The Hero's Journey is a pattern of narrative that used in most books, movies, and stories. It is also known as "monomyth". Joseph Campbell, an American scholar, analyzed most of the ancient texts, legends, and tales. He found out that most of them follow quite a similar pattern. They tell a story of a "hero", who through the "journey" achieves great things and transform himself on the way.
It consists of multiple elements.
It starts with an ordinary world, where our soon-to-be-hero lives. Here is he, one of many, dealing with a routine.
But then he receives a call to adventure. Could be an event , a message or an inside unsettle.
At first, our not-yet-hero refuses the call. Typical "I can't" or "why me?". Fear of unknown in action.
To help him with a decision here comes the mentor. And with him comes advice, training, and equipment.
Now new-born-hero is ready to cross the threshold and step into the extraordinary world. The world of struggles and adventures.
In the extraordinary world hero meets friends who will travel alongside and foes who "must die".
Coming from one fight to another, from win to defeat our hero and his allies prepare for a big fight.
And here it comes. The big one. The hero fights with courage but enemies are too strong. So he almost dies. Inches away from total collapse hero re-creates himself, becomes stronger and inevitably wins.
Soon after the evil is defeated and our hero comes out on top. It's time to collect the reward.
The journey does not end here. As our hero needs to come back home to share the reward.
Almost at his own doorstep, new challenge arises. Bigger and more dangerous than before. Our hero evolved, but so as new foes. Another transformation is necessary to win this battle. So the hero rises again, fights, struggles and gets complete victory.
Transformed, the hero comes back home. He's sharing the reward, the treasure he rightly entitled to. And by doing it he transforms his original ordinary world for better.
Great you say, what does it have to do with my business? How can it help me to make better product decision? Well, "take a seat by the fire" and let's think. If hero's journey is a universal pattern so people might respond to it not only in literature and cinema. Your product is your story. Your customer is a hero. Let's take him on a journey.
Describe it, let your customer recognize himself in the description. Let him feel empathy and say "yeah, that's exactly me". "That's the problem I am having".
Call for adventure
It's your value proposition. Tell your-soon-to-be-customer there is a better way. Tell that his problem could be solved.
Your hero customer may not take the decision immediately. He might deny it at first. But give him time and opportunity to come back and take this step into the new world.
The hero needs a mentor, who will help and guide. That's your onboarding process. Maybe that's your support system. Make sure the mentor is there when the hero needs it. For a tip, advice and tooling.
Going to an extraordinary world. That's when the hero becomes your customer.
Friends and Foes
On the road of adventures, your hero customer should meet some friends and foes. That's the networking effect of your product. It's better to discover the new world with friends. But foes are there to tell the hero that the problem is not worth solving or there are better solutions than yours.
The process when hero customer resolves his problem. That's a core of your product. Main functionalities.
Dragon slew. Problem solved. Treasure awaits. Celebrate this achievement with your hero customer. Let him feel the pleasure of accomplishment.
Coming back home
Will the hero tell everyone about his adventures? That's your social marketing. A satisfied customer would probably share his opinion about your product. And if you've done everything right his story would be legen-waitforit-dary. Legendary.
In the end
Hero's journey applicable to any form of human's experiences. In their personal and professional life. Use the power of this pattern to design a better journey for your customers, They will become heroes - you will become their favorite adventure.