I visited my first farmers’ market this weekend, and I was struck by the authenticity of the whole thing. We ramble on about being transparent, making a connection, having a conversation, and generally being authentic in the business world, but often, we turn around and toss out some flashy ad campaign or cheesy promotion to present a facade of authenticity. But, the farmers’ market is different. There’s no sales pitch, no fancy coupon deals, no expensive TV spots. It’s just honest people trying to make an honest living… and people respond to that kind of authenticity.
I watched a lady run up to a stall and pluck a strawberry from a weathered wooden crate. After tasting the fruit, she purchased the entire basket. That’s a real taste test.
I watched a man tap his thumb against his leg as he passed by the amateur bluegrass band, smiling at his secret beat. The kids were more open, shaking their hips, heads, and hands as they passed the instruments. That’s a real emotional connection.
I watched middle-aged adults escorting their elderly parents among the vendors, and young parents strolling through the street with their toddlers. That’s a real passing of tradition.
The air felt crisp, the colors were bright. I could smell fresh crepes and sausage cooking, I could hear haggling and planning. I tasted my coffee, and watched shoppers taste their potential purchases. That’s a real total body experience.
We like to sit behind our polished desks doling out business advice to the masses. But, honestly? I think we have a lot to learn from the farmers’ market.