Growth-Driven Design: A Smarter Way to Stories That Sell
by Shawn Karol Sandy, on Jul 19, 2023 11:36:00 AM
Here’s the situation: your company’s message is either attracting or repelling customers—plain and simple. In other words, your brand is doing one of two things:
- Enticing people in; compelling them to explore your company, products, and services OR
- (And this is the worst possible thing that could happen) You’re a snoozefest. People forget all about you the second they close that browser tab, delete your email, or hang up from a sales call.
But Shawn, I’m not even telling a story about my business!
In that case I have bad news, my friend. If you aren’t telling your brand’s story, someone else is. Make no mistake that somewhere, somehow, a brand story is being told—you just don’t control the narrative.
Your brand’s story communicates your value AND your values. Prospective customers and employees recognize themselves in those values and are drawn in to take notice and take action.
It not only tells prospects what they can expect from your company, it also tells them the experience they can expect when they engage with you. If that’s not something you control, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to tell the stories that sell your brand.
So, what’s it gonna be? Will you let someone else tell the story about your brand? Or will you build a messaging framework that compels and converts—and tell a story that sells? If it’s the latter, keep reading. We’ll explore why stories that sell are your secret weapon in gaining a competitive edge and unpack the smartest way to build your brand’s message.
Using Growth Driven Design and StoryBrand To Tell Stories That Sell
A lot of people get intimidated by the idea of creating a story for their brand.
I’m not a good storyteller. I barely skated by in my English classes. I don’t like writing. What story am I supposed to tell?
Good news: you don’t need to be the next James Patterson or Ann Patchett to create a story brand. You just need a good understanding of your audience, your customer journey, and the problem your customers face.
The two best tools we’ve found to distill these elements into a conversion-optimized brand story are the Growth-Driven Design methodology, and Donald Miller’s StoryBrand framework.
The Growth-Driven Design Framework: Guiding Data-Driven Decisions
Growth-Driven Design (GDD) is a web design approach focused on data-driven, continuous improvement. At Sauce, we’ve expanded GDD beyond web design into a multipurpose business development tool—the Swiss-army knife of business growth initiatives. We’ve successfully implemented the tiered growth framework of GDD to optimize business revenue through:
- Streamlined techstacks (Systems That Scale)
- Conversion-optimized web design (Websites That Wow)
- Brand strategy development (Brands That Beckon)
- Data analytics (Data That Drives)
- Employee onboarding and training (Training That Transforms)
- And—of course—business messaging (Stories That Sell)
The result of leveraging Growth-Driven Design in these areas is cohesive, synchronized business growth that moves at scale.
Get Visibility Into Customer Behavior With Growth-Driven Design
The crux of GDD is real-user data. If you don’t know the data that drives your customers, you’re making decisions about your customers blindly. You’re in a pitch-black room slapping the walls for the light switch—and it’s going to take a lot of whacks to find it.
In the analogy of the dark room, your customer data is the flashlight. It’s the guiding light that helps you see what’s going on—how your customers are behaving, what they’re looking for, how they’re looking for it, and what problems they’re trying to solve. Finding the light switch just got a lot easier.
You probably already know a lot about your customers. But with metrics, reporting, and real-user data, you can validate your assumptions and make informed decisions about your brand’s message, creating a story that’s specific, straightforward, and sticky.
Research, Review, Repeat
When you’re leveraging real user data to create a story that sells, what kind of information are you looking for?
Try to answer the following questions:
- Who are you telling your brand’s story to? Who’s your target audience?
- What are their problems? What’s the source of their pain?
- How can you help them solve their problems?
- How can you meet them where they are and guide them to a solution?
Once you have the answers to these questions, you’ll have solid foundational information to create a story that sells.
The StoryBrand Methodology: Simplify to Amplify
Businesses often overcomplicate their marketing efforts—trying to be too clever for their own good. It usually looks a bit like an “Everything Bagel” of offerings, features, and benefits. StoryBrand is the opposite of that.
StoryBrand is a marketing message framework that positions the customer as the hero and the business as the guide. It emphasizes addressing the customer's problem, offering a solution, presenting a clear plan, and providing a call to action. It simplifies brand messaging for better audience engagement and action.
A lot of people think of brand messaging and think of advertising. Cue a scene from Mad Men where brainstorming meetings are full of catchy one-liners, snappy copywriting, and clever catchphrases. Yeah, Mad Men was an entertaining series but we’ve come a long way (baby) with science and data that trumps quirky quips for brand campaigns.
The key to creating a story that sells is to write clear and compelling messaging that doesn't sacrifice clarity for creativity. Many brands fall into the trap of trying to be too creative, which can confuse the audience.
In the words of StoryBrand founder Donald Miller, 'If you confuse, you lose.'
Guiding Your Audience
Let’s go back to that dark room analogy from before. When you turn on the flashlight, suddenly everyone else in that room can see you. They know how to find you, and they know you can help them. You’re the guide now, and you can show people how to solve their problems—how to find the door.
But what if you used the flashlight to shine it on yourself? This is another common mistake—your brand’s messaging from website, social, and emails scream, “me, me, me, me” and it’s a pretty big turnoff. Also chances are you won’t be very helpful if you’re focused on yourself, and people will dismiss you and move on to another solution. That’s why your StoryBrand BrandScript shouldn’t be all about you, your brand, and your latest product. Instead, keep the spotlight on your customers.
Imagine your brand as the guiding light, leading your customers on a journey from the "Land of Problems" to the "Island of Solutions." Demonstrating this transformational journey not only captures prospects’ attention but also keeps them engaged with your brand.
What’s In It For You? The Competitive Edge
Stories aren't just for your kid’s bedtime or the big screen, they're your secret weapon to successful business development. By simplifying your message, guiding your audience on a transformative journey, and crafting stories that sell, you can gain the competitive edge.
Compelling brand stories convert prospects into leads, leads into customers, and customers into raving fans.
Another advantage is that once you’ve distilled your BrandScript, it’s not just marketing messaging for content creation—it’s the central messaging framework for your salespeople and outbound sales initiatives, customer service teams, internal communications around goals, and your hiring and onboarding training.
A Story That Sells isn’t something that sits on a shelf—it’s in use every day internally and externally, and it creates a framework to understand the people you serve, problems you solve, and the plan you’ll follow to get there.
Don’t Write Your StoryBrand BrandScript With A Blindfold On: Hire A StoryBrand Agency
There’s a lot that goes into writing a Story That Sells—and a lot more that goes into implementing and integrating it into your teams and departments so your brand message is cohesive and consistent at every touchpoint. As you scale and grow, Growth Driven Design should consistently pull your Story That Sells into your new campaigns and initiatives—keeping it fresh and focused.
That’s why a lot of companies choose to partner with a StoryBrand Certified Guide who can take off the blinders and give an outside perspective. At Sauce, our StoryBrand experts go the extra mile and help you integrate your brand message into every department for a seamless customer experience that boosts your bottom line.
Ready to tell your Story That Sells? Schedule a free connect call with Team Sauce’s certified StoryBrand growth guide today!