This Car Is Not For Me

Fun fact: Before the age of 30, I only drove three times.

One of those times, I was driving a friend’s scooter. I was 16, and with no idea what I was doing, I proceeded to narrowly avoid running into about five of my friends– on one of their parents’ lawn.

So yeah, I’ve been taking driving lessons. And I’ve noticed that I seem to have a preference for certain kinds of cars.

For example, I was in a plane recently and saw an ad for a Volvo on the back of a magazine. I thought, “Hm, I could drive a Volvo.” But here’s the kicker: I know absolutely nothing about them. I’ve never even been in a Volvo, to my knowledge.

Somehow, between my teens and now, I’ve decided what kinds of cars are for me. With zero knowledge of them.

I’m thinking this has to do with some form of ambient awareness, related to brands and what my friends think of them, their prestige in the marketplace, and news I’ve heard over the years.

The reality is that, as Alan M. Webber says in Rules of Thumb, everything communicates. We’re deciding how we feel about everything at every moment, before we even realize it, below the level of our usual conscious thinking.

So, what is being communicated about you without you knowing it?

Has someone made decisions about you before you’ve even met?

How do you stop it from happening– or keep it going?





3 responses to “This Car Is Not For Me”

  1. Pratap Singh Avatar

    Hi Julien

    Like your idea of “ambient awareness”. Doesn’t this apply only to the familiar and established brands? What about new brands?

    Your thots please.


  2. Alphonse Hà Avatar

    Aaah, the power of branding. I love it.

    Perhaps the world is telling you that you are bound to become a soccer mom?


  3. Claudia Yuskoff Avatar

    Julien – You are so right about ambient awareness. I’ve heard 78% of people trust peer recommendations. When I hear that number it makes me wonder why so many people still apply for jobs online. I don’t know many that get jobs this way but imagine the number is low. See, as you implied, when it comes down to it, it’s all about trust. So your chances are obviously greater if you know someone. It’s common sense. But ironically, people still do it. I think this goes the same with your point. You dug the Volvo because of your perception of it, not because you drove it. Anyhow, I’m totally on board with what you’re saying. I’m reading Trust Agents (on page 2) and like it so far. : )

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