Brand, Meet Story PDF Free Download

We met many times. He showed me the diary he kept during the events. He showed me the yellowed newspaper clippings that made him briefly, obscurely famous. He told me his story. All the while I took notes. Nearly a year later, after considerable difficulties, I received a tape and a report from the Japanese Ministry of Transport. (short Brand story) June 6 This Week The Voice from the Record Brand (4-pt.Brand serial: 6/27/37-7/1 1/37) July American Cavalcade To Meet in the Sun. Author: Darrell C. Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group ISBN: Category: Literary Criticism Page: 547 View: 836 Download » The essential guide to one of the most popular writers of the 20th century. The Secret by Rhonda ByrneEnglish.pdf. The Secret by Rhonda ByrneEnglish.pdf Sign In.

Below is a preview of the Shortform book summary of Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller.Read the full comprehensive summary at Shortform.

1-Page PDF Summary of Building a Storybrand

Storytelling is the most interesting and effective human communication method in existence. Marketing expert Donald Miller explains how to leverage the power of story to create marketing material that works.

Instead of bombarding your customer with mission statements and executive biographies, you’ll invite her to be a hero in a high-stakes story rife with conflict. Your brand will act as her guide and provide her with the tools she needs to win a happy ending. As she rides off into the sunset, not only will you have helped her solve her conflict—you’ll have transformed her life for the better.


There’s a fine line between demonstrating competence and bragging. You can hit the balance by sparingly and subtly displaying evidence of your competence on your marketing material. Hereare four suggestions:

  1. Post testimonials on your website. Testimonials show that your brand has a proven track record helping people. Post only three and choose ones that are brief.
  2. Use statistics. Statistics also show that your brand has a proven track record. They can be stated simply and sparingly (14,000 copies sold!) and appeal to people who like facts and numbers.
  3. Mention awards. Put award seals at the bottom of your webpage, not front and center. Even if a customer doesn’t know what an award is, having an outside organization vouch for your brand gives you authority.
  4. Display logos. If your brand works with other companies, put their logos in your marketing materials to show that other well-known companies have worked with you.

Element 4: The Plan

The plan is step-by-step instructions that the brand gives the customer. The plan should have a title to make it look more official and increase its apparent value.

There are two types of plans you can share with a customer:

Type #1: Process plans clarify how a customer can do business with you and/or how they’re supposed to use your product. StoryBrand recommends everyone create a process plan, clearly articulate it to the customer, and display it on your website.

  • (Shortform example: If you’re selling hiking boots online, the plan could be: 1) find your size using the online size guide, 2) add the appropriate size to your online cart, 3) click checkout.)

Type #2: Agreement plans alleviate customer fears with the goal of making customers confident enough to buy from you. They either reduce risk or demonstrate to customers that a brand has something in common with them, which creates trust.

  • (Shortform example: Many electronics companies certify that their refurbished products have been tested and passed a quality control standard.)

Element 5: Call to Action

The call to action is a button on your website that allows the customer to buy your product or get more information about your brand. Calls to action are critical because 1) people don’t act unless something forces them to and 2) customers may not realize what we want them to do (buy) unless we’re explicit.

Most brands severely underuse calls to action. Weak, or non-existent, calls imply that you don’t believe in your product. Customers don’t want debatably useful products sold by brands that doubt themselves. They do want valuable products sold by brands that know their worth and believe they can change lives.

There are two types of calls to action:

Type #1: Direct calls to action prompt a customer to take the first step towards buying a product.

  • For example, a button on your website that says “Get a quote” is a direct call to action.

Type #2: Transitional calls to action don’t ask your customers for a sale right away; instead, they interest a customer in your brand, create expert status, encourage reciprocity, and cast your brand as a guide. When your customer does eventually need your product, ideally she’ll remember your brand and go to you rather than a competitor.

  • For example, StoryBrand shared a free PDF about things a website should include and put an ad for their marketing workshop as the last page. Thousands of people viewed the PDF and over the next year, StoryBrand’s revenue doubled.

Always include both types of calls in your marketing material. For customers who aren’t ready to buy yet, the transitional call will strengthen their relationship with your brand. Place your call to action not only on your website but on signs, radio ads, TV commercials, and email blasts. You can even put it in email signatures and business cards.

Element 6: Negative Stakes

Negative stakes are the bad things that will happen to the customer if she doesn’t buy your product.Stakes are important because every customer, when confronted with a story, is always subconsciously asking, “Why should I care?” and “Where can this take me?” If there’s nothing at stake, the story is boring, and people tune out.

