Do you remember when we were trying to hide our accents?


Two little guys from the city

Two small town guys, Scott Duehlmeier and Chris Brogan. Don't check your accent at the door. Photo by Chris Brogan.

By Chris Brogan

I am from Maine. The accents up there come through the nose. Even more famous, the people of Maine are supposed to say "Ayuh" when we mean "yes". Halfway through high school, I moved to Massachusetts, where you lose the nasal thing, but you also lose all the "r's" in the conversation. "It's really like ringing in a Boston accent."

Like all people of a certain age and of worldly intentions, I have hidden all traces of accent in my professional life. Some people even guessed that I came from Canada. (I'll take it!)

It might be time to remove our accents from their hiding place

Look, if you've heard Becky speak once, you know she's from Oklahoma. And unlike me, Becky is proud of her accent every step of the way. It is probably better suited to this next rotation of the earth. Why? Because the world seems ready to want to get everything smaller again. Finally.

Purchases from small towns and local communities have increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the one hand, it comes from necessity. On the other hand, it is a concerted effort by people who want to put money back from their small town to work in the small town where they come from to keep people in business and keep workers at work.

Who you are and where you come from has once again become a selling point for the foreseeable future.

Put people back in people

Maybe the world has outgrown a minute. Have you seen these great photos of how rivers and streams and even cities are so much more beautiful and crisp and clear now that cars have been parked in the aisles for a few months? Of course, we have to go back to work. But should we fly over creation? Do we need to take every trip we are used to, just to get bigger and "better?" If we don't need to go to a big city office every day to work, where do we want to live?

Tourism was hit very hard during the pandemic. Being from Maine, people go there in the summer for seafood and in the fall to see the leaves. Boston is a fairly busy tourist attraction all year round due to its ties to the American Revolution and its five professional sports teams. All of these things are closed now, but it won't be forever. And what will people want when they come to visit? They will want a very authentic experience (completely false but the way people want to remember it).

Should you be "all" in your email marketing?

Ah, the question at $ 44.93. Our accents and whims should always be the condiment, not the meal. No one goes to the restaurant to order a plate of ketchup. You can slip a short sentence or two into your marketing communications, but if your writing ends up looking like a long-lost script for the Beverly Hillbillies, take it up a notch or two.

In the end, I say yes. People want us to be a little more friendly and regional. But sprinkle it, don't empty the bag over it all. Because, as we would say in Maine, you can't get them from heeya. (Which means about as little as it sounds.)

If you're working on restarting people's shopping habits, take a look at the new SaveYour.Town video called Restart Local Shopping.

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