Heroes & Brands (StoryBrand Bucket #1)


TL;DR – Your customer is the hero of the story you’re telling. Help them achieve their goals by giving them the tools, skills, or knowledge they need to get there.

Some of my favorite characters in the world to pay attention come from a bunch of different genres: Bilbo Baggins, Naruto, Miles Morales, and Dr. Ransom (from C.S. Lewis’s space trilogy) to name a few.

Other people I want us to have on our minds are Luke Skywalker, Katniss Everdeen, and Jake Sully from Avatar. What do these 7 characters all have in common? Let’s make a list:

  • There is some sort of evil only they can defeat.

  • They struggle throughout most of the book/anime/movie.

  • They fail and lose most battles.

  • They have to learn some truth to be able to face their evil.

  • We love them.

  • They come out on top at the end of the saga.

  • They almost lose everything in their fight.

We love our heroes. We love watching the little guy get strong, face hardships, overcome, defeat the evil, live the adventure, and rescue their beauty.

But do you see where I’m going with this?

Do you see what the vital mistake is that you and other businesses are making?

You act like you’re the hero of your story. By doing that, you’re sending messages to your customers that you are weak, struggling, and have lost most of of your fights.

Oof. Not a pretty look, is it? But don’t worry, you only have to do one critical thing!

Stop positioning yourself as the hero!

You are not Naruto! You are not Luke Skywalker! You are not Bilbo! Your customer is the hero.

We’ll talk later on who you actually are, but for now let’s talk about what StoryBrand calls the Character, but I call Hero (because heroes are cooler than characters).

Every hero is trying to accomplish some big task, or to become something! Naruto wants to become the Hokage, Miles Morales wants to be Spider-Man, Luke wants to be a Jedi. But they are all missing something, they need some sort of thing to help them get there.

Maybe it’s to master new techniques, maybe it’s to defeat an opposing force, or maybe it’s to learn some truth that’ll help guide them. Most time though, they don’t know what they need.

Your customer is the same way. Your customer is trying to become something, and in order to become that thing, they need to have the secret stuff.

It is your job as the brand that’s talking to them to help pull them into the story you’re telling by identifying who it is they’re trying to become. Let that be the resounding theme of all your marketing.

(Side note: Visual branding is about pulling out your identity, but message branding is all about pulling out the identity of your customer. If you can marry the two together, you have a killer brand.)

Your offer is what the customer needs. Are you a business coach? Maybe it’s a set of knowledge that they need in order to run a healthy organization. Are you a strength trainer? Then you’re selling a set of techniques that will help your customer become strong. Are you a home good supplier? Then you sell the products that help customers live in a comfortable home.

You as the business have the secret insight that your customer needs. So whenever you start running your marketing, run it from the perspective of the customer trying to become something letting them know you have what they need.

Do that easy thing, and you’ll start seeing growth.