While fear is an effective motivator and can create a sense of urgency, it needs to be used sparingly. When people aren’t scared enough, they don’t act, and, when people are too afraid, they also don’t act—they just ignore everything because it’s overwhelming.

To effectively use negative stakes in marketing, there is a four-step process that gently brings up a fear and then demonstrates that there’s a way to avoid it coming to pass:

  1. Show the customer she’s vulnerable.
  2. Tell the customer she should reduce her vulnerability.
  3. Tell the customer about a specific action.
  4. Call her to this action.

Element 7: Positive Stakes

Positive stakes are the wonderful things that will happen to a customer if she buys your product and uses it to solve her problem. The goal of this element is to close the gap between the customer and what she wants that you established in Element 1.

The most successful brands show customers exactly how a product will change their lives for the better. Many brands are too vague, and it’s hard to get excited about vagueness. (Shortform example: If you sell gym equipment, promising “you’ll be happy with your purchase” isn’t as compelling as “you will be as strong as an Olympian.”)

To come up with a specific positive outcome, consider the external, internal, and philosophical problems your product will solve.

You can also pull inspiration from the three most popular (most aligned with inherent human desires) ways to end stories:

  1. The hero wins status. Everyone wants to be popular, respected, or esteemed. You can offer a customer status by offering them rewards or perks, limited editions of the products, or the status that comes from owning a luxury brand.
  2. The hero becomes whole by connecting with an external factor. In the ending, a hero finds a place or person they belong with who completes them. You can offer a customer a sense of external completion by banishing the frustration a problem caused them, making their work easier, or giving them more free time.
  3. The hero becomes whole by reaching their potential. In this ending, a hero accepts herself and realizes that she doesn’t need anything external to be complete; she’s enough. A brand can offer self-realization by inspiring customers, helping them accept themselves, or giving them an opportunity to support a cause.

Once you’ve come up with your specific happy ending, you can use both words and images to describe it. No matter what your product is, an image of happy-looking people engaging with it can be a great marketing tool.


While people are motivated by the possibility of success and failure, the number one thing that motivates humans is the desire to transform themselves—to become more self-accepting, different, or better.

Transformation refers to the potential to take on a new, aspirational identity. The best brands think hard about what kind of people their customers want to be and then show that ownership of their products is a distinguishing characteristic of that identity. For example, Gerber Knives advertises their knives being used by adventurous, tough, fearless people, the kind of people who perform rescues and face down wild animals. This advertising suggests that if you buy a knife, you will become an adventurous, tough, fearless person. This makes the product appeal to people who aspire to this identity.

Brands that prioritize changing lives tend to sell a lot of products because customers love brands that help them transform. Likewise, transformation is the key to creating brand evangelists: people who swear by your brand and enthusiastically promote it to others.

Implement Your BrandScript

Now that you have a BrandScript, it’s time to transfer the ideas and content in that script to your marketing materials. The more you can implement your BrandScript into your marketing materials, the more customers will sign up to star in your story.

There are six ways to implement your BrandScript:

1. Overhaul your website. Most likely, your website has too much noise and distracting information on it. The only two pieces of information you actually need on it are: 1) your brand offers something a customer wants and 2) you can help the customer get what they want. Every single image, idea, and word on your website should be inspired by your BrandScript. To overhaul your site:

  • Place a short phrase and image that explain what your brand does on the top part of your website.
  • Make the call to action buttons unmistakable.
  • Use images of happy-looking people using your products to demonstrate customer transformations.
  • If you have more than one revenue stream (for example, you paint both cars and houses), come up with an overall message that represents what you do as a whole. (If you absolutely can’t, you can market your revenue streams separately.)
  • Pare down content by replacing text with images, paragraphs with bullet points, and sentences with soundbites.

2. Write a brand logline. A brand logline is a short, often one-sentence description of a brand that summarizes its story and invites customers to star as the hero. The logline should include the customer, problem, plan, and positive stakes from the BrandScript.

  • (Shortform example: If you sell exam prep courses, your line might be: “We help students who are confronted with tough exams improve their study habits to achieve high grades.”)

3. Use a lead generator to create email lists. A lead generator is something that interests customers in your brand and encourages them to give you their email. Lead generators need to do at least one of the following: 1) give your customers something valuable, such as free information, or 2) demonstrate your authoritativeness in the industry.

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  • Some examples are downloadable guides, web series, free trials, free samples, or free events.

4. Build an automated email nurturing campaign. A nurturing campaign is a series of emails that offer valuable information related to your brand. The first three emails in the campaign share information and the fourth is a call to action. Then, the pattern repeats.

