Your Business Is Not The Hero

Create a brand story that sells!

There is a lot of buzz in the market world about creating brand stories. It centers on using storytelling tactics for marketing, which has been the most powerful strategy since the beginning of humanity. Hollywood has mastered this technique and captivated our attention with the quintessential hero’s tail (think Star Wars). Many brands have taken this idea into their product marketing and achieved great success.

We totally believe in this strategy to sell your product or service by connecting with potential customers. However, the storyline can go awry! Often, when writing a brand story, businesses lose site of the real hero of the story. Donald Miller, author of Building a StoryBrand, Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen, details this classic misstep. According to Miller, the hero of a StoryBrand is the customer, while the business should be a guide (think Yoda). When businesses become internally focused with their storytelling, they inadvertently position themselves as the hero of the story.

We’ve seen this happen many times in our work at Woodchuck. When content becomes business focused, whether in terminology, content type or delivery structure, the reader becomes lost and doesn’t know their purpose in the story. This is where you lose customers.

Donald Miller states this well, “Imagine your customer is a hitchhiker. You pull over to give him a ride, and the one burning question on his mind is simply: Where are you going? But as he approaches, you roll down the window and start talking about your mission statement, or how your grandfather built this car with his bare hands, or how your road-trip playlist is all 1980s alternative. This person doesn’t care.”


So how do you create a brand story that connects with your customer?

1. Make your customer the hero!

How does your service or product help your customer on their journey? What does it do to help them achieve their purpose or goals?

2. Position your business as the guide.

Remember, you are the resource to help your hero (customer). Spend your time and efforts on how your business guides the customer to overcome their obstacles and succeed! And as Miller says, “Never assume people understand how your brand can change their lives. Tell them.”

3. Lead your hero to action.

As the guide, you must take your customer to the next step. Never leave them guessing on how to move forward. Always include a call to action in your story!

While attending a digital conference, we recently heard a presentation from Benton Crane of Harmon Brothers. Harmon Brothers is the advertising agency responsible for marketing the Squatty Potty, in addition to many other notable products. The Squatty Potty is one of the most successful and viral product ads of all time. Harmon Brothers clients’ ads have been viewed over 1.3 BILLION times and growing. Most importantly, Harmon Brothers has mastered the StoryBrand strategy. This is well illustrated in their Woodwind Grill ad you can view below. Seriously, take the time to check it out! Not only is it a great example of how to create an engaging brand story, it’s also hilarious!

In this advertisement, the Grill God is the star of the video, but he is also the guide. Our hero is the back-yard griller. The ad does an excellent job of guiding the hero towards the answer to all of his back-yard grilling woes, engaging the viewer in the story, and executing a clear call to action. We can definitely see why Harmon Brothers is crushing it in the marketing world!
If you’d like to dig deeper into the StoryBrand strategy, we highly recommend Donald Miller’s book and following Harmon Brothers’ content. Woodchuck is also here to help! We can guide you through the process of reviewing and revising your content to ensure that the hero of your marketing story is on point!


The incredible thing about the internet is that we can work anywhere! Woodchuck Arts is geo-located in Newark, Ohio, Caledonia, MI and Toledo, OH. We serve clients from Seattle, Washington, to Washington D.C.

Email Heather at or call 724-281-0559
Email Erin at or call 616-528-2747

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