Transcript: Bringing Clarity to your Brand Story

By David Card

This is the transcript from our webinar "Un-muddle your message: Bringing clarity to your brand story"

All right. Thanks for joining us on this lovely June day in New York. We’re glad you’re here. This one, I’ve really been looking forward to as it’s something we’ve been intensely focused on here at C42D, both on behalf of our clients and for our own marketing. Apologies for the reschedule. We try not to do that but business calls and we had to answer.

Anyways, a quick note, C42D webinar’s cover a different marketing topic every quarter. Format is as follows: I will cover my prepared remarks for about 30 to 45 minutes. At the end, there will be time for questions. If you have a question at anytime, you may type it in the Q&A box. A video of this webinar will be available on by the end of the week.

All right, great. So as I got into this one, I realized this is as much about editing as anything else, right? Creating better stories. So in the spirit of walking the talk, the first thing I took the hatchet to was the title of this webinar because it was way too long and you know, it needs to be better, right?

So this title definitely could be shorter. It could be more meaningful. Bam! There you go. “Telling Better Brand Stories.” And that’s what we’re talking about folks. Primarily, telling a better brand story on your website which is, for us, at least is where the rubber hits the road. For most of us, it’s where most of your customers find you. Their first contact is with your brand so how we can make that better? Let’s dive into it.

Okay, so getting into our agenda. We’re going to start with why we pay attention to stories. Why are stories so compelling? And what is clarity? What does clarity really mean? What is the heart of that? We’re going to talk about how you can write better stories and how you can use some framework. So, to me, this the meat of the presentation where you’re going to find the most value is on some frameworks which you can use to help guide your story telling and content creation.

Then we’re going to touch briefly on editing your work and some ways you can edit to make things better and some resources as well that can help you along your way and then we’ll sum everything up.

All right, so let’s get into it. Excuse me. So why do we pay attention to stories? Great question. “A good story is like life with the dull parts taken out.” And that’s a quote from the master storyteller himself, Alfred Hitchcock. So nod to the editing to the process there which I mentioned we’ll get to a little bit later. So why are stories so important, right? Why are good stories even more important? Well, stories have been how humans have remembered things for thousands of years. So all the way down through ancient times to the wild west, people gathered around the campfire right up until present day times. It’s how humans remember things. It’s how we share information and then pass it down from generation to generation. It’s something that’s sort of … it’s ingrained into all of us, right? And it’s how we remember things.

So why do we listen to stories? Well, story hold people’s attention. Look at Luke’s attention, captivated by Obi Wan Kenobi there as he learns that Darth Vadar is really his father. No, that’s in the other movie, right? Real scientists claim that the average person will spend up to 30% of their time daydreaming, yourself included unless they are reading, listening to, or watching a story unfold. So it helps hold your attention. Stories combat noise by organizing information in a way that folks are compelled to listen.

So it’s all about remembering the music and forgetting the noise, right? We want all of our brand stories to be symphonies like Beethoven’s Fifth. Everybody remembers, “Dun, dun, dun, dun.” How can you not?

What is clarity? Clarity, according to, is clearness or lucidity as to perception or understanding, a freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity. And that second line really hits home for me when it comes to how your business is positioned and how it’s articulated on your website. So you always want to be distinct. You don’t want to blend into everybody else’s out there who doesn’t know how to write a good story.

So a few more points on why clarity is important is that the essence of branding is to create simple messages that resonate with your customers. To do this, you need clarity. You want simple messages. You want to repeat them over and over again until it’s ingrained into their consciousness. That’s how you do branding but the problem is when there’s too much information, customers are burning calories trying to organize the data and make sense of it. You can actually … It actually causes you to burn calories when you have to think hard to organize information. That makes you tired, makes you tune out. So cut out the noise to still things down to what really matters.

And speaking of cutting out the noise, here’s an ad when Apple introduced the Lisa computer back in the early 1980’s. It’s packed with tons of product information like 512 kilobytes of memory, on and on and on about a lot of details that especially customers back in the 80s, like they didn’t even understand like what a kilobyte was back then and we know a little bit more now about technology than people did back then but basically here you have an ad with a roughly 20 word headline, packed with a ton information that’s mostly meaningless. It’s all about them. It’s all about their product. It’s not about the customer.

