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  • Writer's pictureJillian Felty

What the Transformation of the Roses Means for Your Brand

Part 1 of the StoryBrand Framework

Humans love stories. We run on them.

We eat them up like the bacon-wrapped shrimp at your last dinner party. We make assumptions and tell our own stories when things don’t make sense.

We just freaking love stories.

So when we can harness that power to pull people in and apply it to marketing, it’s magic.

How can you make story work for your brand?

In this blog series, we’re going to break down the seven parts of the StoryBrand Framework and give you guidance on how to start using it to supercharge your marketing.

We’ll use some of our favorite TV shows and characters, and give you examples of the framework in action so that you can see it first-hand to make it work for you.


Everyone loves a good transformation story. From rags to riches, bad to good, weak to strong, lonely to loved, failure to success – you name it. We ALL love a good transformation.

But what does transformation have to do with your business? Everything.

If you’ve got a product or service that solves someone’s problem, then you’ve got a story to invite your customers into. How do you tell the right story? By starting with the first part of the StoryBrand Framework – Identity Transformation.

Hold Up. ✋ What is 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.

Think of it like getting hooked to a movie or TV show, just seconds in (Schitt’s Creek, anyone?). The second your customer goes to your website, hears about your product or service, or sees a post from you on social media, they should get hooked, and the StoryBrand Framework helps that happen.

(P.S. Want to work directly with our StoryBrand Certified Guide on your brand’s story? Schedule a call here.✨)

Okay, now back to the good stuff.

The Essential Piece to Your Brand ~ Identity Transformation.

The first part of the StoryBrand Framework is Identity Transformation - the essential building block that acts as the light at the end of the tunnel for your customer.

  • It answers the questions: “where do we take our customers?” and “who do we help our customers become?”

  • It’s a filter to tell the right story to the right people who are looking for the kind of transformation you offer.

  • It gives you direction on where your customer’s story is headed, and how you help them win the day.

Taking the time to identify the transformation your customers go through after they work with your brand is ESSENTIAL because, if YOU don’t know where you guide them in the end, THEY won’t know why they should work with you in the first place.

Plus, if a character in a story doesn’t transform by the end, we tend to get bored, annoyed, or check out altogether before the second episode has a chance to begin.

Identity Transformation in Action ~ Schitt’s Creek.

Okay, so we know this part of the framework can sound “woo-woo,” like: “what does all that actually mean??” So, we’re going to give you an example of what identity transformation looks like in an actual story. Let’s take a look at Schitt’s Creek — a Felty Co. favorite. 💛

(SPOILERS BELOW, so if you haven’t binged it yet, go watch. We won’t be offended.)

The Rose Family.

From the very beginning of the show, the Rose family had a clear transformation ahead of them – rags back to riches, OR rags to something entirely new.

They’re a filthy rich family who loses everything after their business partner steals all of their money. The government comes in, takes everything, and leaves them with the one thing that isn’t worth much: a town they own called Schitt’s Creek.

They’re stuck in Schitt’s Creek with empty bank accounts, no home, and all they have left is their ownership of the run-down town… BUT they want to get out of their situation, both financially and physically. So, what do they do? That’s the plot of the entire show.

Now, if you’ve seen the whole series, then you’ll know exactly how they transform in the end. They end up redeeming a dying motel business and growing it into a franchise. They also grow closer as a family, and each of the family members transform in their own significant ways, too.

  • Johnny goes from feeling lost, stuck, betrayed, and defeated to confident, compassionate, and running a successful motel business.

  • Moira starts out as self-centered, anxious, and hopeless, but by the end becomes maternal, supportive, and finds real connections in places she didn’t expect.

  • David feels stuck, lonely, unsupported, anxious, and selfish at the beginning, but by the last episode of the series, he’s in a happy and healthy relationship, running his own successful business, and feels like he finally belongs somewhere.

  • Alexis transforms from being self-centered, boy-crazy, and insecure to self-less, strong, running her own PR agency, making friends, and ultimately chooses to let go of the best relationship she’s ever had because their futures didn’t align.

So, What Does This Mean for YOU?

Let’s be real, if all of the characters in Schitt’s Creek stayed the same, no one would have binged the show. Why? It’s not natural to want to stay the same. We desire progression. We want transformation. And when it comes to your customer, they want transformation too.

They don’t want to stay where they are. They want to transform their life, and your brand is the guide to help them along the way.

Donald Miller, the CEO and founder of StoryBrand, teaches that “when you participate in the identity transformation of your customers, you win.” Because when you tell a story that resonates with your customers, you’re more likely to create raving fans of your brand.

How to Uncover Your Customers’ Identity Transformation

So, now that you know what the first part of the StoryBrand Framework is and have seen it in action, it’s time for you to start implementing it into your brand’s message. Here are three places to look to uncover your customer’s identity transformation.

  • Review your testimonials. Testimonials are a great way to see how your business is impacting the lives of existing customers. So, take a deep dive into them, but specifically focus on the ones that talk about where they were before they found you, and where they are now because of you.

  • Identify what makes you different than your competitors. If you have clear differentiators from other businesses in your industry, then play that into who your audience actually wants to become.

  1. For example, if you do something “faster,” then your identity transformation might be time-related for your customers. If you have better customer service, then your identity transformation might be service-related.

  • Evaluate your brand’s values. People don’t just want transformation. They also want to connect with brands and people. So, use your brand values as a part of your customer’s identity transformation.

  1. For example, if your business values organization, then your customer might want that to be a part of who they become - organized. If your business values boldness, and part of your customer’s want is to be bold, include that in their transformation.

Let This Transform 💛

At the end of the day, having an identity transformation defined for your customer not only gives you a roadmap to where you’re taking them, but it also helps invite them into a story where THEY win the day.

But keep in mind, this part of the framework is allowed to transform with your business and your customer base. It’s not set in stone, even if it is the foundation of the StoryBrand Framework. So, if it needs to change, let it! Come back to it regularly. It’s okay!

Need some guidance on how to utilize your customer’s identity transformation in your marketing? 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. ✨

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