“People like us” — Seth Godin & baseball

Seth Godin was with me at the Mets game on Monday night. Not in person—in my head. When the beer vendor made his first appearance, Seth leaned over and whispered, “People like us do things like this.”

people like us drink cold beers on hot days at the ballparkNow, I don’t drink beer—or any alcohol, really—but this beer vendor caught my attention. Every other beer vendor I’ve encountered, in ballparks across this great land shouts, “Beer!” Or if they’re waxing poetic,

“Beer here!”

It’s a great phrase. The long E vowel sounds cut across the chatter of thousands of people. When the beer guy cometh, he doesn’t take you by surprise.

Monday was hot and sticky in the city. After weeks of early spring-like weather, summer came crashing down on us with two days of 90-plus temperatures. By game time, we were probably down to the high-80s. It was hot.

So the beer guy comes strolling down the stairs, shouting,

“Who needs a cold beer, besides me?”

Yes, that’s many more syllables than “Beer here!” but worth the investment of time and voice. In those few words he exhibited empathy for our plight—told us that he’s in the same position. He reminded us of the perfect solution to our shared problem. And that he, in fact, can provide it by selling us a cold beer.

People like us (hot, sticky people) do things like this (drink ice-cold beers).

I thought about getting out of my seat and talking to the vendor, asking if his spiel increased his sales. But the game was just too good. We beat the Cubs 6-1, with Jacob deGrom pitching a complete game. It’s been a while since people like him did things like that.

I’m heading back to the park this weekend. Hope I see some more great baseball, and more great marketing too.


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