As product targeting and brand messaging is developed, a basic concept is often missed. Focusing on one group means not focusing on another. When taken to an extreme, targeted promotions or messaging can overtly discourage certain groups from purchasing or participating. What starts as minor tweaks to packaging to attract men (or other gender-specific marketing) may mutate into explicit marginalization of women (and a Hall of Shame nomination from NOW). I term it exclusionary marketing, and it goes well beyond gender. Mike Jeffries of Abercrombie & Fitch practices it and gets bad press. Porsche’s Matthias Müller practices it and achieves brand of the year. Premium, aspirational, exclusive, discriminatory, etc….how the target lines are drawn and communicated can make the difference.
Tagged: Advertising, Labels