The User’s Journey by Donna Lichaw – Part 3

Read the first part here and the second part here

Chapter 4: Origin Stories

  • The story of how someone goes from hearing about a product to actually using it
  • Space between what a customer thinks about the product and what they do with the product
  • Acts as a bridge between the concept story and the usage story
  • Origin stories are about how someone becomes a superhero for the very first time

    How Origin Stories Work

  • Origin stories are similar to concept stories

Concept Stories vs. Origin Stories

“Where concept stories describe why someone might want to use a product, origin stories illustrate how they find it and then why and how they use it for the very first time.”

  • Help you communicate the value proposition, how to get people take action, how to get customers to experience the value prop for the first time
  • Exposition & Problem: Same as concept story
  • Rising action:
    • Acquisition or brand awareness channels
    • Story transforms into a journey
  • Crisis:
    • Include from concept story
    • Crisis moments happen in people’s heads while thinking about taking action
    • Could also be something to avoid or general resistance/inertia
  • Climax/Resolution:
    • The customer sees the value (as opposed to understanding the value in a concept story)
    • Appears as an actual step in the journey
    • Manifests in a specific touchpoint
  • Falling Action:
    • Focus on the primary action the customer should take
    • Consider secondary actions, and possibly branch out into an alternative story
    • Bring the story to a close that satisfies the customer and the business
    • Probably warrants its own, more detailed (usage) story
  • End:
    • Both customer and business meet their goals

“The key to developing successful origin stories is that you call your main character to action and determine how to measure that action once they acquire their goal and in every step that leads to the end.”

Mapping an Origin Story

  • Origin stories help when trying to figure out how to convert or acquire customers
  • Map origin stories for every market, persona, and customer cohort, and for all key touchpoints and acquisition funnels
  • Answer questions about acquisition channels:
    • How might people learn about the product?
    • How does the discovery relate to their pain point?
  • Answer questions about resistance and hurdles that might get in the way
  • Answer why the character cares
    • Which parts of the story will be used to make it resonant for each specific touchpoint
  • Answer what kind of action the character should take at this critical step
  • Define the character’s goal and the high-level business goal (should be measurable), and how the character will know they have met their goal

Origin story for FitCounter. (© Rosenfeld Media)