Now contrast this this. Boom! This is when Steve Jobs was first returning from the wilderness to save Apple. Instead of droning on about specs, there’s not even a product here. What do we have? We have a compelling emotional image in two words: “Think different.” Bam! Emotional. Hits home. Goes right to the heart of the customer and that’s what good marketing does.

And that’s what we all want, right? We all want a perfectly clear story on our home page. It leads our users down through a journey through the golden funnel of conversion. So why do we end up with this instead when we write about our company on our website? Well, there’s some pitfalls out there. Things can get muddled. When you have multiple audiences, especially in a B2B situation, there can be the CMO’s, the ultimate decision maker. There can be the marketing manager. There can be a product person, a technology person. Lots of different audience that you’re thinking, you know, “Geez, they’re all important audiences so we’ve got to speak to all of them,” right?

And our products are complicated. Man, they’re abstract. It’s a SASS product. There’s all kinds of different technical things going on. It’s hard to articulate and even if I wanted to, I don’t have the time. I don’t have the resolve. I’ve got other priorities. Hey, sales are coming in. You know, weak resolve will kill you every time.

And then we do get together, it’s copyrighting by committee. There’s too many chefs in the kitchen and we all know what happens when we do that. It gets watered down. It becomes almost meaningless.

And then wisest guy in the jar. Why do I have this horrible stock photo of a guy in a jar? Because when you’re inside the jar, you can’t read the label on the outside and that’s an analogy for within the walls of your own company, it’s hard to have that outside perspective and really know what’s important and what’s going to be meaningful and resonate with your customer.

So let’s talk about how exactly you go about writing better stories for your firm. Well, first of all, start with these people. These are the only folks that matter. These are your customers and ask yourself, what do you really know about them? Do you really know them? Start with people because what this person wants might be completely different from what this person wants. I’m guessing they have different motivations and more importantly, this a quote from one of my friends, Steven at Filament, “You start with people because you are not your audience” and we think we know our audience. We can think we can write from their perspective but without proper research, you really can’t.

You really don’t know them so you want to develop what we call personas or buyer personas. What are they? Personas are written descriptions of archetypal users who represent the motivations of your audience. Okay?

Personas are important tools because they help you clarify who you’re speaking to. So what you want to do is you want to do either quantitative research or qualitative research so quantitative research could be surveys. It’s typically, you involve a larger pool of respondents and you’re identifying overall trends in the audience. Qualitative research can be small group or one on one interviews where you’re diving deeper into their motivations and asking specific questions that are giving you the data that you need.

Here’s what a persona can look like. It could look like this. Here’s a pretty detailed one. It talks about some demographic details, the biography personality and so on, and here’s another one. This one is a little bit more narrative. It could look like this, as well, and it could also look like this. This is a persona that shows, on the left, you’ve got some demographic details about her age. She’s been a teacher for eight years and so on.

Mendy, let me know if you can see my screen now, please.

You can also see some of her goals on the right in terms of discovery, tactical, and so on. Discovery goals are things are that she wants to learn on the website, and tactical goals are things that she wants to achieve as far as actual things that she would do on the website, but the thing that important is in the middle where we have a narrative that’s written from her perspective, and this is an important piece that you can use to develop a compelling story. It’s important to get inside your customers’ heads and see things from their perspective, and this will be an important part for the next part when we get into applying framework.

All right. Let’s talk about frameworks. Frameworks give you the guardrails and structure for writing a better brand story and developing content. There’s no one right framework. It’s all a matter of preference and what works for you.

Remember all those people that we developed personas for? Well, guess what? They don’t care about your brand story. They do care about their own story. Always make your customer the hero and not your brand. That’s the most important piece of advice I can give you is people are not interested in hearing about you and you and you. They want to know about how you can help me. They have their own story. Is this product going to solve my problem? Am I going to get a promotion? Is my boss going to hate me for making a better decision? And so on. These are the important questions you want to answer.

