Creating a StoryBrand BrandScript 101 - Defining the External Problem


One of the biggest mistakes I see people make when developing their BrandScript, is failing to identify the correct “External Problem”.

Why does it matter?

If people are visiting your website, but you are talking about a problem that they are not facing, it is unlikely they’ll stick around to read more…. Your Bounce Rate and Conversion rates can be indicators that you are missing the mark.

Sure, your customer may be facing multiple problems, but how do you know you have chosen the right problem?

Here is my favorite process to help you come up with the correct external problem:

1) Ask yourself (and your team): What is the thing that is stopping our customer from getting what they want?

When I help Brands develop their StoryBrand BrandScript, I usually write this question on the whiteboard and ask the group to come up with as many answers as they can.

2) Circle the two or three that resonate with you the most.

3) For each of your choices, apply this rule:

… It’s more of a test statement…. if the statement makes sense, chances are you have found your characters external problem…. if the statement doesn’t make sense, then go back to your whiteboard and apply this process.

At Brand X, we know you want [Insert Character Want] but the problem is [insert External Problem]

Here is a great example from a popular meal delivery service:

At Hello Fresh, we know you want to Make fast, healthy meals for your family but the problem is you don't have the time to plan or prepare home cooked family meals.

You can see in this example that the statement makes sense. What if you apply this test, but your statement doesn’t make sense?

Then either your Character Want or External Problem is not quite correct.

There needs to be a logical relationship between the Character’s Want and the External Problem.


Want to Know if your StoryBrand EXTERNAL PROBLEM is right?

You are welcome to email it to me and I will give you some free feedback.

You can reach me here.

Remember, if you want to create a compelling StoryBrand BrandScript, it is worth spending extra time defining your External Problem.

Use this external problem on your website and throughout your marketing and social media… when developing a Brand Story, if you fail to define the problem…. there is no story, people will switch off.

Happy StoryBranding,

Jamie Buttigieg

Certified StoryBrand Guide

P.S. Remember to send through your BrandScript for a complimentary review. Click here to email me personally.


Featured Video, Donald Miller, How get anyone’s attention, defining the PROBLEM

Donald Miller talks about keeping people's attention. Whether it's a public speaking event or a marketing email, you need to make sure that your products and services are solving a problem. Business owners who focus on solving problems are more memorable than others who only talk about the stuff they're selling.

Jamie Buttigieg