Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report Marketing, Lead Generation, In-Home Sales, Installation, Referral Maximization

Branding: The Hero’s Journey

Issue #185 | October 26, 2021 | Ethan Young


When you hear branding, what comes to mind? Logos, slogans, colors, research, and buzzwords all come to mind. Branding, in simplest terms, is the unique fingerprint of your business in a customer’s brain. Brands create allegiance, cause division, and imbue meaning into companies and products we interact with daily.  

More than marketing, branding is the perception of your organization that people hold. We all know that Rolls Royce is luxury and status, while Honda is reliable and affordable.  

In Building a StoryBrand, Donald Miller argues that a brand should alter the story, removing themselves as the hero and exalting the customer instead. For Miller, telling a story with your business benefits from the classic elements of storytelling- the hero, the guide, overcoming a challenge, and a satisfying conclusion.  

Every hero has a challenge to overcome, a need to fill. They embark on a journey, plumbing the depths of Amazon, the thicket of reviews, and the dogged salesperson. A brand shepherding them through the buying process, offering consultative information and a clear solution will enjoy success as their charge finds the Holy Grail.  

Clarity is the trusty staff of the grizzled guide, a brand that offers one thing done better than the rest is a lighthouse for the chosen customer. The best sherpas have climbed the mountain before, fought the dragon in their time, and so have the best brands. They’ve seen the need before and built themselves around meeting it whenever it arises.  

When the war begins, the guide gives the rousing speech, sparking the hero to action as he grabs his sword and rides out to the store, dealer, or website. He feels invincible, but without the guide, the heroic buyer is at risk.  

He has heart and drive but lacks direction and the surety of a good plan. One thought out carefully, rendered trustworthy by the past failures and long experience of the brand, gives much-needed structure.  

With the scaffolding of a great plan, the hero is free to succeed. Bolstered by the guide and reassured by his authority in the area, the protagonist-consumer can grasp success. They can free the princess and find the perfect solution to the problem plaguing them.   

As a brand, we must take responsibility for our customer experience and for the quest they pursue. We have a part to play in the story, but we leave the main character’s role to our client. They get the glory but depend on our expertise.   

We must hone this expertise, becoming the go-to in our field. Without this authority, our plan and our solution don’t hold the same weight. They are the ravings of someone who used to be somebody. A trusted guide stays sharp and knows their market inside and out. The strengths and weaknesses of the plan and the solution are known.  

The hero can act accordingly to achieve their dream. This dream must become our dream, too, as our success depends on the frequency of successful customers we can help.  

If we want a happy ever after, we must make that happen for the people that trust us with their money. We succeed when they do, and we will continue to as long we elevate our customers.

todd Miller

has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.

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