February 23, 2012

A Weird Talk With My Kids, thanks to Seth Godin

Covalent Marketing will be handing out copies of Seth Godin’s book “We Are All Weird” at the Aprimo Marketing Summit February 27th – March 1st. To prepare myself for AMS12, I am listening to the book …  again. As I drove my kids to school this morning, I decide to begin my day with Seth. Due to the fact the kids are along for the ride, they began their day with Seth too.

We have about a 20-25 minute drive to school and about 10 minutes into the drive my 10-year-old daughter says, “What is this book about? I don’t understand it. All I hear him saying is ‘mass,’ ‘normal,’, ‘weird’ and ‘rich’.” I began to answer and instead I decided to make a game out of it. I simply said, “I think you understand more than you may think. Let me ask you a question.”

My question

The kids answer (they answered in Sync)

I asked WHY they answered that way.

We went to McDonalds and got a fruit parfait, what kind of action was what? MASS Everyone knows about McDonalds and everyone orders off the same menu.
I am driving you to school, what kind of action is that? NORMAL We have to go to school, but we picked out of a couple different elementary schools.
Tomorrow we will get up early, drive to the barn and spend the day training with your horses, what kind of choice is that? WEIRD Not very many people ride horses, ride they way we ride, or have the same horse that we have.

I told the kids that they understand much more than they realize. We drive up to the drop-off circle at the school and my 7-year old son says to me,

“I like being weird. And I like your weird purple finger nail paint Mommy.”

That small statement filled my day with joy. I do push against the mass and I am teaching my kids to do the same.

If they don’t like soccer, who cares?! I want their passions to flow from their heart; I don’t want their passions told to them.

The talk I had with my children drives home the entire point of Seth’s newest book. Let people be who they are and as marketers let’s create unique, beautiful marketing that focuses on those tribes that band together in their weirdness. Don’t deny that the market at large does not understand their weirdness; they are the ones that are demanding the end of mass marketing. They are looking to be understood.

I encourage you to let us know your personal stories about weirdness and how you encourage being weird!