Jimi Smoot Entrepreneur / Software Engineer

Play a part

I heard that fellow Running Rebel and “conservative firebrand” Tomi Lahren recently moved to LA. My initial though was “isn’t that a bit like moving to the lions den?” It’s probably going to be a bit hard to find commonplace with all of the “snowflakes” out here. Any attempt to take a principled stance against “illegal immigrants” would mean that she couldn’t do anything in LA considering that “they” are so embedded within our culture. But that rant is for another post.

I like to talk crap about Tomi because its fun, however, she is obviously very smart and we all can learn something from her. She did after all turn a slew of edgy conservative social media rants into a contributor job on Fox News inside of a couple of years.

Lets pull on that thread a bit.

I don’t believe that Tomi is racist, homophobic, or even a conservative. I started to come to this conclusion slowly while watching some of her interviews and it became completely apparent to me when she hesitated during a Bill Maher panel. Maher asked he about “white discrimination” and Lahren was calculating the optimal response to something she has an obvious stance on. Here is the best clip that I could find –the added commentary is very funny.

Tomi is a personification of Shakespeare’s: “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players”. She knows that she must play a part to gain traction and plays the part well. What we can learn from Tomi is that for a brand, product, etc to make an impact it must initially be designed for a small group of people. Thats because brands/products/etc are all just ideas and ideas work best when they are built with a specific customer in mind.

Once the idea takes hold it can use momentum to cross the chasm and gain mainstream adoption.

Think about musicians before they “sell out”. Initially the artists have a small group of people they play for. To attract those initial fans, the artists music sounds a certain way and the artist present themselves a certain way. Eventually, however, the artist reach the upper end of the market and must go mainstream to keep growing.

The thing is that the mainstream has a different set of needs. So in response to this the artist changes so that its more consumable by a larger mass of customers. Taylor Swift started off country before she went pop. Katy Perry went from a gospel singer to sing a song with lyrics like “lets go all the way tonight”. The Beatles were playing the Liverpool club circuit as “The Quarrymen” before they got famous haircuts and invaded the US.

So the lesson is to play a part. Keep the target narrow initially.

I think that Tomi knows this, which is why I predict that we will see Tomi’s incendiary perspectives start to temper a bit as she attempts to seek broader appeal. Regardless welcome to LA Tomi. Don’t let the snowdrifts scare you this city has a lot to offer.

Tags: marketing and politics