We use a framework that I found about a year ago called StoryBrand. It’s great. It’s developed by Donald Miller. You can read more about it,, but StoryBrand is a framework we use here at C42D to help crystallize our thinking and guide how we frame stories for clients. It’s a seven-part framework that’s used by script writers, novelists, and other writers. The key to the framework is to make the customer the hero and not your brand, so let’s look at it.

Every good story starts with a character. The character is your customer, and the customer has a problem. The problem is most likely it’s internal. It’s some kind of pain they’re feeling, and the problem a lot of companies make is they try to sell a solution to an external problem.

If you’ve ever seen the mayhem commercials for Allstate, then you know exactly what I mean. They weren’t selling insurance. They were selling protection from the internal pain that sudden disasters can cause.

The next step is the character meets a guide. The guide is your brand. This is where you come into the story. You position your brand as the guide who’s going to provide the character with a plan. The plan is the roadmap for solving their problem, and then what do you do next? You call them to action. You’re going to take action on your problem, which will result in either success or failure.

Here’s a real world example from Star Wars. Think about Luke. Luke is the main hero or character of the story. He has a problem. Evil empire, they’re bad. Am I a Jedi? I don’t know. It’s this deep, internal problem. He meets a guy named Obi-Wan Kenobi who’s been there. He understands. He has empathy. He also has authority. He has experience. He’s a Jedi, and he knows what to do. He has a plan, and his plan is to tell Luke to use the force. You have what it takes. You can do it. Calls him to action. Luke, go defeat the evil empire, which will result in either Luke destroys the Death Star or the rebellion is crushed, no more sequels, end of the trilogy, etc. That’s a really simple example of how this whole storytelling framework can come together.

I know what you’re thinking. “Yeah, Dave, but my brand story is more complicated than that. Come on.” Well, we’ve got a solution for that, and the solution is to have an umbrella brand story. This is at the highest level what your brand does and who you do it for, etc., and underneath that, each one of these is going to be … Each one of these is going to be a specific product that lives underneath the umbrella brand story. Each product will be one specific story for that product. You’re going to have perhaps one solution and then a second solution and a third solution. They cater to different audiences, so you’re going to have different stories for each one.

We’re going to walk you through how we actually use this on our website. Here’s a real live example. This is the screen that you have on the StoryBrand website where you can actually put together your own, what they call, BrandScripts. You see in the upper left is character. What do they want? Characters want the killer brand. They want strategic guidance and someone to lead them. A character has a problem. The problem is it could be complacency or competition. We don’t communicate clearly who we are and what we do. The websites a mess. We’ve outgrown it. We’ve added onto it so many times that it doesn’t make sense, so we thought about our customers and what are some of the real problems that they face, and how does it make them feel? It makes them feel anxious and frustrated, impatient. They’re in a hurry, but they’re also kind of excited about the future. Why is this plain wrong? Philosophically, nobody should have to lose sleep over this.

Then, we positioned ourselves as the guide. The guide is the person who has the plan for how to solve your problem. So many of customers have struggled with telling a simple and clear brand story, and we understand this. We have authority. We’ve worked with these notable customers. We have years of experience. We may have a simple plan. We analyze your business and your audience. We create a winning brand strategy based on the strategy. We quickly build and launch your new brand.

Then, there’s always call to action, so let’s talk. Get to know us. Tell us about your problem. That’s a direct call to action.

We also think about transitional calls to action. Signing up for email, download a PDF or signing up for a webinar, these are other ways which you can reach out to us and get connected and hopefully, eventually, become a customer, and the end result, of course, it’s going to end in a success. You’ve got clarity. Your messages are understood. You’ve got the next round of funding. Love the new brand, love the new website. The boss loves you. The competition’s jealous. Sales increase, and it helps you avoid the failure. If you did nothing, where the boss is mad at you, you got beat by the competition, didn’t get funded, out of business, the end.

