I am a huge Formula 1 fan. F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport. The most advanced cars, the biggest budgets, the fastest drivers are all part of the allure. The one thing F1 lacks, especially with the way the US covers the sport, is seeing the true personalities of the drivers. Sure, you see some candid moments from time to time, but mostly it’s a grand show. Driver interviews are usually conducted with the team’s PR person standing over the driver’s shoulder. For the most part, drivers are very politically correct about their feelings regarding on-track altercations such as collisions or crashes, disagreements with team decisions, etc…
I recently came across a video that transformed my impression of a driver: Fernando Alonso Documentary, Last Race with Ferrari. Fernando Alonso is a two-time World Champion. He is regarded as the best driver in Formula 1, but I always saw him as arrogant and I didn’t care for his personality in interviews. Commentators would also point out these traits so, for me, it was hard to view him as anything else. But this documentary was personal and offered transparency. Due to broadcasting rights, there was no on-track footage. It was purely Fernando and what he does off the track during preparation of a race weekend. The camera followed him into his hotel room, into the car on the way to and from the track, in his personal dressing room, eating meals with his friends, everywhere. It was everything a TV broadcast would never show, but it was more fascinating. By the end, Fernando became my favorite driver because I felt like I knew him as a person, not as the facade I had watched on TV over the years. We had things in common, and that was attractive to me.
Formula 1 is all about money. Most team’s yearly budget is $50 million plus, and Ferrari’s is estimated at over $250 million. This means sponsorship is a huge part of the sport. Sure, people have some allegiance to sponsor brands, but I don’t think a brand can ever attract someone like a person can. Teams, businesses, and individuals spend loads of money, time, and effort to create a public image of themselves. A colleague of mine is famous for saying, “What makes you think anyone cares what you think?” A single 70-minute video of being real negated the millions of dollars spent on what some people thought I cared about regarding Fernando Alonso. Why not just be real all the time?
Businesses fall into this trap all too often. In my experience, it usually plays out in one of two ways: A business lacks the online presence to give the larger audience a chance to get to know them, or they try so hard to be something they are not and have trouble closing leads once they eventually get found. Both scenarios cause a misalignment between perception and reality and are a serious problem for a business, but both scenarios can be fixed. If you think you have this issue or don’t know how to tell if you have this issue, let’s schedule 15 minutes to chat.