5. Collect testimonials about transformation. Testimonials are statements from previous customers that endorse your brand or product. The best testimonials show that: 1) your brand is valuable and 2) a customer had a positive experience working with you that culminated in results.

6. Build a referral system. A referral system encourages satisfied customers to recommend your brand to others. To create a referral system, create a transitional call to action that you can send to your customers to pass on to their friends, and optionally reward customers for referring friends by offering them a gift or percentage of the sale when their referral results in a purchase.

Create Company Culture and Increase Employee Engagement

In addition to using stories to clearly communicate with and engage your customers, you can use stories to communicate and engage with your employees. Workplaces that use stories have strong culture, and those that don’t have weak culture.

Narrative Void

The “narrative void” describes a storyless, empty expanse within an organization. When there’s no story, people don’t know what roles they play, what they’re supposed to do, or why they should care. When they don’t care, they become disengaged, and when they’re disengaged, they don’t work as hard and they’re less productive. They take more sick days and leave companies for other opportunities.

Many companies try to fill the narrative void with a mission statement. Missions bring people together, but statements aren’t as effective as stories. Mission statements aren’t very engaging and are often too complicated for people to process or remember.

Narrative Cohesion

Instead of promoting your mission statement, try to create narrative cohesion (Shortform term). If your company has narrative cohesion, the customer, company, and team’s stories all align, employees are engaged, and the organization is successful.

To fill a narrative void and create culture and engagement, you’ll do two things:

  1. Share the customer-centered story you developed using the SB7 Framework with everyone in the organization. Once everyone at the company is using the same BrandScript and can succinctly explain the brand’s story, all the different divisions and departments will be connected and everyone will understand how their role fits into the story.
  2. Create and implement an employee-centered story. In this story, the employee or team will act as the hero and the company’s leadership as the guide. Compensation, events, and professional development are the plan the guide gives the heroes to help them overcome the problem (disengagement) and achieve the positive stakes (narrative cohesion).

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Here's a preview of the rest of Shortform's Building a Storybrand PDF summary:

Welcome back to the countdown of 50 Brands With Amazing Brand Stories. I’ve shared some of my favourite brand stories so far, but now it gets down to the nitty-gritty as we delve into the top 20.

Today we continue the countdown by looking at 20-11, but should you wish to see the other editions… 50 – 41 l 40 – 31 l 30 – 21 l 20 – 11 l 10 – 1

20: Aston Martin

I’m not much of a car-guy but I’ve always desired an Aston Martin. There’s something about the brand (most likely because of James Bond) that draws me in. It just so happens the story is cool as heck, which helps on this particular occasion.

It’s a classy, professional approach that showcases who they are, what they’re about, and why you spend years dreaming about owning one. It’s a great example of capturing the heart and producing a desirable NEED, when all you should feel is a want.


What I love above everything else is the simplicity of it all. The slideshow is nothing special, and it takes up no space at all, but a truly remarkable tale is told.

Little text, old, classy images, and a style that’s very ‘Aston’. This strips down the brand and offers only what you need. Get ready to drool a little and want/need one.

19: Clif Bar

So much is achieved on this one page that it makes me do a double take and analyse how they’ve done it.

It’s very simple, extremely playful, and offers much reward with little output. Seriously, look for yourself and consider how they’ve managed it.

You learn who Clif Bar are, where they’ve come from, what makes them, them, and how they intend on taking over the world with a variety of medias. Usually this takes a complex page, but not on this occasion.

A good story creates impact with little effort. This is a fine example of exactly that.

It’s beautifully branded and excellently executed. This is a story fit for a budget, so if you want to leave an impact but with no fancy effects, look no further than Clif Bar.

This is sure to inspire those searching for an affordable means to Discover, Create & Share.

18: Smile Squared

When I came across Smile Squared I was left in awe. I don’t think the story is set out in an amazing manner, but the story itself more than makes up for it.

The videothe imagesthe concept… it pulls you in and makes you FEEL something.

Teeth are a part of life many of us take for granted, but around the world there are young children who don’t have access to the right tools. It’s easy to forget this. I certainly did.

I may ramble on about evoking emotions, but it’s so important in storytelling. Execution can often be overlooked so long as you discover and share the story in a unique and meaningful way.

Not every story has a great foundation like Smile Squared, but most have something to work with. They found the bare emotions of their story and the results are superb. Can you do the same?

17: Kletterwerks

This is one of the best timelines I’ve ever come across.

