Using Story to Attract Customers

Jacksonville Online Marketing for Businesses & Entrepreneurs

Date: Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Time: 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Location: Office Evolution Jacksonville

5011 Gate Pkwy building 100 · Jacksonville, FL



The monthly meeting of The JOMM began with introductions of Jay Owen, CEO of St Augustine based marketing firm Design Extensions. The introduction included mention of his podcast "Building a Business that lasts.” Owen mentioned the basis of much of what he would discuss was from the Storybrand marketing principles devised by Donald Miller, that emphasizes that "The brand is not the hero, the customer is the hero.”
Using Story
Photos of the individual slides Owen presented are below with some of the key takeaways being that as marketers we should focus on what the customer wants which is a solution to a problem whether they know it or not. Their problem is either 1)external, 2)internal or 3)philosophical. By understanding this we better qualify our leads. For example, a lead may be seeking to replace their broken coffee maker and some who consider it an external issue or philosophically doesn’t like the high price of some coffee makers could be happy with a $15 Mr. Coffee while someone else that makes it personal and feels they deserve better would rather be sold a $250 expresso machine.
According to Owen, this orientation should be reflected in our website messaging focused on reducing the emphasis on brand accomplishments such as years in business and awards and rather addressing customer’s problems and solutions and what the customer DESERVES. A dash of the negative aspects of NOT using your brand should be included. While many brands don’t want to mention the negative at all Owen recommends considering it like a “dash of salt” in a recipe. Too much salt will leave a bad taste, but no salt whatsoever likewise leaves the food tasting as if something is missing.
Simply said: What is the problem? And, What is the solution?
Right off the bat, Owen noted the flow of marketing relative can be viewed as Brand Identity to Attract audience— convert to leads—close the leads—and delight.  Similarly, the purpose of marketing related to the sales funnel is to attract strangers to become visitors and leads that convert to customers that they become promoters of your brand.
Regarding the Power of Clear Messaging and Clarity of Message Owen compared the Trump and Jeb Bush 2016 presidential campaigns noting how with less money and by using precise messaging the Trump campaign beat Bush with Make America Great Again and Build That Wall, messages that were consistent with a cultural story that resonates within its simple framework to the target audience. Owen noted the power of the message and challenge to counter it as opposition was widespread, but scattered and un-unified qualifying it all as noise versus clarity. Owen floated the possibility that the Trump campaign may actually instigate the noise for the resulting advantage to his campaigns' clear and concise message.
Owen emphasized the phrase that “Design Builds Trust WORDS SELL” meaning a certain look to our websites and marketing materials is crucial to draw the trust of someone to for instance enter their credit card information into a website checkout portal, but without the proper wording the visitor won’t be sold.
Owens addressed the psychology of “Survive & Thrive” & “Conservation of calories related to confusion that distracts and takes away energy. Confusion simply taps our energy eliciting the flight response that further emphasizes the necessity for clarity and simplicity of message.  Owen noted marketers should “Stop handing out bowling balls” such as flowering language and industry jargon unfamiliar to the target audience. Such lack of clarity and simplicity compiles and gives customers reasons to go somewhere else when looking for a solution to their problems. Furthermore, if we don’t make the process of closing the sale and asking in calls to action for the audience to become a customer more often than not they won’t.


Owens gave the example of Steve Jobs in his early years at Apple running a multi-page ad in the New York Times filled with technical jargon that flopped followed by his being fired. He went on to invest in Pixar and together they came roaring back with storytelling aspirational identity oriented marketing exemplified in the “Think Different” campaign that was chronicled in the Creativity Inc publication.

Owen’s went through the Seven Storybrand principles emphasizing that “Story is a sense-making device” and that “Guides need empathy and authority to fix problems.” The Storybrand approach affords the tools to create a brand script within a framework that should be consistent across different brands, products, and services. The language, tone and messaging will be different, but the framework of focus on identifying the customer problem and providing solutions stays the same. If you have an odd mix of products and services that are solutions to different problems they likely require separate website landing pages to implement this framework, but focus first on a brief and clearly expressed core website message that Owen stated is typically lacking. Use as few words as possible as more words as provided in this article can confuse.

StoryBrand has Miller's book on the StoryBrand techniques for sale on Amazon, online courses and workshops available through, certified Guides such as Owen's,

Design Extensions agency to work with and the opportunity for training as a Certified


StoryBrand Guide.\

Contact info for Jay Owen:Website – www.DesignExtensions.comLinkedIn – – providing photoshoots and video shoot services including the use of drones and editing at competitive rates in Florida. We book individuals for fitness-oriented content along with commercial shoots for a variety of industries including real estate and manufacturing. Whether you need photos for your business,  personal portfolio or event John Hawley of is available by appointment. We also provide online marketing services including Search Engine Optimization (SEO), web development and copywriting services for a wide range of industries.  More Booking Information