Turn down the volume on the stereo-types

The radio

Over the past two years, the volume’s been increasing ever so slowly. Let me clarify, in the past 100 years, whatever, forever it’s been increasing. There’s always been stereotypes as far back as time goes. For being someone who is interested in marketing, I feel it’s almost my job to seek out stereotypes. But why, why would I want to find stereotypes when they’re not right? Why would I want to seek them out? Well, the answer’s easy, they are right. I look for them because of trends in the market, because of trends in the world which affect products and the world around us. 

The walkman

Sex sells. Unbelievable, that’s so disgusting to think about. “Sex doesn’t sell, the product sells itself,” says any naive person ever. If people’s behavior turns in to dollar signs, companies are going to act on that. That’s the perfect example of stereotypes. Companies are going to look at the types of people that purchase their products, the demographics, if you will. These are the types of people who buy, and the psychographics of those people. Knowing that someone who purchases Apple computers is white, ages 16-34, drives a Toyota, lives in urban areas, etc., these are the exact things companies live for. Being able to classify people in groups, is based off of stereotypes. These are the beneficial stereotypes, the “positive” ones if you will. But with every good, comes with the bad.

Opening the CD player

Anyone who voted for Trump is a white, racist, uneducated, secluded individual who disrespects women and doesn’t like African Americans. Whoah, easy there. Political views aside, some of those things just stated are unfortunately true. No, not perfect, not the truth, but sadly, if there’s research done on voters for Donald Trump in the past election, his voters do fall in to those categories. According to Pew Research, the majority of Trump’s voters are white males and are without a college degree. The majority of Clinton’s are Hispanic or African American women with a college degree. So the easiest stereotype to be made is that white males who are uneducated voted for Donald Trump. These are the most prevalent stereotypes that show up today. Anytime you see a white male from the South, you immediately think he voted for Trump. And that’s simply not true, but the stereotypes say otherwise.

Love or hate em, they’re real

Regardless if you like stereotypes or not, we’ve all taken part in them whether you like it or not, if you say you haven’t, you’re a liar. When you think of someone who loves McDonalds, you immediately think of a larger person. We all know that person who’s skinny and all they eat is terrible food. Why aren’t they the first person to come to mind? Think of an alcoholic, the first thing we think of is either a bum/homeless person. Not all homeless are drunks. Women drivers, they’re not all bad, but we always think they are based off of stereotypes. We’re surrounded by them 24/7, 365 whether we like it or not.

What can we do?

Simple answer is nothing. We can’t change people’s minds, we can’t force people to act differently, but we ourselves can not buy in to them as much. If you see a black man walking the streets in a big coat, do you immediately think he’s up to no good? Or do you just think that he’s out for a walk? Those are stereotypes that we don’t even think twice about because of how we’ve always acted. It’s essentially been engrained in us since we were born, and something that’s surrounded us ever since because we all fall subject to them. As a society it’s something we need to work on. But then again, as a marketer, I love them, but only to a certain degree.

 

For the reference to Pew Research, the following link provided is what I referenced in this article. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/behind-trumps-victory-divisions-by-race-gender-education/

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