In the Push for Diversity

Image by: blogs.hbr.org

Image by: blogs.hbr.org

While companies are looking to group together entire target markets into the “General Market” category, they’re missing those key connections.  Imagine a product that has a specific multicultural appeal.  Companies are vying to reach this target market.  They are performing market research, hiring a multicultural agency, and seeking resources that would sway the target’s dollar their way over their competitors.  For years, these marketers have been reaching out to multicultural communities, sponsoring events, doing what they can so that their brand is respected and valued in this target market.

Sometimes, like building a house the money runs out before the work is completed.  Companies start looking for ways to cut back.  They rationalize the fact that they have built a relationship with this target market and it would be okay not to appeal to them directly and add them to the General Market.  We always hear, “There’s going to be a black/hispanic/asian person in the commercial.  That’s enough, isn’t it?”

WRONG!  By trying to move into a new direction and push for “diversity”, companies have been misguided into thinking it’s a one-size-fits-all deal.  That will only last so long.  Consumers are Brand Loyal but not Blind Loyal.  Frustrated that the company is no longer interested in their needs and values, consumers will switch to another brand.

Yes, we are all humans and have the same basic needs.  However, those complex needs separates each target audience.  If it didn’t, why is there so much research on the needs and trends of various targets?  Just like each child is different, each market is different.  And those needs should be fulfilled by companies that are going to look at them carefully and considerably.  Do you feed one child and not the other?  I would hope not. But you might feed them different foods because each child may like something the others don’t.

Be cautious in your meal planning and make sure you serve the right food to the right people.

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