In order for our messages to reach our customers, the messages must be salient and relevant. Salient, in the way that the message resonates with the customer, they notice the message. Relevant, in the manner that if the customer sees the message, it relates to them because they are in a certain situation, or have a problem that the message describes or highlights.
So what then of cultural relevancy?
We touched on this earlier when we discussed what kind of diversity AdLand really needs, and we looked at the diversity of gender, age, ethnicity and perspective (background). The question we posed really doesn't have a single answer- all types of diversity would only benefit by how brands connect to its people.
We note cultural relevancy because the United States is quickly changing how it looks. The rise of the Hispanic population is notable, and the African-American population has been growing its purchasing power for quite some time.
Are the current agencies and brands out there effectively capturing cultural relevancy? We are sure that the answers are mixed.
It is interesting to see how similar and how different cultures are. The difference in a greeting can determine if you are going to have a great dinner party, or a disaster. Talking about the past can bring up nostalgia of the good old times, or extreme bitterness, sorrow , or even rage.
It is important to know the history as well as the zeitgiest of certain cultures, in order to create a message of influence.
Are brands doing that?
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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