Aaah!…I love my village visits. Not because they call me Chairman-for some unjustifiable reason. Neither is it because of the good feelings I get from a heavenly combination of rain, sunshine and green spaces -or the rare sight of quiet birds in circled flight. Truth be told, it has to do with my grandmother’s storytelling talents and the following (young and old alike) she amasses as a result-which always leaves me in awe.
From stories of how my dad once forgot to do his school assignments and blamed it on the scarecrow (like really!). To how during one late evening my grandfather came across his stolen bicycle with a night runner. Who apparently seemed to be using it in a bicycle race (some weird village ‘Tour De France’ thing) with his other partner in crime-owing to their competitive cycling.
Hmmm,…not forgetting the story of how my grandmother met my granddad through a traditionally crafted blind date while fetching firewood. You ask how, well, she was first blind folded (alright!) and then carried akin to how they conduct fireman’s carry, her screams notwithstanding-that’s why.
Indeed, my grandma has managed to carve out a “clientele” for telling her memorable stories. One can be forgiven for assuming she bears similarities with Adebayor, on this basis. You see a couple of months ago the Togolese soccer player revealed the problems he had experienced with his family members and how this affected him, (the details of which we won’t go into).
But the roller-coaster of emotions experienced from his narrative, translated into solid empathetic conversations on social media platforms-and beyond. It was compelling to say the least. But within this roller coaster of a memorable story; there are key tenets that stood out, in relation to his brand or reputation, depending on which lens you use: A look through;
Storytelling. The story told by Adebayor is a relatable story. Many of us have various stories but not all of our stories are relevant-no doubt. Focusing on what’s essential to your audience is crucial. After all, cognitive research shows the reason people pay attention to stories; is to learn vicariously through the experience of the people in them. If your audience learns from you, a real person, you become more memorable, and your audience becomes more interested in actually getting to know more or working with you.
The Power of Communities. A brand is a conversation people have around you. Good story telling attracts people (a community). Adebayor’s story interested his social media fans who in turn shared/reposted with their other friends/on their timelines-thereby fostering the growth of his brand community. In a way, his story telling created him more brand fans without him ever having to instruct his immediate fans: “Go henceforth and multiply”. Can you imagine how obnoxious it would be if he thus commanded without them feeling naturally compelled – or without any ‘friendly ammunition’ like a ‘relatable story’ (hmm!..), that they can share in their quest to build a community of fans around him? Of course, he knew better.
There you go; stories attract communities which at the end of the day impact personal brands-and for the case of corporates, their bottom lines. So go on, tell your stories, you’ll be surprised by the return effect.