Borrowing From the Hero’s Journey Story in Branding
Everybody loves a hero! If you doubt that for a moment, think of any of your favorite stories, and you will realize that there is a hero in that story that you identify with. Or you can look at America’s love affair with sports. The strong association with a team of “heroes,” and the prospect of being part of their journey to victory over their opponents or over the obstacles presented by their athletic contest creates emotional connection and loyalty that can span a lifetime.
This is the connection that we actively pursue by creating a brand story based on the hero’s journey. The hero’s journey story structure has been around ever since stories were told. A simplified version of the basic formula is: the hero embarks on a journey, the hero encounters and deals with obstacles, and the hero is changed. We are hoping that the hero wins at the end, and in brand stories, we want our product or service to be part of a positive change as the hero wins the day.
In a hero brand story, our hero can either be the customer or the brand. If the customer is positioned as the hero, the product or service is the helper that makes victory possible. If the brand is the hero, the product or service arrives and saves the day for the customer.
If you take a quick look at just a few ads, you can probably pick out which of these hero stories is taking place in each. To take advantage of this connection with your customers, all you have to do is identify the number one obstacle your product or service helps your customer overcome.
Do they win by choosing your brand and becoming the hero or do you ride in and save the day? Take that information and plug it into the simple formula of journey, obstacle, change, and in this case– victory! Your brand story will position your brand in the customer’s hero journey, resulting in connection, potential conversion, and loyalty for a job well done.
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