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People Like Us Do Things Like This

marketers hijack your need for belonging

❝People like us do things like this.❞ -Seth Godin

It's 2007, and I'm walking through one of the buildings in downtown Minneapolis when I see a car dealership. Something about me wants to walk in and take a look around. I never want to look around at a car dealership or any other place where I know aggressive salespeople will attack me as soon as I walk in the door. Yet, I walk in, and I have a look around. I'm looking for a new car.

This is interesting to me because it's so different from my normal behavior. Then it occurs to me that last weekend, one of the partners at my employer had everybody over for a poker game. I drive a 10-year-old Dodge Intrepid with a belt that occasionally squeals along with many other mechanical issues. Oddly, before that night, that was okay with me. However, nearly everybody from work was at his house, forcing me to see what kind of car everybody else drives.

Subconsciously, I told myself a story. I told myself that if I wanted to rise through the ranks of this firm, I had to do what the people at the top of the firm did. The most visible thing I could see was to drive a nicer car.