It’s an old business truthism that you can improve what you can measure, but it’s equally dangerous to measure the wrong thing. If you are measuring the wrong metrics then you will focus on the wrong things. Unfortunately, this is easy for churches to do.
Imagine a story which ends with the hero failing. Okay, personally I actually quite like this brave storytelling decision nowadays. At the same time, I can’t imagine Star Wars Episode VI Ending with the empire winning rather than the rebels . It wouldn’t be the story we all love.
Likewise, in the Story Brand framework “Ending in success” is an important step. Showing the change from before the character met your guide (customer met your brand, the person joined your church) shows that success.
In this chapter, we start to get into helping the character take action. That’s important as having a clear message is good, but we can then put people off with a confusing message on how to implement those ideas.
The plan provides evidence that you can deliver and how someone can take action. If these are clearly expressed, then you can provide evidence that you will help someone and the reader will know exactly what they need to do.
One of the classic mistakes most businesses make is to target “everyone”. The StoryBrand approach is completely against this idea. Although, unlike some other marketing ideas which tell you to write out a detailed ideal customer profile — full of demographic and psychographic data — the StoryBrand framework gets you to focus on what the customer wants and how you can satisfy their wants.
This touches on one of the simple but important ideas that I really like in the StoryBrand book.
You are not the hero, your customer is the hero.
Seeing as you are reading this review, there’s a good chance that you understand that marketing and the church are not incompatible. But even if you don’t see that connection, I feel Donald’s title for the first chapter hits the reason why this book matters for the church.
The key to being seen, heard, and understood.
No, I’m not talking about the use of the Oxford/serial comma, I’m talking about how this related to Romans 10:14:
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
Back in 2010, you could just about get away with having a webpage with one or no images. Good content and the benefit of faster loading web pages just about balanced out the benefit that visuals brought to the user experience. But in 2018, visuals are essential. Widespread faster internet connections and the prevalence of visual content around the web has adjusted our minimum expectations.