BrandScript Element 3 - Introduce a Guide


These are my notes from reading Donald Miller's book on Building a StoryBrand. Chapter 6 goes through the third stage of his BrandScript Framework which is about introducing a guide.

If you want to check out the other parts of this series, the links are below:

  1. Overview
  2. Identify the Character
  3. Create a Villain
  4. Introducing a Guide
  5. Give them a Plan
  6. Call them to Action
  7. Prevent Failure
  8. End with a Win
  9. Participate in Their Transformation
  10. Brandscript your Website
  11. The Narrative Void
  12. The Marketing Roadmap

The Principle: Customers don't search for heroes

Customers aren’t looking for another hero; they’re looking for a guide.

Guides are the ones that egg you on and give you the little boost you need when you're stuck.

Customers are looking for someone to help them resolve the internal struggles they face. Struggles like self-doubt.

The key metric is how successful is your customer

NOT how successful is your business

Characteristics of a guide

  • Empathy
  • Authority

Show Empathy

Empathy shows the customer that they are seen, heard and understood.

Examples of empathetic statements are:

  • We understand how it feels to X
  • Like you, we are frustrated by X


Are you like me?

When people find common ground between themselves and another, they fill in gaps with trust. Do this with your brand and you'll start creating a trust bond for them to find out a bit more about you.

Demonstrate Authority

Authority is synonymous with Competence.

How do you show your customer that you can do the things that they are hoping for?

Quick ways:

  • Testimonials
  • Statistics
  • Awards
  • Logos
    • Of previous big name clients


Business Name What do they do? Empathy Authority
Kingsgrove Cats Boarding house for cats You shouldn't need to worry about your pets while on holidays You shouldn't need to beg for a favour for your time off Pictures of current cats boarding Well fed, well groomed Purring Testimonials of pet owners Posts about how they look after their boarding pets
Mane Painters Hair colouring When you make him regret, we're celebrating Photos of work Before/After transformations Testimonials/Reviews
Little Leaves Piano Piano teaching The first time we were playing we weren't sure what we were doing too Student achievements Lesson plans Testimonials/Reviews
Austral Bricks Styled bricks We know that your home is a really big commitment. You've spent so much time waiting for the approvals. It needs to be worth the wait. Photos of bricks used in amazing houses
Hot Tyres Sell Wheels and Tyres Wheel Services When your tyres are wearing thin, we know it feels like a chore to get them replaced. Photos of tyres Blog posts about tyres - different types, how to check for wear and tear.
Duo Duo Ice cream and Donuts We feel your cravings. And we know you want to try something new! Videos of the team making desserts
Uturn Outlet Second hand fashion We love being creative! Style spotlight photo shoots

Final Thoughts

I found this exercise the most difficult so far. I feel like I end up putting testimonials and reviews for everything. Also, is empathy to be for one specific character defined in the first element? I feel like I've only found one single use case instead of branding for a market.