The baby-turned-preteen boy and I hit the LA Auto show last weekend. We braved the hordes of amateur and professional photographers and listened to people provide a list of reasons why they love/hate a particular brand of car.
Midway through our visit he wandered into the telephone booth in the photo above and pretended to make a call. I snapped a photo of him and was preparing to convince some relatives that we had taken an impromptu trip to the U.K when he popped out and said something that surprised me.
“Well I can cross that off of the things I have never done.”
What Do You Mean Never Done Before?
I really shouldn’t have been surprised to hear he has never been inside a phone booth before but sometimes I forget about how different the world he is growing up than the one I did.
He asked me a few questions about what phone booths were like when I was his age and I did my best to focus on him and not be distracted by thoughts of branding, image and age related impressions.
Age is a funny thing and I realized that I relate to it in a sort of funny way.
My daughter likes to make sure I clarify that I am not just 44, I am 44.5. It doesn’t really bother me because it is accurate and it is better than the alternative, yet I realize that I don’t view myself as being a middle aged man.
Even though I am clear on my age I still think of myself as being closer to being a kid than an old man but my reference points are probably closer to the latter than the former.
Some years back I took him out to breakfast at the local IHOP and listened as he told me he wanted some minions. I thought it was an interesting word to use and asked him if he preferred minions to fans or groupies.
He didn’t understand why I asked the question and it was only when I saw the menu that I realized that my confusion stemmed from some characters in the kids’ movie Despicable Me.
Perception and Your Business
Cars are an interesting product because so much emotion can be tied up in them. It wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest that many of you reading this have many memories that are associated and or tied up with cars.
So it is not surprising to me to see how involved people can become with a particular brand/model. That perception about the brand/model isn’t always positive either, it can easily go the other direction.
We heard more than a few comments at the show that supported that too and it made me think about what sort of perception we want for our business and how that might vary from brand to brand and company to company.
If we circle back to the headline and talk about fans, groupies and minions we can take a look at the definitions of each and think about whether it would be good or bad for the supporters of Company XYZ to be labeled as one of the three.
Fans, Minions and Groupies
When people ask me about building the blog and growing the community here they sometimes ask me how many fans I want. Sometimes I’ll say a million and sometimes I’ll say I prefer minions because they do your bidding without question.
Groupie is a term that can have a pejorative connotation too which is why I don’t really want groupies either.
It is fun to kid around about these things but ultimately I prefer to be known for having readers who are smart, independent and thoughtful. I am not the guy who truly wants minions.
Other people/businesses might feel differently. They might or might not care, all depends on their goals and what sort of image they are shooting for.
What do you think?