I’m pretty proud of myself after last week. I basically pulled off a 10,000-person focus group withmy rant about our branding and you probably didn’t even realize it.
I got some priceless feedback too. The way all of you see our company from a distance told me a lot about the story we should be telling.
We even scored some brilliant free ideas. Also, some positively dreadful ones, but I appreciate the effort. Sincerely, thanks.
I’ve said it repeatedly – there’s nothing I enjoy more about writing this email than all the pen pals I’ve made. I’ve been invited to meet legendary musicians backstage, had dinners with famous CEOs, and formed tons of friendships with not-famous people that are just as enriching. I never imagined any of that when I started this thing.
In related news, I just finished bingeing The Sopranos.
I watched the whole series, linear, back in the day. But it’s so immersive to gulp episode after episode, day after day. You feel like you’re living in New Jersey.
And I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t have a different edge at work while I was in Soprano-land. My guard was up. I was more cynical, untrusting. Because of a silly TV show.
Sometimes it feels like there’s no code of conduct in business anymore. Email killed it, I think. It’s too easy to pester people, to ignore them, or to say things you wouldn’t say in person. You can always pretend to be too busy and nobody can call bullshit. Everyone can be rude.
But here’s the truth: The vast majority of people are good. They’re thoughtful and they’re rooting for you to succeed. I saw it last week when dozens of strangers took time out of their Saturday to impart their wisdom and well-wishes on my business – with no obligation or selfish motive to do so.
As much as I wanted to empathize with him, Tony Soprano is an awful human being, along with every other character on that show (except maybe for Carmela). But that’s not real life. Maybe bad people are just more entertaining to watch. Or maybe they just yell louder. Or maybe they just stick out more because they’re so rare.
Because, make no mistake, bad people are rare.
And you, my friends, are all good. Thanks again.
Here’s what we’re seeing this week:
Consumer confidence dipped just a little bit the last couple weeks, but I wouldn’t worry about it. Our index fell a half-point since the last time around. But when you look at the subtopics, nothing is too alarming. People are a little less pleased with their personal finances, but that’s normal around tax season. My guess is that people were just a little overly euphoric after the Trump-didn’t-collude news a few weeks ago and this was just a mild correction. Butwe’ll keep watching.
It’s Tiger Woods’ planet, we’re all just living on it. I seem to remember a brilliant and not-at-all-egotistical prognosticator who predicted 2019 would be the year Tiger Woods re-staked his claim as the world-beating marketing juggernaut he once was. Check out TW’s quarterly favorability numbers up to and including his epic win at the Masters last weekend, below. The replay of the final round on Sunday was the third most-watched golf broadcast of the year. The replay! It will be interesting to see what kind of lift this gives to Nike. Woods’ favorability definitely peaks among older Gen Xers and nostalgic Baby Boomers who loved him the first time around – not as much among the younger Millennials and Gen Zs Nike cares most about. Buick probably wishes they had him back right about now.
Mobile payment solutions like Venmo and PayPal are steadily gaining steam. I had to readthis article twice because just last month we wrote about how alternative payment solutions weren’t displacing traditional methods as consumers’ preferred choice. But here’s how to reconcile that: More and more people are integrating Venmo, PayPal, and Apple Pay into their “mix” even as they still rely on good old-fashioned credit/debit cards first. If you’re like me, you have a steady balance on all three of those services depending on what your friends (and fantasy football competitors) prefer. And that’s the big difference. We use mobile apps to exchange money with our friends and our cards to buy things from everyone else.
Pretty much nothing is more ubiquitous than Google Maps. I guess it’s not sexy or something but we forget that Google Maps is bigger than Amazon, Netflix, and even Facebook – at least in terms of the percentage of Americans who use it. 76% of all adults and 85% of my fellow Gen Xers rely on Google Maps to get them around. Honestly, I’m not sure I could even function without it anymore. One thing that really caught my attention in this study was the crazy-high correlation between using Google Maps and the frequency with which consumers eat at fast food restaurants. Seems like there’s an untapped business opportunity there somewhere.
Despite all of the warnings to the contrary, a significant number of people still text while driving. I often joke that red means ‘stop,’ yellow means ‘prepare to stop,’ and green means ‘put down your phone.’ When 36% of Americans say they text while driving at least occasionally, I still think that underreports the truth. But this cool study we did put a spotlight on the culprits. Men are much more likely to do it. So are Millennials. And business commuters. At least 15% of people check social media while they’re driving. We can’t help ourselves.
And the moment you’ve all been waiting for (judging by the insane click-through rate these seeevery week)…
Our Most Popular Questions of the Week
- Do you have a mean streak?
- Do you typically leave a tip for hotel housekeeping?
- Do you have a strict “no shoes in the house” rule?
- Have you ever taken something from the curb or elsewhere that someone had thrown out?
- What do you do if you spot a spider in your home?
Have a blessed Easter weekend, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Hoping you’re well.