I have been analyzing and feeling what is the best scale on which to “box” people today. Boxing people, putting them in pigeon holes etc, was something that you had to learn from the Kotler marketing books. Then we entered the modern times, say late nineties, and all of a sudden it was hard to box people.
All of a sudden those who bought at Gucci, also bought at the low end shops. Nothing made sense anymore, all that we learned was in vain.
I am convinced though that there is always a way to “box” people. The only truth is that the old way of boxing does not work anymore. Those boxing categories were made during “broadcasting” times. Where it was easy to reach each and everyone with one message centrally. There was no real feedback coming from customers, they had no voice.
In this era, it is easier for customers to speak louder than any marketer of a big brand. They are not bound by rules and they are not being paid for what they say.
Anyway, during a lot of talks I have with people around me, I finally realized how we can define two clearly separated groups in modern Western society. I am convinced that by aiming communication on any of these two extremes, you will get to the heart of these groups. These groups cannot be seen as living in separate hoods or not being friends etc. But the difference is based on their beliefs.
The simple question: what do you prefer, peace or freedom? will give you remarkable insight.
There is a big group that is driven by keeping things the way they are and not bothering others. They would even stand up for another group, if others would bother that group. Whether that group deserved it or not, they are driven by restoring peace. Keeping things as they are. This group loves freedom and wants to live in a comfort zone. They do not want to hear noise that would make them feel discomfortable or would ruin their feeling of everything is fine. People all share common values and people are generally good. In fact the only bad people are those that are disturbing their peace. It is easy for them to speak out what they think and they bond openly. They are more group thinkers.
The other big group is driven by freedom. They believe that there is something to fight for and they discriminate more between people. This group is very active in commenting and showing their opinions. They think and feel that some of their basic values and life standards are under attack. They also do not see people as victims, but as potential warriors and heroes. For this group it is more difficult to be open about what they think and believe. They do look for companions, but not as openly as the peace lovers. They tend to be more individualist.
I think that brands can relate to both groups. But to get real share of mind and heart, I believe you will have to go for one of these groups. The connection with your target group will be much stronger then, as opposed to serving both these groups simultaneously.