ERehab - June/July 2019


June/July 2019

WHAT’S YOUR STORY? Dr. David Straight on the Importance of Narrative Branding

One of the human brain’s most fascinating qualities is its ability to remember narratives. You may not remember what time your mail carrier comes or recall your Netflix password instantly, but I bet you can talk about a movie you love even if you haven’t seen it in years. If your workplace is anything like ours, you probably had no shortage of team members arriving on Monday mornings eager to discuss the previous night’s episode of “Game of Thrones.” Even if you haven’t finished the series yet, I don’t have to reveal any spoilers to tell you that the feverish conversation about the show demonstrates just how impactful stories can be. Leveraging the power of narrative is a great way to make current and prospective patients remember you. Think about the brands you most admire. Odds are that in addition to having great products and excellent customer service, these brands convey their identity and their purpose in a lasting way. Despite this truism, many practice owners I speak to haven’t thought about the story of their practice. Maybe that’s because telling this story in a succinct way can be difficult. One tool I’ve found immensely helpful is the BrandScript model created by Donald Miller of StoryBrand. Miller, an accomplished author, created a formula that allows all types of business owners to quickly articulate their core principles and message in a way that compels readers to action. He achieves this feat by making the customer — in your case, the patient — the main character of the story. “THERE’S NOTHING IN THE WORLD MORE POWERFUL THAN A GOOD STORY.” –TYRION LANNISTER, “GAME OF THRONES”

Generating a BrandScript involves zeroing in on the core aspects of your story, so you can quickly define who you are and what you can do for a patient. We’ll call that patient a character for the purposes of this exercise. The character, like all protagonists at the beginning of a tale, has a problem they need to solve. After meeting a guide (your practice), the character now has an action plan to solve their problem. Your plan needs to compel them to that action (treatment), help them avoid failure, and lead them down a successful path. If you can convince the character that you are the guide they need, you’ve just earned a new patient. The details of your story will vary depending on the size and nature of your practice. Nobody is a better fit to tell that story than you, and you should be an integral part of the message you convey anytime somebody logs onto your website. After all, somebody on your site is already looking for a guide. You need to demonstrate to them you are the right one, and there’s no better way to do that than through a story. In closing, I ask you one simple question: What is your story? If you need a little help defining it, I recommend visiting and giving the BrandScript tool a shot. You can create one for free, and it will help you control the story you’re telling.

–Dr. David J. Straight

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