"Aggressively" friendly -- otherwise known as "New Orleanian"

March 06, 2012 Random warning ... this post is exceedingly random. Marketing requires an understanding of cultures - social or business. I am sometimes struck by how dramatically cultures vary even over short distances. I currently live in Houston but was born and raise five hours away in New Orleans. I was recently described as "aggressively friendly" when I am out bike riding or walking in my neighborhood. I say "good morning" or "good afternoon" to everyone whether they are five years old or ninety-five years old; all walks of life; no matter their mood or facial expression. Only when I went home to New Orleans to visit did I realize what a New Orleans local trait that is. When I am there, I am part of the norm. It is very humanizing to walk down the street and have people look you in the eye and greet you. I think New Orleans lack of transient population historically has kept that greeting culture intact. I pondered the choices: (A) adapt to the culture in Houston or (B) continue marketing "good morning" to all in my path. I have opted for B. It may sound ridiculous but I love seeing the smile that you get from people who were not expecting that greeting. I find myself hoping that they greet the next person and a positive energy is generated. And that all relates back to marketing ... isn't that what all marketing is trying to accomplish? Don't we strive get people to feel positive about a brand or experience and then share that experience with the next person they meet? Is there a difference in messaging on a social media platform than greeting 25 people on a bike ride?  Yes, of course, but ultimately I am working to win people over to my "aggressively friendly" posture where a greeting becomes the norm not the oddity. Besides, my odds of reaching them are far better than the 17% that Facebook tells me I reach with my Fan posts.    

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