The customer journey map of brand awareness, adoption and appreciation.

All lasting brands are built by creating happy patrons, and mapping your customer journey is an important process to build engagement and loyalty. But designing compelling customer experiences can be arduous. Some user experience exercises require 15 to 20 points of customer engagement. So we’ve simplified the exercise to help you get started.

Think of your customer journey as a three-act story:

  • Act I – Brand Awareness: When your audience first learns about you and your offering which sets the stage for engagement
  • Act II – Brand Adoption: When you’ve piqued their interest and they try out your offering 
  • Act III – Brand Appreciation: When they become a loyal customer and your brand story has become their story

But like all epic stories, you and your customers will have many trials and triumphs along the way. These are the moments that you want to anticipate in your overall customer journey mapping so that you can make the most of them to build bond your brand with your customer. Here’s how we have designed our high-level customer experience at the Business of Story using brand awareness, adoption and appreciate as our primary milestones.

Brand Awareness: Providing invaluable FREE advice

Brand storytelling for customer experience mapping and word of mouth marketing

When was the last time you were in a Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop? Do you know their little pink tasking spoons? The folks behind the B-R counter are happy to let you sample any of their 31 flavors. I love ice cream. So it’s always a treat to run through several varieties before I land on my go-to: chocolate chip mint.

I try the same approach to whet the appetite of prospects when they first learn of the Business of Story. Our goal is to provide invaluable FREE advice with tools to help newbies immediately tap into the applied science and bewitchery of story.

But there’s nothing like experiencing the power of story first-hand. So we produce a ton of useful content in our weekly podcasts, monthly online magazine, blog posts, ebooks, and storytelling tools that they can immediately apply to become more engaging storytellers.


Business storytelling, brand story, storytelling speaker, content marketing

Free eBook to start building your storytelling skills

The goal is to provide as much value as possible to entice our prospects into a deeper relationship. Just like those B-R samples always get me to splurge on the double-scoop hot fudge sundae.

Brand awareness is the first step in chapter seven of the Story Cycle System™ called The Road of Trials. These are some of the questions to ask yourself as you design your customer experience in Act I of brand awareness:

  1.  How, when and where are your customers introduced to your brand?
  2. What stories, samples and tools do you use to connect with their wants and needs?
  3. How does your brand communicate its unique value proposition to get them to engage?
  4. What are the emotional promises you make to them?
  5. What gift do you provide in return for their trust? Remember, it’s not what you make but what you make happen in their life.
  6. What authentic personality do you express to humanize your purpose-driven brand offering?

Another example of our customer experience design in the first step of brand awareness is the usefulness of this content. This is article seven in our series guiding you through the 10-steps of the Story Cycle System™. Each post is written in the spirit of “Invaluable FREE Advice” to help you craft a compelling brand story strategy. When you adopt the process you…

The Story Cycle™ brand story strategy creation system for brand and business storytelling and marketing, sales and leadership development

The proven Story Cycle System™ framework to help you clarify your story, amplify your impact and simplify your life.

  1. Establish your brand’s #1 position in the marketplace to clarify your essential differentiation from your competitors
  2. Identify your top three audiences so you can tell the right story at the right time to the right people
  3. Determine what’s at stake: What your customers gain by adopting your product or service, and what they lose by not buying into your brand to create relevance
  4. Define your brand’s unique value proposition to craft a story you can live into and profit from and become timely, even urgent, to your customers
  5. Embrace your obstacles and antagonists to overcome any challenge your brand faces in connecting with and delivering for your customers
  6. Humanize your brand by appreciating and expressing its promise, gift and personality to the world

One of my most productive pursuits in building brand awareness is through my business storytelling speaking, seminars and workshops. These engagements often lead to the next milestone of Brand Adoption, because attendees are working on their stories real-time during our immersive sessions. They experience firsthand the applied science and bewitchery of storytelling in their careers.

