It’s a simple but important distinction: In his excellent new book, ‘Building a Story Brand,’ Donald Miller encourages brands to be the guide, not the hero. 

Be Gandalf, not Frodo. Be Yoda, not Luke. Show them how to become the greatest, rather than tediously telling them how you are the greatest. 

If you position your brand as the former - the hero - you do not allow your potential customers to be the lead character of their own story when interacting with your brand. Instead, they must acknowledge your superior status in the story, which they are unlikely to do. However, as every successful brand does, if you show that your function is to enable customers to become the hero, by means of your help as the guide, you will prosper.  

This week, perform a little soul-searching. In your marketing narrative, are you the hero, or are you helping them to be the hero? Position your brand as the guide, and you will own your industry. 

Douglas Kruger, CSP, is a global speaker and author of five business books with Penguin. He has won the national championships for Public Speaking, through Toastmasters International, a record 5 times.

In 2016, in honour of excellence in his craft, Douglas was inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame by the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa. In 2018, the National Speakers Association granted him the accreditation of Certified Speaking Professional, a designation held by only 12 per cent of speakers globally.

See him in action, or sign up for his free newsletter, ‘From Amateur to Expert’ at Email