Breaking Consumers out of Boxes aka Don’t lose the Trees for the Forest

open road

In the business of Multicultural Marketing, it is easy to see consumers as the product of their ethnicity and culture only. While these are in fact two critical aspects that provide context and exert influence on their commercial and other behaviors, there are many other dimensions and more complexity behind what moves a person to action than just ethnicity and culture.

As a sociologist by background, I have a natural tendency to want to ascribe many behaviors to the individual’s cultural and ethnic context, but I am reminded, daily, that our personal preferences stem from a number of places, including income, personality, gender, age, life experience, lifestyle. So in our practice, while we advise clients to look at multicultural consumers as a specific segment; not all people fitting a single ethnicity and cultural identify are the same.

We also advise them not to put them in a labelled box that is so tightly wound around culture and ethnicity that they forget that in the end, they’re just dealing with people making choices.

We all are.

Sounds simple enough – at least in theory right?