Branding 101: Desire. Danger. Magic Sword.

Many successful brands have used a problem-solution approach to reach their customers.  But a brilliant marketing guru, Jonathan Kranz takes the problem-solution approach one step further. Kranz has a very simple approach for developing your business story that he calls “Desire. Danger. Magic Sword.” According to Jonathan Kranz:

Stories aren’t just for campfires and school children: they’re a powerful way for businesses to communicate their value, to create an emotional hook that sticks in their prospects’ imaginations.

Stories can make a business. Yet most businesses remain tongue-tied, not because they don’t have stories to tell, but because they don’t know how to tell them.

Your business story IS the core of your brand. It’s just that simple.

Fill in the blanks below and you’ve created your business story.

•    So-and-so wanted… [Fill in the desire].
•    But…[State the danger that stood in the way].
•    That’s why they used… [Insert your product and service]… that helped them… [Describe what your product or service did].

Desire is the engine that drives a story. For a story to begin, someone has to want something. Danger creates a compelling story, you must articulate the challenges that stand between the hero of the story (the customer) and the object of desire.  Finally, the Magic Sword is your product or service—the thing your customer will get from your brand to help them get what they desire.

The reason I love Kranz’s approach is because it forces businesses to see things from the customer’s point-of-view.  A business story creates a meaningful context for your product or service. By creating a story, your business offer has a compelling emotional necessity.

I’ve been a stalker fan of Jonathan Kranz for years, he is brilliant.  You can check out Jonathan Kranz of Kranz Communications on his website,, or follow him on Twitter @ jonkranz. His website contains his article 3 Steps for Creating Compelling Business Stories.

I’ve got the article available for download in pdf format over on, see link below.

  • get born magazine

    This is really, really interesting, particularly because I think one of the most compelling aspects of the human condition is the desire for story–to hear and read story, and to tell our own. Beautifully stated.


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  • Jonathan Kranz

    Thank you, Michelle! I'm glad you found the article helpful.

  • michellelamar

    Your “business story” approach is so simple and very effective!

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  • Nancy

    Love this and will share generously.

  • Nancy

    Love this and will share generously!

  • ShellyKramer

    Glad you enjoyed Nancy! Thanks for coming by :)

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