Category Archives: Sense of identity

Contagious Ideas

The first TED conference was rolled out in 1984 in Monterey CA. Since then it has grown in size, exclusivity and, thanks to YouTube, gone viral with over 500 million virtual lectures viewed online in recent years.

OneĀ  TED speaker in 2009, Seth Godin, spoke about what makes an idea go viral and become a movement. Apologies to Seth for my shorthand…you need:

  • A charismatic thought leader
  • With powerful new ideas
  • Passionately communicated through storytelling
  • To a willing audience, knit together by common beliefs, a sense of tribal identity and an impulse to spread the word

Sounds a lot like what makes for viral content in general. Several agency networks have picked up on this. McCann uses the tagline “Truth Well Told”. Publicis has elevated these concepts in their worldwide credo – Contagious Ideas That Change The Conversation.

Moral of the story – powerful new ideas about your product/service that are communicated with honesty and passion can activate the tribe and change the conversation.



Filed under Search for leaders, Sense of community, Sense of identity

My Car…My Self

A Hummer…like nothing else.

Actually no. In my mind a Hummer is a lot like Arnold Schwartzenegger and post 9/11 patriotic values. Pretty amazing how we create this invisible social codification based on car models. Democrats drive Saabs, lesbians drive Subarus, Gen Yers drive Scions, aging Boomers are piling into the new Camero. And guess who is driving the Maybach.

Cars are the modern totem – something we wear around our neck that reminds us who we are, and signals to others our tribal values and status. Take a look at this psychographic segmentation – what your car says about you – published by Forbes.

Moral of the story – we have a visceral attachment to cars and a powerful, irrational drive to buy the model that suits us best. Cars define our personal style, reinforce our social standing and, for females interested in propagating the species, they can signal strong genes. Gasoline, of course, is the great equalizer…

Leave a comment

Filed under Sense of identity