What Amy from ‘Superstore’ Can Teach Brands About Their Audience
Part 2 of the StoryBrand Framework
Let’s be honest, most brands are too quick to make themselves the hero. It’s easy to say “my product/service will solve all of your problems” and act like the “savior” that your customers have been looking for.
But here’s the thing – that’s not how people think. 🚫
People aren't looking for a hero to save them. In their minds, they are the hero of their own story, but oftentimes, they need a guide to help them win the day (aka your brand).
Even if you’ve got a product or service that solves their problem, your customers don’t need you to be the hero for them. They need you to help them become the hero, but how the heck do you communicate that? By getting super clear with the second part of the StoryBrand Framework – the Hero.
Wait a sec. 😅 What’s the StoryBrand Framework?
The StoryBrand Framework is a proven marketing framework built around the 7 elements of story - Identity Transformation, Hero, Problem, Guide, Plan, Success, or Failure. Essentially, it takes your brand’s message and frames it in a story-like format, so that your customers connect deeper with your brand, right from the start (kind of like getting hooked to a show like Superstore).
(P.S. Want to work directly with our StoryBrand Certified Guide on your brand’s story? Schedule a call here.✨)
Where Your Story Starts ~ The Hero.
If you’ve ever watched any kind of TV show or movie, then you know that every single character always starts out weaker than they are by the end. The entire storyline is about the main character going through a transformation – from rags to riches, lonely to loved, lost to found, etc.
Because we love to see transformation happen. (This is why it’s the first part of the StoryBrand Framework).
So, here’s the deal – your customers want their lives to be transformed. They want to be the hero of their own story with that #MainCharacterEnergy. 🔥
But when someone else comes into their story and plays it up like, “We’ve been in business since the 1980s when my dad…” that business is telling THEIR story, not the story of the hero.
Donald Miller, the CEO and founder of StoryBrand, teaches that a story doesn’t start until a character wants something.
The hero (your customer) wants to be guided to success in whatever problem they’re facing. They want to experience transformation. They want to win the day.
So, once you understand what your hero wants and position your marketing with their wants in mind, then things start to click.
The Hero in Action ~ Amy from Superstore.
Need an example of a hero? Let’s take a look at Amy from Superstore. (SPOILERS!)
At the beginning of the show, Amy is stuck in the same job that she’s been in for ten years. She’s climbed up to Floor Supervisor, but she didn’t believe that she was capable of anything more.
She’s a teen mom in an unhappy marriage, who believes that “life is as good as it’s going to get.” Aka, she’s a super “weak” main character who is due for an identity transformation.
Now, imagine if Glenn (the store manager) or someone else came into Amy’s life and told her “I can solve all of your problems for you!” Do you think she’d respond? Would you?
Amy wanted to figure things out on her own, so instead of needing a savior, she needed a guide to help her find her way (We’ll dive into part 4 of the framework, the Guide, very soon).
However, by the end of the show, Amy has become the store manager, is headed up to corporate, found real love, and believes that she truly is capable of “more.”
She’s become the hero. She’s won the day. And it all began with her wanting more out of life (even if she wouldn’t admit it).
So, What Does This Mean for YOU?
Just as Amy is a weak character at the beginning of Superstore, your customer is a weak character at the beginning of their own story. They want transformation. They’re looking for a way out of how they’re feeling or help with the problem they’re facing.
As brands, we need to respond to the things that our customers/hero wants. If we don’t, then we’ll never have the opportunity to help them win the day.
Two Questions to Ask About Your Hero.
If the writers of Superstore didn’t define what Amy wanted in the first few episodes, then there would have been no story. The show wouldn’t have been about anything at all. Don’t let this be your marketing efforts.
Reach your hero by asking these two questions:
What do your customers want or desire? Pair this down to a single thing and then focus on that. Customer personas are great and all, but what they really want matters most.
How does your business help them fulfill this? Remember, this story isn’t about you. It’s about your customer. You’re just there to help them win the day, not save it for them.
Once you’ve got your answers, you’re ready to pivot your marketing strategy into a compelling story that sells.
When They Win, You Do Too.
When you understand that you’re the guide - not the hero - and that you get to help your customer win the day, you win too. Not just because you made a sale, but because you got to help someone transform their life. And personally, what’s better than that?
Need some guidance on how to reach your hero in your marketing strategy? Schedule a call with our StoryBrand Certified Guide and see how you can write a brand message that invites your customers into a compelling story. ✨