This bottom right section here, character transformation, this is an important piece, and that’s why I love to develop these for every client that we work with because we really think about how is the person before they encounter our brand. They’re worried and frustrated. They’re feeling pressure. They’re uncertain how to fix it. They’re a little bit fed up, and we’re going to transform them into a winning brand, funded, they’re growing, they’re killing it, but, in all seriousness, thinking about how you want people to transform as a result of working with your brand is really important, and it helps guide a lot of the content that you put together for them.

Here’s a real live example from our website. This is our homepage. Hopefully you’ve seen this before. I’m going to read this real quick. We understand the pressure you feel to deliver results. Competition, a new round of funding, rapid growth, it can all lead to sleepless nights. Nobody should have to live like that. That’s why we created a bulletproof, strategic process based on years of experience. We’ll build an engaging and clear brand story that is easy for your customers to understand and then apply it across the board so you can stay focused on what you’re best at and get more Z’s. Contact us today and let’s crush the future together.

Let’s look at this. Do you see the framework? That’s what I’d like to ask. Well, here it is. We’ve got a character. Character is the client. Character has a problem, sleepless nights, and why is it just plain wrong? Because nobody should have to live like that. Character meets a guide. The guide is us. We have empathy. We understand the pressure that you feel. We also have authority. We’ve done this for years. We have years of experience. The guide has credentials, and the guide has a plan. We’re going to build an engaging and clear brand story that’s easy for your customers to understand. Going to call you to action. Contact us. Let us help you, which result in a success. You stay focused, crush the future, come a unicorn. It’s a happy ending. Great story. That’s how StoryBrand works, and that’s one framework you can use.

Another framework is called the Buyer’s Journey. Buyer’s Journey is by HubSpot. HubSpot, it probably existed before them, but they’ve really pushed it in a lot of their content, and it’s basically a process that buyer’s go through to become aware of, consider, and evaluate, and then, ultimately, decide to purchase a new product or service.

Here’s how it works. The first stage is awareness. It’s when you’re aware you have a problem. That’s when buyers identify a challenge or the opportunity that they are trying to pursue. They also decide whether or not this is going to become a priority. To understand customers in the awareness phase, you might want to ask some of these questions below:

How do buyers describe their goals or challenges?

What are some of the consequences of inaction?

Answers to those questions will help inform some of the messages that you want to communicate to people when they’re first becoming aware that they have a problem.

The second phase of the journey is the consideration phase. That’s when they’re considering how to solve their problem. They’ve clearly defined that they have a problem or, if you will, a challenge, and they’re committed to taking action on it. Here’s where they’re evaluating different approaches, they’re exploring, they’re looking for different methods to try and solve this. Again, there’s some questions there that you can ask to think about how they’re considering how to solve their problem.

Final phase is decision. Decision, they’ve already decided on they’re going to pursue a solution for this, and this is when you want to ask questions like, what criteria are they looking for to evaluate the available offers? Put together a list of what that criteria is. That can inform some of the content that you’d like to create. Other questions there, like, when they investigate your offering, what do they like about it compared to alternatives? How do you compare the competition? What concerns or objections might they have? How can you answer them? All good things to think about.

Buyer’s Journey could also look like this. This is a diagram or infographic, if you will, of what a Buyer’s Journey could look like. Essentially, it’s the same thing. From left to right, it’s that awareness, consideration, and decision phases, and the emotional experience is your Y axis. You can see that it’s going up and down based on what they’re doing on your website. Some people go as far as to build this. If you’re interested in building a Buyer’s Journey, there’s lots of great resources out there. We’ll point you to some of them at the end.

Here’s a hypothetical example. What you’re looking at here is a Buyer’s Journey across the top from left to right, and, below, we have identified personas for each step. In this example, there’s two main B2B customers, agencies and brands. Within each customer segment, there’s individual personas. In this example, we are focusing on the agency personas, which includes a media person, somebody who’s in analytics, the tech guy, and the agency executive, and note the executive, who is usually the ultimate decision maker, is over on the right side in the decision phase.

