Mark Ritson wrote an article (August 2017) titled Only crap marketers mistake stereotypes for segments.

« There has always been a very uncomfortable proximity between segments and stereotypes. The only difference is data. »

« On the positive side was the work of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) on gender stereotyping. Its report on the subject confirmed that while multiple factors contribute to gender misrepresentation and inequality, a significant amount of the problem can be traced back to portrayals of women in advertising. »

« Decoding Advertisements by Judith Williamson was one of the first proper semiotic attempts to show that ads not only promote brands, but also have other far-reaching effects on society. The killer part of Williamson’s book is how she shows the manner in which ads contribute to the prevailing ideology by reaching consumers through the ‘back door’ of their consciousness.  »

« Over in Paris, Air France and KLM were busy announcing that they were launching a new airline called Joon specifically aimed at the millennial consumer… The paragraph below from Caroline Fontaine, vice-president of global brand at Air France, explains the strategy:

 “We started with our target customer segment, the millennials, to create this new brand that means something to them. Our brief was simple: to find a name to illustrate a positive state of mind. This generation has inspired us a lot: epicurean and connected, they are opportunistic in a positive sense of the word as they know how to enjoy every moment and are in search of quality experiences that they want to share with others. Joon is a brand that carries these values.”  »

« My problem with this whole stupid idea is, of course, that the whole myth of the millennial segment makes a mockery of just about every principle of basic segmentation. Clearly millennials as a generational cohort do exist – they are the two billion people on the planet born between 1981 and 2000. But the idea that this giant army all want similar stuff or think in similar ways is clearly horseshit. Similarly, the idea that they also differ from other older cohorts in significant ways is superficially persuasive but turns out to be equally nonsensical. »

« Martin Schiere is a very good Dutch researcher who recently completed a massive quantitative study of 15,000 millennials in more than 20 different countries…  Schiere compared a very sound attitudinal segmentation across the millennial, generation X and post-war cohorts…  Millennials are spread relatively consistently across the five different attitudinal groups. »

« If your segment is populated by different people who want different things, it is not a segment. It’s a joke and so are your skills as a marketer. »

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