top of page

Storytelling Frameworks (and when to use them)

| Author: Margaret Dron | As human beings, we’re naturally drawn to stories. From ancient times to the present day, stories have played a significant role in our lives, shaping our beliefs, values, and understanding of the world around us.

In the business world, storytelling has become an essential tool for communicating your product’s value, connecting with customers, and providing insight for business leaders and influencers. Successful Analyst Relations leaders understand the power of storytelling and use it to create emotional connections with their audience.

Below, are four proven storytelling frameworks that Analyst Relations leaders can use to captivate their audience, along with guidance on when to apply them. These can be used alone, or as building blocks, combined to provide a well-rounded image in the minds of analysts.

Little tip: I saved my favorite for the end.

1. The Hero's Journey

The Hero's Journey follows a hero in the making (your company) on a journey of self-discovery, facing challenges and overcoming obstacles to emerge as a hero. Use this framework to position your organizations’ products or services as the hero of your customer's story, helping them overcome challenges to achieve their business goals.

Analyst relations specialists use this model to highlight how their company is transforming the industry or solving key problems for customers. Application: Although this framework is often applied when delivering case studies or customer success stories, it works best well discussing your product/service at a high-level within an overall market.

One example of the Hero's Journey framework in action is Nike's "Find Your Greatness" messaging. Along side this messaging, Nike showcases everyday people, not athletes, who are overcoming obstacles and pushing themselves to achieve their goals. The campaign highlights Nike's belief that everyone can be an athlete and positions Nike as the hero who helps people achieve their dreams. Although this is a B2C example, it works equally well when discussing B2B markets.

5-Step Framework:

  1. The Call to Adventure: introduce the challenge or problem that your company or product is solving.

  2. The Refusal of the Call: discuss the barriers or obstacles that have prevented others from addressing this challenge or problem.

  3. The Mentor: highlight how your company or product is uniquely positioned to help overcome these barriers and achieve success, such as through proprietary technology innovation, or strong customer support.

  4. The Transformation: showcase the positive impact your company or product has had on the industry or market, such as increased efficiency, cost savings, or improved customer experience.

  5. The Return: wrap up the story by reiterating how your company is making a difference and positioning yourself as the hero of the story.

2. The Pixar Storytelling Framework

Originally based on the principles used by the animation studio to create successful films like Toy Story, and Finding Nemo, this framework involves creating a compelling story that features a likable character (your customers) facing a challenge and undergoing a transformation (in thanks to your product/service). This framework creates engaging content that resonates with their audience. Application: While the Hero’s story shines when showcasing your organizations value and impact within a market, the Pixar Storytelling framework is ideal for focuses on the Customer’s experience. Showcasing the transformation it brought to specific customers within that market.

This framework incorporates well into product demo’s providing a balance between features and real-world impact.

4-Step Framework:

  1. The Setup: Introduce the current state of the industry and the challenges faced by companies.

  2. The Conflict: Highlight the specific challenges they're facing in the market and difficulties it's caused.

  3. The Resolution: Present how your company has developed a new product that solves the challenge and makes your company stand out in the market.

  4. The Moral: Communicate that by embracing innovation, your company is not only leading the way in the industry, but also helping others in the market achieve success.

3. The Three-Act Structure

The Three-Act Structure involves dividing the story into three parts: the setup, confrontation, and resolution. Its strength is its conciseness.

Application: Turn to this structure when you need a concise opening or closing summary.


  1. Setup: Introduce the context, such as the current state of the industry and the challenges faced by companies.

  2. Confrontation: Explore the challenges or obstacles that companies face in the market, such as outdated technology or inefficient processes. Discuss how your company is different from competitors and uniquely positioned to address these challenges.

  3. Resolution: Present your company's solution and how it solves the problem or meets the need, such as through a user-friendly interface, strong customer support, or innovative technology. Highlight the positive impact it has on the industry or market, such as increased efficiency, cost savings, or improved customer experience, and encourage the analyst to consider your company as a leader in the industry.

4. The Customer Success Story

Sharing testimonials or case studies from customers helps validate a companies claims, which is why Analyst Relations professionals often use them to help build credibility with industry analysts, demonstrating the value they bring to the market.

Intertwined with with the product demo can be especially impactful. Bringing the Analyst into the users reality, combining beautiful features with a clear sense of transformational impact they could bring.

This is why we especially like applying this framework as the backbone of product demos.

12-Step Framework:

  1. Who: An overview of your market or ideally a specific persona.

  2. Where they were: What does their reality look like without your solution?

  3. Pain experienced: Highlight the specific challenges they're facing in the market and difficulties it's caused. (Persona 'A' needs to 'X', but encounter 'Y' when they 'Z'.)

  4. Cause: What issues does the pain point experienced create for them?

  5. Ecosystem: is anyone else impacted by Persona 'A's pain or cause of?

  6. Insight: why is this reality a problem for them. Demonstrate that your team understands the cause and effect of that problem - you know your market.

  7. Ideal future state: what is your market/customer's business goal and what is it that they need from a vendor to achieve them

  8. Blocker: what's getting in the way, preventing them from achieving this ideal future?

  9. Hero: how does your product or service transform their reality and solve their pain points?

  10. Painted Picture: Help your audience imagine what life would look like with your solution. How will those qualities and benefits make them feel?

  11. The Moral: what lessons can be learned from the shared customer journey?

  12. The new norm: wrap-up with testimonials and success metrics from real customers.


bottom of page