I received an email from my granddaughter over the weekend. Nothing gets a smile on my face faster than seeing a note from my Miah. Of course, I'm like every other grandmother - I dote on the precious Miah. She's my one and only, so far. You'll hear me talk about her a lot, here. It's one area in which I veer away from marketing and get persona, and for which I don't apologize.
Over the weekend, a number of interesting stories popped up in the news, on my radar, and just in conversation. I'll be posting on them this week - and I have a surprise for you, so stay tuned.
Tom and I actually cleaned the house so we could host some friends for a light brunch on Sunday. It's amazing how dirty one house can get - when your dog sheds like rain. We could vacuum twice a day and never see and end to the dog hair! (but, we love the dang dog - she's just a member of the family)
The company on Sunday consisted of our friend, Manish, his wife, and his mother and father. His mother and father were here from India. They're remarkable people, much like Manish. I am very fond of Manish - he is an intelligent young man with a thirst for knowledge. Manish reminds me of the way life 'used' to be in America - he's astonishingly polite and well-mannered, and always quick to offer assistance when you're around him. His approach to life seems to be one of not only curiosity, but investigation. He wants to know the why of things, and doesn't wait for someone else to explain them - he seeks out his own answers.
These are qualities taught to him by his Mother and Father, no doubt. Manish is very family-oriented and in his own soft-spoken way, reveres his family, both parents and wife. It's refreshing to see this kind of attention given to members of one's family. Would that Americans could learn to treat their family members with such respect.
The brunch went well - despite my worry over how to feed people who don't eat the 'usual' American dishes. We opted for tried and true vegetarian dishes, without egg, such as ratatouille (with curry powder), carrot and raisin salad, and tofu. I admit - I needed Niru, Manish's wife, to help me in the kitchen cooking the tofu. She was happy to do so and we had a nice conversation while standing over the stove.
Isn't that the way of it? As Niru and I talked, we agreed that women have a whole different focus on conversation. We stay away from business and technology, for the most part, when in a group setting. Instead, we talk about family, and life and shopping. Niru and I shared stories about weddings - as she recently returned from a trip to India where she attended her brother's wedding. We talked about food (of course!) and shopping and how women are more interested in the feelings behind conversation, not the content of conversations. As she sprinkled curry powder and cinnamon on the tofu, after cooking tomatoes and garlic in canola oil, Niru smiled and laughed and talked about her family and how wonderful it was to go back to see them, in India.
I was struck by how similar we are - Niru, and Manish's mother, and I. Earlier in the afternoon, Manish's mother and I had a conversation about my cat, Pandora as she was lying in her usual lazy position on my bed. I don't talk much about the chubby but cuddly Pandora (referred to -fondly- as wabby wibby, that being short for baby kitty), but she's my baby at home. Yes, I dote on her - almost as much as I dote on Miah. Anyway, Manish's mother admitted they were 'dog' people - and that they had considered getting a cat but - weren't sure how to take care of a cat. In America, the opinion is that you don't have to take care of a cat - cats take care of themselves. So not true!
I don't think I convinced Manish's mother to get a cat - but I must have done something right because we were invited to dinner at Manish's house some time in September, before his Mother and Father move on to other visits they have to make while in the states. They have other children to visit - and will probably be leaving in October. I look forward to dinner - a true Indian dinner, so I'm told - cooked by Manish's mother. Not too spicy for me - but spicy for Tom. I will tell you all about it. And, reveal more about how similar women are - no matter where we hail from. We are family creatures, full of emotion, eager to talk babies and kittens and weddings, and, of course, food.
Does your marketing message lend itself to a focus on one of our prime topics? Remember: babies, kittens, weddings, and food all involve shopping. When women are alone together they talk about all of those things, and sprinkle in a few other topics. We might want to discuss education or the economy, we might want to share travel stories or even get into politics - but in the end, there will be at least one conversation about shoes, baby clothes (or food), kittens (or puppies), and - weddings. Relate your products to those topics and - you've got us.