03.30.10 Will Culture Eventually Replace Demographics as Marketers Look for an Edge?

A shared, learned, symbolic system of values, beliefs and attitudes that shape, influence and drive peoples behavior.

a) Culture compels us to stand at attention when our national anthem is played

b) Culture also reminds us to serve (and eat) cake on the occasion of a birthday

c) Culture has determined that it is no longer acceptable to smoke in an office

d) Culture reminds us to eat hot dogs at a baseball game…. But if you serve them fro
breakfast or dessert, you might encounter a revolt

While many CPG companies and retailers know everything about their consumer—their likes and dislikes, their demographics, as well as their attitudes and beliefs, CULTURE adds to the story by considering……

• Contexts and settings
• Occasion
• Rituals and Practices
• Universally held beliefs

According to Harvey Hartman in The Hartman Group – New Value Paradigm Report: September 2009, “We believe culture is the most potent tool in the marketer’s arsenal”

Myself, I agree and would add “Custom” and “Taste” – what else could account for the British love of “bangers and mash”, “fish and chips with mushy peas” and Marmite – Yumm!!!!!