Filed under: Comment
I have been very fortunate to work with – and for – some awesome people.
Not just bosses and colleagues, but clients too.
And undeniably, the common factor with all of them is they absolutely loved their brand.
Sure, they enjoyed their job as well but it was more than that, they loved the brand they represented and fought for.
I don’t mean some contrived, corporate ‘passion’ that we sadly see far too often, I mean a relentless desire to celebrate and promote the company they work for and believe in.
Quite frankly, that is wonderful to see, addictive to experience and – sadly – getting rarer than rocking horse shit.
Yes, I know not everyone loves their job.
Yes, I know not everyone has to love their job.
But lets face it, if you’re in marketing, if you’re not passionate about what you’re doing there’s a major fucking problem.
And that’s my concern, in my time, I’ve met way too many marketing folk who aren’t passionate about their brand.
They’re passionate about their process.
They’re passionate about their executional deliverables.
They’re passionate about second guessing what their boss wants.
They’re passionate about saying ‘no’ to anything ‘different to the norm’.
But that’s about it.
Don’t get me wrong, passion can only get you so far, but I can tell you, it is difference between passive ‘effective’ and super fucking active awesome ‘effective’.
I say all this because of a recent situation that happened to me.
So I was at a NIKE meeting.
While we were waiting to start, I started telling the CMO about this taxi driver I’d met in Atlanta a couple weeks ago.
I told him how I’d hired him to show me the best and worst of Atlanta.
Yes, I know that sounds a bit weird, but as I was only in the city for 24 hours, I wanted to get a taste of the place and felt my perspective would be improved if I filled my limited time with a schedule that went beyond just ‘airport-hotel-client-hotel-airport’.
Anyway, I told him that I found out the cabbie was Nigerian and loved Manchester United.
I told him how we had talked about Dwight Yorke.
I told him how he’d told me his Dad was 90 years old and that no one should interrupt him when he is watching a football game back in Nigeria.
I told him how he had said his Dad “gets younger” when he’s watching his team play.
I told him how he hated ‘American sports’ and that football was the only game for him.
I told him that I was going back to Atlanta the following week and that because I’d found the cabbie so interesting, I’d emailed him to organise another exploration into Atlanta’s fortunate and not so fortunate society.
While we were chatting, a man walked into the meeting and handed my client a red package.
My client looked at me and said,
“Well if he loves Man Utd so much, maybe you should give him this.”
What ‘this’ was, was a Manchester United shirt, signed by Wayne Rooney with an official certificate of authenticity.
A SIGNED WAYNE ROONEY, MAN UTD FOOTIE SHIRT!!!
I’m obviously a loyal Forest fan [read: sad fuck] but even I wouldn’t mind that.
Of course, handing over something like this is going to basically ensure Mr Cabbie loves NIKE forever [not to mention, ensure I will do anything for my client in the future], but that’s not why he did it [well, maybe making me his bitch was quite influential] … he did it because he loves his brand and he loves the idea he can do something that will literally make some guys whole fucking year.
I love that.
He didn’t have to do it.
I didn’t even realise he had done it.
But he did it … and tomorrow I’m going to give it to Mr Cabbie.
I can’t wait to see his face.
I can’t wait to hear what he says.
I can’t wait to know he hasn’t called the Police because some random passenger has given him something super awesome.
Mind you, if he charges me for the cab ride, I might make him eat the thing.
But that aside, when you have a client who loves their brand so much they will make things happen simply because it makes ‘fans’ happy, you understand one of the reasons why that brand is so successful.
So thank you Simon, you’ve just become the most popular man in Atlanta. At least with one person, and maybe two, dependent on how much – or how little – you abuse my ‘bitch’ status.
PS: The good news for you is that because I’m in the US for most of the week, blog posts are going on hold till next Monday. I know I say that every time I’m away, but quite frankly, I’m too tired to write any more of the rubbish most of you could fart out in your sleep. Ta-ra.
31 Comments so far
Leave a comment