing pierce the white noise of the most over-served marketing generation in history. You have to read this book!”
Ryan Deiss, Founder and CEO of Digital Marketer
“If you like making money, read this book. The StoryBrand Framework will help you create sales messages that people listen and respond to. We use it all the time, and it works!’”
About the Author
Donald Miller has helped more than 3,000 businesses clarify their marketing messages so their companies grow. He's the CEO of StoryBrand, the cohost of the Building a StoryBrand Podcast, and the author of several books, including the bestsellers Blue Like Jazz and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Betsy, and their dogs, Lucy and June Carter.
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However, this is where the book and his obvious marketing ploy at the often hapless reader falls apart. At the most crucial stage of the book he skimps on each of the five elements of the Road Map, all the time mentioning that there is more to be learned at his live conferences held periodically and also online. While it's OK to mention this option, it is over-bearing. Not only does it become over-bearing, but the last part of the book is intentionally short of implementation details as a way to draw the reader into wanting, or "needing" more to implement the book's overall strategy. It's clever. After just investing the time and energy to read the previous near 200 pages and being sold on how important the Story Brand is to marketing success, you have now been geared to actually want more to bring the circle, both learning, implementation and even emotionally - complete.
The next logical step is to check out his company online. This is where I balk again at Miller's strategy. His live courses are just under $2000 per person, but if that's not an option, including for me since I currently work in Southeast Asia, there's an online course option, which comes in at a whopping $1500. Worse yet, the price is not give on his well-crafted website but you have to "request" permission to apply for the course, then in an email the price is sent with another problematic notion, a 48-hour ticking clock to make the decision to buy the course. I just received notice that my 48 hour window of opportunity is closing - no thanks Mr. Miller.
Below is the email blast just received.
"This private invitation is only good for another 24 hours. If you're tired of wasting money on websites that don't work... If nothing is happening when you send your email campaigns...If your elevator pitches fall flat...The pain stops here.
If you haven't clarified your message, your current marketing is costing you money. You're pouring water in a leaky bucket.
There's a better way to talk about your products and services -- in a way that compels people listen and respond. StoryBrand helps you uncover it."
But what a minute, let's go back full circle, aren't these the reasons I bought the book in the first place? Do I really have to spend $1500 or more to learn about this since it’s supposed to be fully covered in the book? Also, as another reviewer just wrote, be warned you that if you sign up for the videos and forms you will be inundated with emails trying to sell you into his other programs. Be advised that there is an MLM component behind this book.
I picked it up because a good and trusted friend told me that he thought I’d like it and learn something. At first glance, I thought it was another one of those books about the magic of the hero’s journey. Even so, I dug into it, because my friend is almost always right when he recommends a book. He sure was right this time.
Lots of people have written about how to use the hero’s journey in both storytelling and in marketing copy. This book is about writing marketing copy, especially web copy. Donald Miller does four important things that make this book unique and helpful.
He points out that you shouldn’t be the hero of the story. Many writers do that, but the customer should be the hero. OK, then, what about the company or the brand? That should be the guide. Think Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars or Haymitch from Hunger Games.
Miller also notes that if there’s no danger, there’s no story that matters. Most other writers don’t mention the danger or underplay it. But the reason we call it the” hero’s journey” is that the hero makes it through the forest when lots of other people don’t. Adding that bit on what will happen if the hero fails in his quest will make your marketing copy and your stories stronger.
If you’re used to jargon-filled marketing books, rejoice! This isn’t one of them. Miller writes good, clean prose and his experience as a screenwriter shows up in many of his clear explanations.
That’s enough right there to make this book worth buying. But Miller also lays out a process for you to use when you sit down to create your own copy. He tells you, step by step, how to execute copy that brings each one into play.
In A Nutshell
If you’re an experienced writer or copy writer, you should read Building A Story Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller because it will give you some fresh ideas and insights. If you’re like me, you will already know a lot of what’s here, but you’ll benefit from the clear explanations and the practical how-tos.
If you’re not a pro, this is a great book for you to help you either write your own copy for your website or marketing material or evaluate the copy that other people do for you.
My team has followed Donald Miller and the StoryBrand framework for a couple years now. We've been applying it to our clients and watching them grow. Since it's a starting point in our marketing work, we make sure they have a copy of this book. It lays the framework out it simple form. Just start reading & doing. It's the #1 marketing "tool" we recommend to those who want better results from their marketing.
Top international reviews
The strength of the book is the 'brand as story' element. The application of the approach - websites, campaigns - is relatively weak in comparison. I think there is scope for an 'application' volume where Miller goes into more detail about regarding the application of StoryBrand across marketing communications. I'd certainly buy it.
Ironically, I haven't enjoyed being targeted with emails having accessed the online PDF and tools. Disappointing.
If you're familiar with how Steve Jobs used to structure his keynotes using Aristotle’s story framework, then some of this book will sound similar. Narration is excellent throughout. The whole book has a feel as though the narrator is talking to a start-up or small business but the content is definitely aimed at all sizes of business.
Packs in more value than some of the offerings by other industry heavyweights.
Only downsize is the constant sell of his method (by the way I approached one of the UK represetants of StoryBrand and the services are quite expensive). But you still can apply the concepts yourself.
"Helping people to transform their vision to reality through the power of thought" In a nutshell.....
Helping people to transform their vision to reality through the power of (positive) thought and goal setting, using vision boards and the law of attraction to determine and achieve their purpose. Everything has been falling in to place since creating this....
Explaining the story telling idea- it makes you more sensitive to the marketing around you which is great practice to interact with as it makes your own writing easier
The only really good example of anything in the book is the email nurture campaign. It doesn’t however explain the logistics ie do you do email 1-4 then start all over again or add them to a newsletter straight after? I’ve seen a lot of his advocates say that a newsletter is no good so what next? Just leave them hanging?
The book is very very good at explaining the underlying idea of building a story but it gives anything away on implementing it. It’s quite vague and I had to spend a lot of time research on the internet and found a lot of his “accredited brandscript creatives” have a slightly different perspective on the story telling idea when they give examples.
I’ve just bought his next book in the hope of being shown how to implement it and connect everything up as I am a one man band and am trying to make up a brand identity copy pack to give to my copywriter.
There was a few bits in there where he was trying to sell his master classes etc but I didn’t feel they were intrusive.
im going to read again making notes as I go through . i love all the examples given to learn how get jn the mindset of your customers .
i shall refer to this book over and over. very enjoyable and made marketing and copywriting fun rather than something i dreded
The last 50 pages are a bit random and don't add anything to what's gone before. The framework is done and dusted by page 150.
If you need clarity, read it and put it into action. If you need more customers, read it and put it into action!