Now that you see we’ve got these three personas, what we put underneath each one is some needs and some wants. These are taken right from the personas that we developed earlier. Ideally, you created three personas here, and you’ve identified what they’re looking for really in relation to what you provide them. In this case, this would be the media person, the analytics person, technology person. They need to have superior technology. They want seamless integrations. They want innovative technology, as well, efficiency, a great product interface, and the ability to optimize campaigns. This would be from a hypothetical Amtech product.

In the consideration phase, this is where they’re evaluating solutions. Here, they want to know a little bit more. They want to know about what features does the product have, what does it look like, how easy it is to launch, how easy is it to integrate with what we’ve already got going on? I want to know about the reporting. Here, they’re looking to find out a little bit more detail about this product that you’re offering.

Finally, the decision maker, executive, he’s looking for things or she’s looking for things that are a little bit more high level. They need proof that the product provides top tier value and the protection for the brand. They need assurance that they’re going to have account service. They need evidence that they’re going to get operational efficiency. Again, the executives, they’re concerned with more bigger picture goals, like being efficient, having good account service, providing top tier value, and so on.

Then, what we do in the next step is we think about what content that each area of the website could in relation to each phase of the Buyer’s Journey. For the awareness phase, some content blocks that could speak to that could be the homepage hero, other hero sections on other pages, product descriptions, blog posts. Even whitepapers can help make people aware that there’s a problem that they’re experiencing. The goal here is to show that you understand their issues and inspire them. Again, we’re keeping this all about the customer and how we understand them.

The next phase is the content that’s focused on the solution. These could be product descriptions, a list of specs maybe. Again, in this example, let’s think of it as like a SaaS company or a product company, but this would be specific if you were a service company. You could talk about various services that you offer and drill down a little bit deeper into how that provides the solution for them.

Other things that might indicate a solution are testimonial quotes, happy customers that have had their problem solved by you, and, again, the blog posts and whitepapers. Case studies, as well, are great for focusing on solutions. The key is to show that you can solve their issues and you have done so for others.

The next phase is the decision phase, and this is the content that answers questions about the product specifically. There’s a lot of content areas that can speak to this. Again, there is some overlap. There’s hero sections, the testimonial quotes, as well, case studies, blog posts, and you can also see on the right the other areas of your marketing could be sales materials, could be pitch texts, could be closing tools. These are the things that you want to speak to that executive, and the key is to inform them about the specific details, and, even more importantly, reassure them that they’re making a good decision.

Again, three different phases, different types of content, all with different goals. Remember, keep your message all about these folks.

All right. Getting into our next section, editing your work. Maybe you’ve already had the content or you’ve just wrote something that you feel is pretty decent, and now you need to edit it. Let’s explore that. This is one of my favorite quotes about editing. “There is no great writing, only great rewriting.” What he’s saying there is you’re first draft is going to be … It’s going to be decent, but really the magic happens when you come back and when you edit it, and we’ll give you some tips on how to do that.

First off, just write a draft. It all begins and ends with getting stuff down on paper, on the screen. The most important step is just get something down as fast as you can because you cannot edit content that doesn’t exist. If you get hung up on making it perfect, it’s just not going to happen. Get something started. That will help you unlock the story for you that you can then edit it and get it into shape, and we can see our writer here. Oh, he’s wrote a better tagline there.

Once you have a solid draft together, this is something I always want to do, which is let it sit for a while. Put it aside, close the file, put it in the drawer. Let it sit for at least three days if we’re talking about some business or marketing, and, like fine wine, the longer you let it sit, the better your perspective is going to be when you go back to it, and you will find that when you come back to this writing after you’ve let it sit for a while that the little abysmal elves have gone in there and they have changed things around, and you couldn’t believe how they took your great writing and suddenly made it terrible because it’s so obvious to you now what was not obvious before. I’m being a little coy there, but you know what I mean.

