White People Are Even Worse
“White people on the other hand are racist pigs. So full of themselves…they think they’re superior to the whole freekin planet. The white man is responsible for more social problems than any other race in history. Oh and white man can’t jump (or dance).”
These are some of the comments that were flying around on the blogosphere during Barrack Obama’s campaign for the presidency. Strong words and strong emotions.
Here’s how it all affects your business….
The above are called ‘preconceptions’ and they’re extremely powerful. A preconception is a strong opinion formed (usually) without adequate evidence – but always it creates a very powerful bias.
Take a racist for instance…
He forms his opinion of people – their character, intelligence, potential – long before he even meets them…just by their shade of melanin. He’s brain is programmed to subconsciously search for evidence to support his world view – and every move you make, good or bad is pre-judged and interpreted through his racist lenses.
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It’s the same in business. You already have many opinions about entrepreneurs, products, brands that make your perspective and choices fairly predictable. Many of these are not based on fact.
- Mac enthusiasts hate PC and Microsoft. On the other hand, they already love Apples new IPad – no need for an objective analysis. No need for a fact finding mission. All he really needs is the money to buy it.
- Before you’d even heard the facts, you believed Nigel Chanakira was right and Moxon was wrong in the recent scandal. I did too.
- 3 Months ago, you automatically assumed that the toys Spar was selling were of a better quality than the from Zhing zhong shops downtown. (They were actually exactly the same toys – just a 1000% price difference).
- You assume a man who drives a Benz is more successful than the one in a Toyota (often not the case).
Oh and don’t forget stereotypes…
- Accountants are accurate – but boring and uncreative people.
- Big time CEO’s are serious, intimidating, ‘no nonsense’ type people.
- ET drivers are all unruly personalities.
- Debt collectors are hard, no mercy – sometimes prone to violence.
Okay, here’s the point
1) Your market has preconceptions about your product, industry or your profession. They have a perception of what products or services will solve their problems and which ones won’t. They have a perception of what kind of person or business they want to buy these solutions from. This represents an opportunity to position your brand powerfully by carefully conforming or contradicting these expectations.
2) Your industry has preconceptions on what marketing strategies work and which don’t. It’s called marketing myopia and it’s why businesses in the same industry tend to market themselves exactly the same way…noticed that? Mega opportunity there.
3) YOU have preconceptions currently determining which opportunities you’re able to notice and whether or not they’ll work. They can determine which new people you trust and who you don’t.
I tell people all the time – marketing DOES NOT deal with reality. It deals with perceptions. Perceptions govern human behavior…including buying behavior. To the degree you know and understand the perceptions that affect your business – to that degree, you can be a smart marketer.
The stronger your market feels about certain issues, the more easily influenced they are by the brands that support or contradict their world views.
Learn From President Obama.
It’s interesting to see how Barrack Obama pulled off his campaign. Firstly, many black people voted for him, just because of his race. More importantly though, He leveraged his race to position ‘Voting Obama’ as a symbolic demonstration of America’s readiness for real change – whilst also allowing his white supporters to feel good about themselves for ‘being intellectually above racial prejudice. T’was an excellent example of good marketing. He could only do that with a very sound understanding of the perception of his market.
Same goes for you.
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