“Mommy, are you popular?”
The other day, I was having a moral and ethical discussion with my young daughter (age 8 ) about what it means to be popular in high school. Fearing that soon she will be slipping into the evil world of teen-hood, where popularity means everything and brains mean nothing, I was explaining that being popular can mean a lot of different things.
Some people are popular because they are on the cheerleading team.
Some people are popular because they treat others badly – and everyone remembers that.
Others have won prestigious academic awards and become popular through their academic efforts.
Some people have many different friends in all the different cliques and simply being nice and knowing lots of people gets you the popular badge (this was me by the way).
So, here is the conversation that ensued:
Me: “I was popular in high school. And it wasn’t because I was on the cheerleading team. Do you wanna know WHY I was popular?”
Daughter: “Because you’re in marketing and everyone knows people that do marketing?”
I was taken aback as you can imagine. What was she talking about? And then I remembered a conversation I’d had with my kids about my job. Ever try to explain to a kid what marketing is? It’s virtually impossible. I’ve had several conversations with my kids about what I do and they often get things mixed up. One day, I had told her that I make companies “popular.” I guess she mixed up that we make OTHER people popular – not ourselves (and that I haven’t been doing marketing since high school). It got me thinking. What a simple concept.
From all the conversations I’ve had with her about my job and all the explaining I’ve done about branding, logos, website design, social media, public relations, etc. All we really do is make people/companies/brands…Popular.