Here’s an example of sprucing up a mission statement. This isn’t bad to begin with, but I thought it could be better. Our mission is to build a clinical-grade artificial intelligence that will revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. We’re bringing together the world’s leading experts in computational pathology, clinical practice, and artificial intelligence. We’re committed to fulfilling this mission and improving patient care. Typical mission statement. I thought it could be maybe a little more emotional, maybe a little less texty. Computational pathology should really never been in your mission statement, at least in my opinion. Maybe you want it in yours, but I certainly don’t.

Here’s a rewrite. Cancer is a killer. Nice, emotional hook there. Nothing short of a revolution in diagnosis and treatment will change this. By uniting the world’s leading experts in AI and medicine, we’re building a clinical grade intelligence to save and improve patient lives. That’s our mission. Nice, concisely eliminated some of the text speak, gave it a little more of an emotional hook [inaudible 00:36:35]. To me, that feels a little bit more like a mission I want to be on.

Let’s look at another one, product description. Here’s another example of a product description. Falls flat due to the overuse of a certain word, budget, budget, budget, budget, budget. To me, this falls really flat. I don’t think anyone’s going to be inspired by this or necessarily feel like it resonates with them. We took a edit to it. We made the headline a little bit more clever and memorable. Work Flows that Control Cashflow. We all want to be more profitable. Let’s start out thinking about the customer. Yes, I want to be more profitable. Stay under budget and boost your bottom line with restricted ordering if the product reaches funding limits. Without signing off, nothing goes over. Pinpoint how accurate spend compares to budget in detailed reports available with a click of a button. It’s that simple. Better headline. We broke up the monotony with three paragraphs of varying length, which is a great way that’s called pacing. Varying the pace of what you write can add interest and keep people from falling asleep. We only use the word budget twice. A nice rewrite there.

A couple more content writing tips for you self-starters out there. First off, write in the second person. Second person means things like, “We understand your needs,” and, “You value results, and so do we.” Again, you’re taking the customer focus, and you’re focusing on them by writing in the second person. Position your persona or your customer as the main character in the story. We talked about that before. Frame your brand as the solution or guide to solving the character’s problems. Craft content to speak to the specific needs and wants, and you can do that by putting together the framework, like the Buyer’s Journey. Keep it simple. Shorter is better. We all know that people scan these days. They don’t necessary read, so you want things to be broken up into digestible chunks. Avoid industry speak. Talk like a real person. Talk like a person talking to another person, and don’t use things like computational pathology. Don’t be afraid to imply the consequences of inaction. This is where I was talking before about what can happen if the character doesn’t solve his problem, results in failure, sprinkling that is, like salt. A little bit in you’re cooking, just a little bit can provide some flavor, but too much is going to spoil the meal. A little bit of loss aversion, I think, is not a bad ingredient into your content mix.

Finally, consider that certain content works better at certain stages in the Buyer’s Journey. For example, case studies are more appropriate for personas in the decision phase. Again, using that framework to identify the right content for the right stage in the Buyer’s Journeys.

All right. Let’s get into some resources. You don’t have to go it alone. There’s tons of resources out there. I’m going to highlight a couple.

First of all, StoryBrand., there’s a book, there’s a website, there’s a whole course you can get. It’s great, helped us a lot, and StoryBrand’s a great tool.

If you’re more into reading books, these are four books that I’ve read that I think are great. Starting on the top left, Stephen King wrote a great book about writing. I’m not going to give away what’s in there, but it’s a really awesome resource on how to become a better writer. Also, the classic William Zinsser is On Writing Well, which is great for writing nonfiction. The Classic Elements of Style, mandatory if you’re going to write anything. I’d highly recommend that, as well. Then, here’s one that may be some people haven’t heard about, but this is about The Seven Lost Secrets of Success. Doesn’t sound like a writing book, but it’s about Bruce Barton, who was one of the B’s in the famous [inaudible 00:40:49], so BBDO, and it talks a lot about some of his principles for developing compelling ideas, and I got a lot out of that book. I thought it was a fantastic book, so Seven Lost Secrets of Success by Joe Vitale.

HubSpot has tons and tons and tons of great resources on their blog. If you use HubSpot, they’ve got an incredible resource center of videos and tutorials. Can’t say enough about HubSpot. It’s definitely changed our business, and I think it could change yours, as well.

