Stereotyping in Marketing: Good or Bad?
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Stereotyping in Marketing: Good or Bad?
Its Monday morning at a well-to-do marketing company. You have an 11:00am meeting to interview a potential buyer for an Asian product line. It is now Ten-thirty. Your potential clients flight arrives into Metro Airport. Prior to their arrival to your office you douse the air with a light sent of orange. The meeting goes as expected, very well. Instead of a hand shake you bow to the group. You and the team leader exchange business cards. You ask for his cell phone number. Before jotting it down you grab a yellow sticky note to write the number on, you know not to write it directly onto the card. How did you know that it is a proven marketing fact that Asians love the scent of orange? Or that they prefer a team work atmosphere to working alone? Or that to write on an Asians business card is deemed disrespectful? Or that bowing is their form of hand shake? All of these details are a result of the classification or stereotyping involved in marketing.
Stereotyping is a productive way to gain the attention of a desired audience. Through marketing and consumer research we can develop a greater knowledge of what our consumers want or need and how to advertise these goods according to the buyers that they are trying to reach. There are many positive attributes to classification and stereotyping. It can be extremely beneficial from the marketing stand point. Take for instance, if you were to own a tee-shirt company and wanted to begin sales abroad. In researching your potential customers you would know that marketing to Muslim women would be a lost cause. Considering their religious beliefs and the fact that women of these cultures do not wear tee-shirts in spite of them, you would know that there would be no market for your product. When working in the positive form of stereotyping it is helpful to take into consideration other cultures and their worth ethics, along with their personal attributes, likes and dislikes. From this you can obtain a better understanding of what is important or unimportant to a certain culture. As our world continues on the journey of expansion and big and small business alike going global, this form of classification becomes a valuable asset when trying to corner a specific market to sell your services or goods.
There are many classifications that can distinguish one culture from another. In America our views on time, or lack of, keep us constantly rushing around, grabbing a quick meal from McDonalds because our life styles often do not permit a home cooked meal with our family. On the contraire, many other countries in Europe see not eating a meal at home with their family a disgrace. This “stereotype” of Americans always being in a rush and thriving on convience is a major reason as to why the McDonalds market in the U.S. is flourishing. This corporation focuss their American advertising techniques on the “fast and convenient” aspect of their service. This avenue of catering to their consumer or stereotyping can be seen in the automotive industry as well. In an effort to beef up sales Honda has taken particular care in the way that they market their vehicles to the public. When attempting to entice the Latino and Asian market with their Accord, They “most often pitch the sedan version” . While on the other hand, when targeting African-Americans they often try to entice them with the smaller, more sport like version of the same Accord. Honda regards that their marketing research “finds strong family orientation among Latinos and Asians but a greater emphasis on style among African-Americans.” With this in mind, the same type of classification can be seen in Fords marketing endeavors. “When Ford advertises its Ford Focus to Hispanics, it emphasizes the small cars attributes as a family vehicle. But the carmaker pitches it to other groups as a fun-to-drive vehicle for the young.” A major marketing tend that can be seen emerging rapidly throughout the world is an increase of the advertising market catering to women. As more and more online shopping resources are made available for the “stay-at-home mom” and “out-of-home based businesses” the online retail market is soaring. With the increase in online shopping, retailers have stereotyped the women that indeed are “stay-at-home moms” as women that can not afford to take the time out of their busy days to run to the mall or similar places. They have decided to target these women as their prominent customer base by launching ads and tag lines that seem to center around “the mom that stays home and takes care of the family” and emphasizing the convience of online shopping. The online retail site www.Overstock.com has presented many of its advertisement ventures as being attractive or desirable to women through showcasing their many stereotypically feminine products including jewelry, designer cloths and more via one of their commercials which includes an attractive women dressed in all white, walking through an outdoor mall, window shopping the many deals available at the