You know you’re connecting with your invaluable FREE advice in Act I of brand awareness when you receive responses like these:

Business storytelling speaker and brand storytelling

Business storytelling speaker and brand storytelling

Business storytelling speaker and brand storytelling

Brand Adoption: Creating bewitching moments

Business storytelling speaker, brand storytelling keynotes, seminars and workshops, leadership communications training.

Now that you’ve taste-tested a variety of our storytelling tools, our hope is that you adopt our approach. You will have learned that the Story Cycle System™ will help you clarify your personal brand story to increase your influence. Or you can use it to define/refine your organizational brand story to grow your business and your people. Many clients apply our system to drive performance by building a storytelling culture.

There are three ways to adopt the Business of Story approach in your business life:

  1. Download our DIY Story Cycle System™ workbook to develop your brand story strategy
  2. Hire us to consult and author your brand story
  3. Bring us in to help you build a storytelling culture with our storytelling deliberate practice programs

At this phase of our relationship, I want to continue providing as much value as I can to create revenue-driving results. Like growing Adelante Healthcare by 300 percent, or Goodwill of Central Arizona by 400%Creating the largest water conservation outreach program of its kind in the world.

These results come from a thoughtful process that requires you to excavate your origin, quest and success stories. I coach our clients to stop looking for your stories and start finding your scenes; those moments that have shaped who you and your organization are today. Find your scenes and your story will find you.

This was the theme for my recent TEDx Talk in Gilbert, AZ.

By helping clients dig deep to find their true story, we create an exceptional relationship. My goal is to help you live into your most powerful stories. When we do, we build trust, loyalty and appreciation for our process.

Brand Appreciation: Help them make your story their story

Once we have delivered on our promise to craft a compelling brand story strategy for a client, we like to celebrate their success. So we feature them on our podcast, in our success stories and promote their new brand story throughout our social media. They promote their brand offering and in the process teach others how to define and/or refresh their brand stories by describing the process they went through with the Story Cycle System™ and how they arrived at their core narrative to separate themselves from their competition.

Three of our recent success stories that we happily share include:

  1. The new all-natural allergy supplement called Airloom™: How to Dominate a Market Category With Your Brand Story
  2. Hear from the co-founder of Sacramento interactive firm blueriver™, Sean Schroeder, on how his firm found its flow with a new brand story.
  3. The international language translation firm, Avantpage’s refreshed brand story: Re-branding Spurs 30% Increase in New Business for Avantpage
    You can hear how they formulated their brand story on this episode of the Business of Story podcast

Brand storytelling and business story strategy

We appreciate their trust in us and therefore do everything we can to share their success with the world. Our goal here is to move our clients from brand appreciation to brand evangelism by helping them live into their most powerful stories. And we do it with a smile.

A new storytelling tool for you

If you have just become aware of the Business of Story – or if you’re a regular subscriber – here is a new one-page worksheet to help you identify the three ways you can connect with your customers at each step of brand awareness, adoption and appreciation. Just another token of our invaluable FREE advice. This is a quick way to start mapping your customer journey. And then fill in all of the other customer touchpoints by following the advice from our amazing contributors in the August issue of the Business of Story magazine focused on mapping your customer journey.

Use the Story Cycle first do get your brand story strategy straight. And then apply it to your customer journey and user experience by understanding what stories to tell at each brand touch point with your audiences.

How to adopt a business story mindset

Brand story strategy workbook for business storytelling

Download the new and improved DIY brand story strategy guide. You can now capture your story inside the interactive PDF. Plus, you can use the new video tutorial that complements each of the 10 chapters in the Story Cycle to take you step-by-step through the process.
Then, let us know how it works for you as it has for thousands of business leaders and communicators before you. I’ll do everything in my power to get you to appreciate the power of a well-crafted brand story for your purpose-driven organization.

Story on!

This blog appears in the seventh issue of the Business of Story online magazine, where you can learn all about customer journey mapping.