If you can’t afford to hire an editor, Grammarly is your virtual editor. This is fantastic. They have a free version. We bought the commercial package. It was only 100 and something bucks a year, something like that, but this is fantastic. It highlights and makes suggestions, everything from spelling to [inaudible 00:41:46] participles to squinting modifiers and everything else that you have no idea what it is, but you know if you fix it, it’ll make for better copy.

Of course, our friends at Filament with the If you want to take a deep dive into doing user research, understanding creating a journey map, and creating buying personas, that is a fantastic resource, and I don’t think you have to be a designer to get a lot out of it.

All right. Let’s sum it up. Again, apologize for the technical difficulties. My advice to those of you who are giving webinars and try and share your screen when you start out, but we’ll fix it in the editing, and we’ll have a full video up on the website later this week hopefully, and, as they say, fix it and post.

All right, summing it up. Stories have held people’s attention for thousands of years. They still do. They’re powerful tools. They organize information, and they eliminate noise. Distill down to the most important elements of your brand story to keep it clear. B2B buyers, complicated tech products, lack of resolve can lead to snarled stories and too much information, so beware of some of the pitfalls. Start with people, create buyer personas, and get to understand your customers before you do anything. Use a framework to add structure. Make your customer the hero in the story, and your brand is the guide that leads them to success. Don’t talk about you, you, you, no, no, no. Talk about them, them, them. Get a first draft down as fast as possible. Let it sit for a while and then edit it and take advantage of all those resources. Don’t go it alone. Use them. They’re there to help.

All right. We’re going to get into some Q&A if there are any, if anyone’s still even here.

Coming up next, ideology, the missing ingredient in your content gumbo. At C42D, we like to deliver these webinars once a quarter. Next quarter, we’re going to examine how having a strong ideology is the Tabasco that ads flavor and interest to your marketing messages, blog posts, and other content. Join us and work up a Cajun-style appetite for polarizing content, all before lunch. This must see webinar takes place on Tuesday, September 17th, 2019, at 11:00 AM Eastern, and I guarantee I’ll share my screen this time. To register, visit, and look for the signup link, which will be up there by the end of the week.

In case you missed anything, we’ll have a copy of this webinar, along with a transcript up on, again, by the end of the week. Also, lots of great content there, so check out our blog, and you can read more awesome thought leadership, our Subway Startups series, and some other great articles we published recently.

All right. Getting into some Q&A, if anyone has any questions, type them into the question box. Let me see what we have here.

Susan asks, “Which framework is better, StoryBrand or the HubSpot one?” I think you can use both. I think it’s like flavors of ice cream. Which one is a personal preference? To me, I like to use StoryBrand to think about the overall brand narrative that we’re trying to put together at the highest level, and I also like to think of the HubSpot Buyer’s Journey for crafting more targeted specific messages and making sure they’re in the right place on the website. I hope that helps.

Let’s see. Mel … “Can you explain the story …” Ari asks, “Can you explain the StoryBrand Master Brand framework and how you handle a more complicated story? Went a little fast. I didn’t totally get it.” I think you’re thinking of that slide where we had the Master Brand story at top, and the three below it. You start with the master brand story. As most basic level, who’s your customer, what is their problem, and so on, and then think about a specific product.

Let me think of an example. For example, Microsoft has an overall overarching brand story that they’re telling to their customers, but specific products, like Microsoft Word, potentially has a different customer than Excel. Excel can be for your CFOs, for your accountants, for your controllers, and Word could be more for just executives, in general. You’d want to write a separate story for each product, and then use that specific brand story or BrandScript, if you will, to drive how you develop marketing for that product, and marketing could be landing pages, could be one sheets, could be how you describe the product in a sales situation, and so on. Hope that helped.

Not seeing any more questions. Thank you all for joining. Again, this will be up on our website by the end of the week. Appreciate it. We’ll see you again on another event soon. Thanks.



Transcript: 2020 Marketing Predictions

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