Stories are important in attracting attention, giving context and making our message more memorable. Stories work because our minds are wired to remember them easily — it’s how our history and culture are passed on from generation to generation. Mythology and Literature Professor Joseph Campbell’s ‘Hero’s Journey’ is a common narrative formula used for brand storytelling. In this article, I provide an overview of the approach and a quick guide for using it to craft your own brand story.
Hero’s Journey Overview
The Hero’s Journey framework has 12 steps and three key parts: 1) Old world; 2) The quest; and 3) New world. In summary, the gist of the storyline involves a hero who leaves the known, comfortable world to go on an adventure, meets a mentor, faces myriad tests and challenges, learns valuable lessons, wins a victory and, with newfound insights, returns home transformed.
Many movies follow this familiar story pattern – think of Luke in ‘Star Wars’, Dorothy in ‘The Wizard of Oz’, Neo in ‘The Matrix’, Clarke in ‘Superman’, Harry in ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Simba in ‘The Lion King’.
The Hero’s Journey framework is particularly powerful as a brand story template for coaches, consultants and advisors who, through their practice, may be working with clients who have been through a similar life experience.
For example, the weight loss consultant who struggled with their weight since childhood, trying every diet, until one day later in the life they connect with a health consultant who gives them an insight that changes their entire thinking around food and diets, and transforms their life. They then use their newfound wisdom and specific philosophical approach to help others going through the same struggles.
Hero’s Journey Quick Guide
Below is a simplified approach of the Hero’s Journey, with some prompter questions to consider when crafting your brand story.
Part 1 – Old World
Part 2 – The Quest
Part 3 – New World
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