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  • Writer's pictureLynn Tickner

What is a StoryBrand One-Liner?

Picture of Lynn Tickner, Ink and Key founder with 5 colleagues at a networking event practicing StoryBrand one-liners.
We needed our StoryBrand one-liners at a recent networking event!

The Secret Sauce Behind a StoryBrand One-Liner

Imagine you’re at a bustling networking event, your palms slightly sweaty as you clutch a drink. Next thing you know, someone has sidled up next to you and with eyebrows raised, asks, "What do you do?" Gulp. 

You have just a few seconds to make an impression. What do you say? 

Whether you're so happy to be with people you just blurt out anything with zero worries or you're feeling so awkward you have to call upon all the reserves of your weakening willpower to keep from hightailing it to the nearest exit in search of Netflix and a snack BY YOURSELF, I've got the answer to all your prayers. 

Meet the StoryBrand one-liner, your new best friend. Ready to get your very own one-liner so you'll forever be saved from awkward blurting or stammering? Let's do it. 

A StoryBrand one-liner isn’t a tagline, slogan, or elevator pitch. 

It’s a delicious mix of clarity, appeal, and simplicity that captures the essence of what your business does and why it matters. It sticks in someone’s mind long after you’ve finished speaking, compelling them to learn more and tell others about you. 

Why Does Your Business Need a StoryBrand One-Liner?

It’s Your Elevator Pitch, But Better

Think of your one-liner as an elevator pitch that’s been to a spa: rejuvenated, concise, and ready to impress. It goes beyond just stating what you offer. A StoryBrand one-liner connects with your audience by addressing a problem they face, presenting your solution, and highlighting the successful outcome they can expect. It’s like telling a mini-story where your business helps the hero overcome a big problem and win the day. 

Is a one-liner actually one line? 

Nope. Not usually. But you can create different lengths of your one-liner, like a super-short, medium, and long version to use within different contexts.

It Makes You Memorable

A well-crafted one-liner helps your brand stand out. It’s catchy, it’s emotional, and it’s straightforward. When people remember your one-liner, they remember your brand. 

And, as we know, story is a sense-making device. When you create a mini-story with your one-liner, you give it the power to capture attention and be easy peasy to remember. 

It Guides Your Marketing Efforts

Once you’ve nailed your StoryBrand one-liner, it becomes the cornerstone of all your marketing materials. From your website to your social media bios, it helps you stay clear and consistent. This alignment strengthens your brand identity and boosts your marketing effectiveness.

Writing Your Own StoryBrand One-Liner

Creating a killer StoryBrand One-Liner is a bit like making your favorite snack. There are a few key ingredients you need to throw together:

  • The Problem: Start with the problem your customers are facing. This sets the stage and makes your audience lean in.

  • Your Solution: This is your chance to shine. What incredible thing do you offer that fixes the problem?

  • The Happy Ending (Result): Everyone loves a good story. Finish your one-liner with a peek into the brighter future your customers will have thanks to your solution.

Like any great recipe, the secret is how you put the ingredients together. The aim is to be clear and engaging, making whoever hears your one-liner instantly get what you’re about and why they should care. 

Because repeating stuff helps us memorize it, here's a repeat of the 3-part pattern you need to memorize. Problem-Solution-Result. 

Start With the Problem

Identify the main problem your target audience faces. This problem should be relatable and urgent, something that keeps them up at night. By starting with the problem, you instantly grab attention and build empathy.

Present Your Solution

Next, introduce your business as the solution to the problem. Here’s where you get to shine, but remember, it's not about you. How does your solution make life better for your customers? This part of your one-liner should be clear and compelling.

Highlight the Happy Ending

Finally, paint a picture of success. What does life look like for your customers after they’ve used your product or service? This outcome should be desirable and attainable, leaving a feeling of hope and motivation.

Putting It All Together: One-Liner Examples

Let’s say you run a pet grooming service. A StoryBrand one-liner might look something like this:

Pet Grooming One-Liner Example: Tired of battling fur on your couch and clothes? PawPaw's Pet Parlor transforms your shedding pet into a cuddly companion you can enjoy without the mess, making your home happier and cleaner.

Notice how it addresses the problem (shedding pet), introduces the solution (pet grooming service), and highlights the result (a cleaner, happier home).

Financial Services One-Liner Example: Ever feel lost trying to understand your investment options? At Funky Financial Advisors, we guide you through your options based on your goals so you can make smart investment decisions and be confident your financial future is secure. 

Notice the problem-solution-result pattern? 

One more because examples are life. By now, you're basically a genius at spotting the pattern of problem-solution-result.

Medical One-Liner Example: Many people find the medical system daunting, from booking appointments to making sense of treatment options. That’s where Dr. Steth Medical Concierge Service comes in. We provide personalized medical assistance, navigating the ins and outs for our clients, so they can focus on healing and wellness rather than paperwork and wait times.

Your One-Liner is Not a Solo Act

Remember, your StoryBrand one-liner is a starting point, not the be-all and end-all. It should intrigue and invite further conversation, not attempt to cover every detail of your business. Think of it as the appetizer that gets people interested in the whole meal.

Equip Your Team With a Consistent Message

Crafting a compelling StoryBrand one-liner isn’t as hard as you thought, right? But wow, it’s so powerful. It streamlines your message so no matter how many folks you have on your team, everyone will have the same answer when asked, “What do you do?” Getting a consistent answer like this makes it easier for your audience to understand, remember, and engage with your brand. 

Keep the problem-solution-result formula in mind and get ready to watch your one-liner transform the way you talk about your business or organization. 

Ready to craft a one-liner that sticks? Start by listening closely to your customers and the language they use. Experiment with different versions until you find the perfect match. Sometimes, all it takes is a little tweaking to turn a good one-liner into a great one. 

Now then. There'll be no more brain replays of those awkward moments muttering to yourself about what you wish you had said instead when someone asked, "What do you do?" 

With a one-liner in your pocket at your next event, you'll always know what to say in between visits to the guacamole bowl.

If you need a little help with your one-liner, feel free to schedule a Zoom call with me for a free 15-minute one-liner review! 

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