Today at my internship with Flock and Rally, I overheard my boss Tracie mention that she gave a TEDxTalk a few months ago. I immediately stopped what I was doing (don't tell Tracie) and did a quick Google search...WOW! My own boss -- an inspirational speaker! I watched her talk (which I encourage you to do, too) and was reminded of the undeniable truth that genuine compliments are the best compliments.
I reflected upon an experience in sixth grade, when I stood up for a bullied classmate. That day, I lost all of my friends, but gained one. Samantha and I didn't have much in common, except for the fact that we were not a part of the in-crowd. Samantha had a list of self-confidence issues that I didn't fully grasp at that age. She wouldn't believe any form of flattery, so instead, I listened.
She told me about her parents, little brother and cat. I spent time with Samantha in her room, which was always cluttered with her incredible artwork. I didn't give her half-baked compliments about her appearance; we both knew that she was no prom queen at the time. I didn't encourage her to be "cool" like the popular girls at school; that's not who she was.
By listening and understanding, I learned that there were things about Samantha that were truly unique and compliment-worthy. Investing in her life allowed me to see the beautiful qualities about her that she didn't even recognize. She became radiant.
All of this to say that Tracie's TEDxTalk confirmed the importance of being authentic. There is so much value in taking the time to recognize the details about somebody or something. As Tracie mentioned, a bouquet of flowers is a nice gesture. But leaving an original, meaningful message with somebody lasts a lifetime.
Is this not true for advertising as well? Advertisers often try the "one size fits all" approach to their brands. They'll use the same tagline template, typeface and color scheme because it worked for someone, somewhere...But does that necessarily resonate with every brand? Sometimes, advertisers make assumptions about their clients without ever taking the time to invest in understanding its true identity.
Let's try to be real more often. Let's get to know each other and pay attention to the details. When we do this, we'll create relationships instead of transactions.
(And for the record, Samantha is now a total knock-out.)