In the TED talk “The danger of a single story“, Chimamanda Adichie shares some powerful lessons about stories, their environments and how they form our assumptions. It’s notable that she sees this from two sides: both, assumptions she and her family made and those made about her and her country/continent.
Once you’ve watched this, and yes, I realize you’re investing 18 minutes+ into this post, you’ll be much better prepared to consider the point of this post – that your business’ story is multi-faceted and the risk of telling just one story is shortchanging your business.
To put it in terms that fit the election season’s political rhetoric: If you are a fervent member of the blue party, when someone from the red party talks – I suspect you probably dont accept that the point that they’re making is worth listening to. Likewise, if you are a fervent member of the red party, when someone from the blue party tries to make a point, the situation is likely the same.
Are you “Talking to the hand”?
The stories your customers listen to might not be quite as highly charged as political conversation, but they still might be ineffective because your customer might feel you aren’t speaking to the problems/concerns they have.
The moment they think you aren’t talking about their problem, you may as well not be talking to them. It doesn’t matter if they are wrong / misguided / misinterpreting your story. It’s over as far as that conversation is concerned.
This is what makes it critical to know your ideal customers inside and out. Their needs, wants, fears and more. Every one of those requires you to tell a different story.