What I Learned in 1,239 Miles
I just got back from vacation – my first trip to Washington DC. It’s kind of odd. I’ve been all over this country, coast to coast, but have never been to DC. So, apparently I was due.
It was a different city than what I’m used to. Smaller buildings, pricey restaurants, and Starbucks that close at 7pm!!! (My local SB closes at a respectable 10pm for all of us who need a late night fix.) But this blog isn’t about the city, the monuments, the museums, or the lack of late night coffee. This blog is going to be about hype.
In the 1,239 miles we drove, I learned…no, I suppose it’s “re-learning” because this isn’t anything I didn’t already know...I digress. What I became reacquainted with was the hype that surrounds a business or a product. Traveling along the way, we decided to stop at two very famous restaurants. Why are they famous? Because they were on a certain TV channel that is broadcast all over the world. And these two restaurants were lauded as having the BEST (host moaning, groaning, oohing and aahing the whole show) food.
(No, I’m not going to say which restaurants they are. That’s not really the point of this, and I don’t want to make people angry at me for having an opinion about food!)
I was excited to visit. I was ready to sink my teeth into some amazing food. Because that’s what the very famous host of the very famous TV show on the very famous TV Network led me to believe. He fell short of worship, but his adoration of the food came pretty close.
I waited patiently. Excited to be part of history. Look at me! I’m here, at this very famous place, and I’m going to eat their very famous food, and I’m going to go back home wishing for more, and more, and more! Because TV told me so! And TV doesn’t lie. But wait! There’s more! REVIEWS. Oh yes, I read them. LOTS of them. And they were all telling me the same. GO. EAT. It’s a spiritual experience.
The moment comes. The food is in front of me, and I bite…and wait. And wait. Where were the angels? Where was the rainbow of colors; the hippie 60s trip into heaven? This was just…dare I say, food? Yes, I’m sure it was food. JUST food. And very average food at that. I didn’t have to drive 1,000 miles for it. This was food I had back home, in any number of restaurants.
I bought into the hype. Because that’s what it was. This food wasn’t amazing. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t “the best” either. But if you put enough press to something, you can turn it into the world’s great “thing” ever. And it’s not just food. It’s a hotel, or a car, or a cleaning detergent, or yes, even a virtual assistant.
So be wary, my friends! The businesses with the biggest advertising and marketing budget have just that – the biggest advertising and marketing budget. It doesn’t make them any better than anyone else. Look at all of your options, try things out, and choose what you think is “the best.”
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25+ years of business experience. 12+ years of virtual experience.