How brands can embrace and be inspired by diverse sub-cultural demographics
The elements of building a brand and the role it plays in creating brand affinity across the broad spectrum of consumers has become increasingly important over the last few decades. As products in general become increasingly commoditized and indistinguishable in their features, the luminescence of the brand itself is what ultimately attracts consumers. When reflecting the meaning of (and our affinity for) a brand back on ourselves – there’s a fascinating, complex framework in how we choose to identify power, status, and most importantly, ourselves and our identity, through our adherence to brands, labels, and titles.
As a society, people have historically been lumped into stereotypes. You must be either this or that, with no in-between option. Who are we all if not just ethnicities, social rankings, or gender-identity roles? How can we be understood if not generally categorized? How can a deeper, more nuanced understanding of diversity and identity be adopted by marketing strategies to propel an even deeper and broader acceptance of audiences that don’t fit neatly into this or that category?
Quite often, we begin our life’s journey with simplistic and overly broad labels affixed to us by others, often unjustly. As we mature and gain life experience, it becomes easier to see how we exist today as a collective culture of sub-cultural trends, ideas, and conditional imprinting from generational labels. Having facts and ideologies regurgitated from generation to generation has created a lack of questioning. People in today’s world are rethinking and disrupting stereotypes and long-held myopic beliefs. It is incumbent upon marketers to embrace this change and be inclusive when creating campaigns and messaging for their brands.
Bridging cultural, generational, and socio-economic gaps of understanding is crucial to crafting marketing messages that resonate across perceived divides. Trends will always come from the demographics of youth, the streets, and the people who are envisioning a new way of being. Brands will continue to gear their marketing efforts towards these popular trends as they come. Morals will continue to be attributed to the movements of the brands with which we support, respect, and represent. This is how empathy and brand loyalty are attained: through trust.
Brands who embrace diversity will gain clarity to the individual and still see the “I” within the group identities they are targeting. By viewing status as a tool, we can utilize innovative marketing methods to educate ourselves on the future of economics from subcultural demographics, which we already invest capital into daily. Companies, brands, and marketers are now identifying the individual within the self, not only on tangible imprints but also the intangible desires, recognizing the unknowns of where some dare not go but appreciating the gift of giving through expression.
When brands can genuinely understand how people want to be heard—not for validation, but for exposing our hearts’ true passions and interests correlated to something meaningful—they will finally begin to identify deeply with different cultures and identities. As consumers, we welcome new generations of facilitators who bring love to their careers, stability to their communities, and value to the products in which they choose to invest. Whatever we choose to represent now, it is critical that we feel inspired to care enough to embrace the beauty in all diversity we represent.