Listas from Microsoft Dotcom is a Prodigal Son?
Oct 22

This weekend, my wife and I went to listen to some music at the Handlebar in Greenville, SC. (By the way, Nickel Creek is playing Nov. 10th, 2007. Great band-if country/folk/blue grass is your thing.)

Anyway, we walked in to the Handlebar and at the back of the listening room were some aprons on a table. Sort of weird. Nobody paid much attention to them and simply glanced at the aprons as they made way to their seats.

I introduce you to Rosie Thomas, the opening act for the night’s headliner, Over the Rhine. Rosie talked like Minnie Mouse but sung let Bette Midler (not exactly, but she had a powerful voice is my point). Rosie’s stage presence came across like Nancy Griffith’s: she had the peculiar humor / quirky / intrigue from the stage. Rosie was funny. She was real. She was peculiar. She wasn’t putting on an act. She was herself, and being herself was more attractive than any act could ever be.

Contrast that to Over the Rhine, who’s been around since 1991 (or so), and I could only guess they were on there 700+ performance over a 15 year span. All act. Rehearsed. Mechanical. Predictable. Talented? Yes, but personality, no. If they had personality, I couldn’t detect it through their act. They came across phony, albeit the are a talented group of musicians.

Back to the aprons. They once stood unmoving, not selling. After Rosie’s “act,” they were gone. Personality sold them. Genuine sold them. Real sold them. Unpolished sold them. She connected with her audience. Something in Rosie’s personality instilled in her female customer that said, “I have to have one of Rosie’s aprons!” Not: “I have to have an apron.” Her customer probably never wears an apron! But all of the sudden, after a 20 minute exposure to Rosie’s personality, this 20-something female stood 30-deep in a line to get her apron.

Personality sells. Peculiarity sells. Intrigue sells. Is your web site-is your marketing showing your personality? Note: a personality is not perfect. It has it’s warts, bumps and imperfections. Isn’t it interesting that you need this in your brand and/or your web site to be effective?

Don’t believe me? Read what the Wizard of Ads, Roy Williams, has to say in today’s Monday Morning Memo on Personality. Here’s an excerpt:

“Shallow brands are fully integrated and seamless. To be deep and attractive, a brand must have incongruent characteristics that make it interesting.

Just like a person.

Francis Bacon said it 400 years ago: ‘There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.’”

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