It’s clean, to-the-point, and mixes text and images effectively – all the while maintaining a nice easy flowing feel.

This might seem easy to achieve, but it isn’t

What I enjoy the most is how they began at the beginning, which may sound redundant, but many people start at the present – when stats and figures are usually more impressive.

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The beginning is raw and when instability is rife. People shy away from sharing this, but they shouldn’t. Kletterwerks haven’t and the result is fantastic.

Timelines force you to be sparing with your words and images, which leaves little room for rambling on and on and on… This is usually a good thing.

Simple, but effective.


16: Fair Share Music

As a a music fan I was excited to come across Fair Share Music, for not only do they provide a cool service, they offer a super sweet story.

There’s quite a bit of information, and although there’s a little too much text for my liking, the way it’s set out is very user friendly.

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It demonstrates how you can bring a lot of ideas together in a nice, neat package. There’s still a great deal to come from this business, but I’m excited so far

Some stories have a lot to share, and often this is unavoidable. If you have something great to offer, make sure you offer it.

You don’t have to have page after page of text though, and Fairshare Music show how to achieve this. I love the boxes and layout and how it makes the journey digestible.

Execution at its finest.

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15: Mars Dorian

Mars Dorian is a funky little dude, and not only does he have a great blog offering lots of content, he shares his story in a manner only he can.

In some ways his story is like many bloggers/consultants/freelancers, but Mars takes his skill-set and produces a unique tale. This is what storytelling is all about. It’s about producing something only you can and reaching the people who care

Some will HATE Mars’ style, but this is fine. Those who like him, LOVE him

In my opinion there’s no better way for him to showcase his designs than what he does right here

It’s chaotic and messy and lovely all the same. I suppose the lesson to take from this example is be your self and love what you do.

14: Innocent

Innocent is fast becoming one of the UK’s strongest brands, and it’s their story that’s helped them go from small-town hero to national assassin.

I’d like a little more image/video as part of their tale, but they capture who they are perfectly. It’s simple, effective, and aligns with everything else they do

The tale of Richard Reed is like many entrepreneurial stories – rife with ups and downs galore.

I was actually expecting more focus on Richard, and I’m a little disappointed that he doesn’t play a larger role. Instead it’s the brand that takes centre stage, which is fine, but the founder on this occasion could be more prominent. Still, it’s uniquely quirky and totally innocent. Also, it’s another example of fine simplicity.

13: Two Degrees Food

This is another stellar example of achieving a great deal with very little input.

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The video says everything to be honest, but they back it up with great information. Often a story is graded on how it affects us, and I dare say this will affect quite a few people. To be honest, I don’t know how it can’t

The world is full of companies doing the ‘right thing’ these days, or at least full of people with good intentions and saying the right words.

This video demonstrates a brand doing as well as talking, and it’s great to see them walk-the-walk – which is a big theme within the video, too.

As you know by now I’m a big fan of visuals – especially via video. It needs to have a big impact though, and this example does.

Again, it’s rather simple but has an immense impact regardless. Top stuff!

12: Go Pro

There are a few stories on this list that have made it through their video alone. This is one of them.


GoPro is an exciting brand so it shouldn’t be surprising that their video is unapologetically extreme.

It begins rather personal and offers a great insight into the people and brand, but then it transitions into an epic ride that showcases what they’re all about. This is a great way to approach a video in my opinion.

It’s seven minutes long and tells the whole tale.

You get the backstory and core emotions, but it’s backed up with how the product works and why people love it so much.

This defines their culture and story. It defines their brand and who they are. You need nothing more than the video because it says everything it needs to.

11: Minnetonka Moccasin

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This is another amazing video, only this time it’s teamed with a great timeline that seamlessly takes you on a memorable journey.

I love storytelling as much as I do because it takes a relatively small seed and sparks it to life. I could buy shoes from a local store or anywhere online, but I want to shop here and become part of their story because it moves me

It’s evocative and personal. It creates a desire within me that most brands don’t.

By combining behind-the-scene insight with real world examples, you have an inviting story that people feel part of.

We all need shoes and there are many options out there, but this is the kind of brand that develops a cult status through it’s style and culture. This isn’t achieved overnight and without care, though.

I takes a lot of work and a fine tale.

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There we go folks, we’re now ready to enter the TOP 10 (drum roll please). I hope you’ll join me next week for the final countdown, and if you’ve yet to do so, make sure you check out the other editions in this series of awesome brand stories: 50 – 41 l 40 – 31 l 30 – 21 l 20 – 11 l 10 – 1


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