consumer insight is funny

“You’re just perpetuating the stereotype by acting all stereotypical.”
– deleted line from tony scott’s domino

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i have no idea about the racial background of the individual(s) that publish stuff white people like, but does it even matter?

as lenny bruce said, it’s not the word itself, but the censorship of the word that gives it its power, so it’s not necessarily the people that buy a brand or product, but the perceived people who buy it that defines its identity.

as in, you may happen to LOVE rocking out to justin timberlake on your ipod, but would NEVER under ANY circumstances go to his concert (and subject yourself to dealing with the kind of people that would buy tickets to a justin timberlake concert.) i think this kind of disconnect is also what undermines a whole lot of consumer insight research. expecting people to consciously recognize what influences their purchase decisions is like expecting them to recognize, admit to, deny, not deny, accept, not accept, a whole lot of pressures and social expectations that masquerade as personal preference. as far as most people are concerned, all they’re really aware of is looking for a way to express themselves, not of the incessant negotiation of their compliance with and/or rebellion against barrage of cultural stereotypes.

we may buy the products or brands that express aspects of who we are, but in most cases the options we’re choosing from in the fist place have already been pre-selected for us by the purchase decisions of other people like ourselves. the question then isn’t, why did i make the choice to buy this or that, but rather does this or that seem like the kind of thing that someone like me would buy? the “why” is: because people like me buy it.

after all, god knows i love sushi, irony, and sarah silverman, and apparently, that’s no accident.


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