Building A Story Brand by Donald Miller [Actionable Summary]

This is a comprehensive summary of the book Building A Story Brand by Donald Miller (part of the business book summaries collection). Covering the key ideas and proposing practical ways for achieving what’s mentioned in the text. Written by book fanatic and online librarian Ivaylo Durmonski. Supporting Members get full access.

The Book In Three Or More Sentences:

Regardless of how good your product is, if you don’t know how to present it to the world, you won’t sell a single unit. Building A Story Brand by Donald Miller offers a proven 7-step framework to create a compelling story for your brand. Also, information on how to rid yourself from all the fluff, so you can craft a simpler, but more effective marketing message that sells.

The Core Idea:

Understand the key problems of your niche market and clearly communicate how you’re going to solve them for the people. By clearly, the author means positioning yourself in your customer’s shoes and focusing on their needs. The practical tips and the step-by-step process inside Building A Story Brand will equip you with the tools you need to craft the perfect marketing message that will generate more leads and increase your profit.


  • Create a compelling story around your product that explains how people will become better when they use your services.
  • Your marketing message has to be brief, punchy, and relevant to your customers.
  • Frequently remind people why and how they can get your product. Don’t assume they know.

6 Key Lessons from Building A Story Brand:

Lesson #1: Clear Message Beats Fancy Words

Pardon my French, but if your message is too complicated you won’t sell sh*t.

For years, I thought that in order to become a good writer, I should use fancy words and incorporate long complicated sentences. But the author suggests something else for brands: being very clear.

“The fact is, pretty websites don’t sell things. Words sell things. And if we haven’t clarified our message, our customers won’t listen.” Donald Miller

You need to get your message straight if you want to increase your sales. That’s the secret sauce for building a successful brand. Adding an extra layer on your site, redesigning your logo, or writing a 2,000-words About page won’t help you.

If people can’t understand what you’re selling on your website, and why they need it, within 5 seconds of visiting it, they’ll bounce and never return.

How to do it better?

Well, for starters, focus on their story. On what your clients need. Understand why they might need what you offer.

Then, sit down and write it down. Make sure that the message you craft is relevant to your product. Easily understandable from a 3rd person perspective and also attention-grabbing. Once you have something, read it out loud and rewrite it. Make sure to remove all the fluff. Repeat until there is nothing left to remove.

Lesson #2: Brands Make Two Mistakes When They Talk About Their Products and Services

Mistake #1: They Fail To Communicate How Clients Can Survive and Thrive

People don’t really care about your brand or about how many followers you have. They care about their own personal well-being. About how your product will potentially help them survive and thrive.

Most companies fail to communicate that. They talk about their own story and about how they invented the product. But nobody is interested in that.

When you position your product as a savior. As something that can help the person reading advance in life, you’ll have his attention and probably part of his income.

Mistake #2: They Overcomplicate Stuff and People Don’t Understand Them

When your message is too complicated the brain can’t process all the information and it starts to burn calories in order to understand what you’re trying to say. That’s against the codex of the brain. After all, the main function of the brain is to preserve energy so it can survive in this world for longer.

“People are looking for brands that can help them survive and thrive,” says Donald Miller in the book. So, you need to refine your message. Make sure visitors can understand what you mean without making them burn too many calories.

Hey there, sorry to interrupt…

Since you’ve come this far, it seems that you are really passionate about books and learning. I’m too! And while what I’m about to say next probably won’t quite excite you, I have to say it…

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