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Clearly Marketing a Commodity

Creating a clear and compelling marketing message that gets people to engage with your business is a challenge for many business owners.

Marketing something people view as a commodity can be an even bigger problem – and banking is no exception.

Using the StoryBrand framework, however, makes it much easier and very compelling for potential customers – it clarifies your message and engages people through the elements of story.

And it works.

Just ask Michael Hyatt, who implemented the framework and saw quadrupled sales in one year!

I recently became a StoryBrand Certified Guide and in order to sharpen my StoryBrand skills, I’m “StoryBranding” a few companies I have a personal connection to in some way, or would like to.

StoryBranding Yellowstone Bank

Yellowstone Bank is where I bank and I’ve found a ton of value in my relationship with them.

To be honest, though, when I first moved back to my hometown and started using them because my former bank didn’t operate in the area, I wasn’t sure what my experience was going to be like.

They seemed a little behind the times and I was concerned about online and mobile convenience – and I’m so glad I gave them a shot!

Yes, they have online and mobile capabilities that they continue to improve upon, but the staff’s customer service is what truly sets them apart.

Their superior level of service completely outdoes what I’ve experienced elsewhere.

From the tellers to the loan officers, they are all dedicated to getting to know you as a person, greet you on a first name basis when you come in, and readily answer any questions you have.

I especially love that they answer the phone within 3 rings. Every. Time.

And my emails are quickly answered the same day.

They’re about as close to a “call your banker after you buy the thing” type of customer service you can get in this day and age.

I know they will work hard to figure out how to help me, whatever it may be, whether a simple online banking question, or a loan inquiry – not to mention, they offer all of the convenient online banking features I need and want.

I think Yellowstone Bank would reap a lot of benefit from being “StoryBranded,” so I’ve created a draft BrandScript for their marketing messaging and applied it to a home page wireframe below.

Yellowstone Bank BrandScript

The StoryBrand framework has 7 elements to help clarify your marketing message.

When you address them, your marketing is clarified and simplified in such a way that it compels the human brain to listen.

For Yellowstone Bank (YB), here’s how I used the StoryBrand BrandScript filter to clarify their message:

  1. The “Character” or “Hero” (YB’s potential customer) wants a bank that treats them like they matter, not just another account
  2. The Problems the Hero is facing are:
    • Villain – Old fashioned, personalized customer service is dead
    • External – The customer needs a loan or a banking account
    • Internal – They feel insecure, overlooked, overwhelmed – they don’t want to be treated like a number
    • Philosophical – No one deserves to be treated like a number, or just another loan, especially when it comes to your finances
  3. As the “Guide” to their Hero, YB:
    • Has Empathy – they understand how impersonal banking can seem these days
    • And Authority – that’s why they strive to give old-fashioned personal service to all of our customers every day – they’ve been helping their friends and neighbors with their personal, home, auto, and commercial loans for over 100 years.
  4. The Plan YB gives them is:
    • Fill out an online application (as best you can)
    • We’ll contact you to review and help you get it completed
    • Get approved*
      (*Note: I’m unsure if YB can use this type of language due to banking regulations, but it could be something along these lines)
    • Their agreement plan is:
      • We promise to provide old-fashioned customer service by:
        • Getting to know you on a first-name basis
        • Answering the phone within 3 rings when you call
        • Answering any loan and banking questions you have within the same business day
        • Making it easy for you to get the money you need to live your life, run your farm or ranch, or build your business
  5. YB’s Calls to Action are:
    • Direct: Apply for a Loan (or Open an Account)
    • Transitional: Download our “5 Things to Know Before You Apply for a Home Loan” (could be some other type of loan, depending upon what is their biggest revenue stream). After download, the customer would be on-boarded with 5 to 7 automated emails over a period of days that educate and inform them, then lead them to a sale
  6. The Successes the Hero realizes when they work with YB are:
    • Security – knowing they’re able to get the money they need for their personal life, their business, or their farm/ranch
    • Confidence – knowing they have a team of people willing to help them with whatever loan or banking needs they have, who all know them by their first name
    • Relief – it’s easy to get help from a real person because they have a personal relationship with their banker and tellers
  7. The Failures YB helps their Hero avoid are:
    • Financial failure and stress – not getting the money they need to live their life, build their business, or sustain their farm/ranch… get tied up financially
    • Feel strung along or “used” by a bank who doesn’t care about them and doesn’t treat them with personal respect and service
    • Never getting where they want in life

Ultimately, when YB’s Hero (potential customer) works with them, they go from being insecure and insignificant to confident, respected, relieved, and enabled to live the life and build the business they dream of.

Applying the BrandScript to a Wireframe

For those unfamiliar with StoryBrand, you may be looking at the BrandScript and thinking that it all sounds nice, but how do you apply it in your marketing?

The short answer is that you apply it to everything – your marketing materials and content, the way you interact with your customers in personal interactions, and more.

It’s most powerful when every element is used, but you can also just pull from one or two of the steps when creating certain pieces of content or ads.

But that’s easier said than done.

So, I’ve applied YB’s BrandScript to a home page “wireframe” below – wireframes are like “blueprints” that show what type of content and imagery will go where on a page.

Yellowstone Bank Wireframe Top
Yellowstone Bank Wireframe 2
Yellowstone Bank Wireframe 3
Yellowstone Bank Wireframe 4
Yellowstone Bank Wireframe 5
Yellowstone Bank Wireframe 6

Works Pretty Great, Doesn’t It?

As you can see, the StoryBrand framework helps you create a clearer, more compelling way to talk about what you do.

When you use it, your business grows again.

Get StoryBranded

If you like what you see here, fill out my Marketing Check-Up Form here and I’ll circle back with you to schedule a FREE 30 minute initial consultation to see how the StoryBrand way can help grow your business!