The Storybrand framework is heralded as the gold standard for business messaging.
If you tell someone you’re struggling with the messaging for your business, undoubtedly, they’ll hand you Donald Miller's book Build a Storybrand: Clarify Your Message Your So Your Customer Will Listen.
But what if you bought the book, took the course, or even worked with a Storybrand consultant, and it just didn’t work for your business.
Is there something wrong with your business? Is Something broken with the framework? Are you doomed to a life of craptastic messaging that confuses your clients?
The answer is no, no, and hell no.
There are good reasons that the Storybrand framework didn’t work for your business so let’s discuss those and what you can try instead.
Table of Contents
- 1 Reason #1: Your Business is Doing Something New, Innovative or Cutting-Edge
- 2 Reason #2: Your Business Produces Intangible Results for Your Clients
- 3 Reason #3: Your Business Solves Complex Problems for Your Clients & the Storybrand Framework Loves Simplicity
- 4 Reason #4: You Want Your Business to Have a One-of-a-Kind Message
- 5 What’s the Alternative to the Storybrand Framework? Meet the 3 Word Rebellion
Reason #1: Your Business is Doing Something New, Innovative or Cutting-Edge
The first reason the Storybrand framework might not cut it for your business is that you’re doing something different or innovative in your industry.
The vast majority of the clients I work with are either disrupting their industry with new takes & ideas or they are multipassionates who have a host of tools in their toolbox and they’re combining them in a unique way to build their business.
(Hey, if you want to find out how to use your strengths to grow your impact and influence…I highly recommend you take this quiz: What’s Your Rebel Roadmap to Exponential Impact & Influence?)
Storybrand tends to work best for people who are in more what I call commodity business. The plumber who fixes the leak in your basement. The CPA who does your taxes. The poolman who keeps your pool looks great during the summer.
The Storybrand book is full of these examples.
If you're like my client, who is a lawyer who wants to put love back into the law or the life coach who combines coaching with energy work with years of experience in finance, Storybrand can’t capture that level of innovativeness.
Reason #2: Your Business Produces Intangible Results for Your Clients
Where are my coaches at? This reason is for you!
We’ve all heard that results are either a number or an event. Even Miller, in his book, says that most endings in brand stories are fuzzy and vague; he’s right.
The problem is that many times the results that you produce for clients are intangible at first, or the results that are tangible from your work take a long time to produce.
A handyman comes to your house and hangs blind, installs a door, and puts up a picture – the job is done – instant result.
A life coach gives a client more confidence and helps them feel better about themselves — what the hell does that even mean? Well, it can look different for everyone How do you message that?
Therein lies the problem. Results are more complex when they are intangible.
Reason #3: Your Business Solves Complex Problems for Your Clients & the Storybrand Framework Loves Simplicity
One thing I do love about Storybrand is that it breaks problems down into three levels: internal, external, and philosophical.
However, you have to boil each problem down into one simple problem and what I find for business owners who are on the cutting edge or who are multipassionate, or who give intangible results, this is too simplistic.
For a life coach, an external problem could look like, I hate my job, my teenage daughter is on my last nerve with that boyfriend of hers, and I’m going to slash the tires on Debbie from the PTA if she brings up my screw-up from the bake sale one more time.
Those are all problems a life coach could help with, but it’s not easily summarized in one tidy little sentence.
If you feel like, you help your clients with a lot of different things that awesome, well it’s not surprising that the Storybrand framework didn’t work for your business.
Reason #4: You Want Your Business to Have a One-of-a-Kind Message
This is my major critique of Storybrand: it produces boring messaging.
Which is fine if you’re doing something straightforward that solves an easy-to-understand problem and produces a clear-cut result.
If you’re doing some different or difficult to explain without using a billion words (slight exaggeration), then you don’t want to be boring.
You want a message that is intriguing. A message that makes people lean forward and say, “Oh, tell me more.”
Or they read it and immediately Google for more information; what you want is a one-of-a-kind message that helps you stand out and helps you be a recognized leader in your industry.
The Storybrand Framework can’t do that for people who are creative and pioneering in their work.
What’s the Alternative to the Storybrand Framework? Meet the 3 Word Rebellion
If you’re feeling relief knowing why the Storybrand Framework didn’t work for you, you must be wondering what the heck will.
Let me introduce you to the 3 Word Rebellion.
The 3 Word Rebellion helps you create a one-of-a-kind message that grows your audience and your business. It’s a framework developed for innovators, rebels, mulitapassionates who are doing business differently and struggling to talk about it.
It’s the only messaging framework that creates a message that your audience will want to share (yes, they will want to talk about your business for you).
I discovered the 3 Word Rebellion when I noticed how well social movements like Black Lives Matter, #metoo, and #Neveragain and some of my favorite entrepreneurs like Simon Sinek, Mel Robbins, and Nilofer Merchant.
What both had in common was the ability to sum up the change they wanted to create in the world in just a few words.
If you think about where would Mel Robbins be without The 5-Second Rule or Simon Sinek without Start with Why?
Creating your own 3 Word Rebellion starts with dumping your ideas out of your head and onto paper using writing prompts. Looking for the patterns to develop your own one-of-a-kind message.
Well, there’s a lot more that goes into it than that!
If you’re intrigued and want to know more about the 3 Word Rebellion, please check out the book, especially if Storybrand didn’t work for your business.
Because remember, the Storybrand Framework is really for businesses that are doing something different, disruptive, or innovative in their industry. It isn’t for businesses that work with clients on complex problems or deliver intangible results.
Instead, try a messaging framework that was built for a pioneering business like yours.