BrandScript Element 6 - Prevent Failure


These are my notes from reading Donald Miller's book on Building a StoryBrand. Chapter 9 goes through the sixth stage of his BrandScript Framework which is about showing your customer what life would be like if they didn't do something to solve their problems.

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: We hate failing

Every human being is trying to avoid a tragic ending.

The Stakes

Stakes drive us to do something

Loss Aversion

People tend to be driven by loss aversion.

Avoiding losing $100 is more important than gaining $100

Steps for “Fear Appeal”

  1. Make the reader know they are vulnerable
  2. Vulnerability needs action
  3. Specific call to action protects them from this risk
  4. Challenge people to take specific action


Adding a little fear creates urgency

Only a Pinch

Don’t overdo the negatives or the customer will go back into inaction

This section is to be a comparison to highlight the benefits of the next section

Practice Time

Business Name What do they do? Bad Outcome 1 Bad Outcome 2 Bad Outcome 3
Kingsgrove Cats Boarding house for cats Beg your parents to take your cat in Take your cat on the plane Cancel your trip
Mane Painters Hair colouring Watch your hair color fade Your ex still sees you the same
Little Leaves Piano Piano teaching Watch other people play better than you Let someone else take the spotlight Never write your song
Austral Bricks Styled bricks Build a house with no personality Enjoy your cement rendered house Pick the wrong colors
Hot Tyres Sell Wheels and Tyres Wheel Services Have a car accident Pay more fuel
Duo Duo Ice cream and Donuts Go back to your boring snacks Stay hungry Watch other people eat (FOMO)
Uturn Outlet Second hand fashion Pay 10x the price for the same look Miss out on the community