this is a little raw. it’s an old post that i wrote on my miscellaneous tumblr – but it’s relevant, so i thought i’d share it here.
So I’m not even going to dwell on how every group of people is a part of some ethnicity based on the culture and other factors that define them. That’s a whole ‘notha story.
But let’s talk about companies who are trying to “tap into” these ethnic markets. As a person who works in marketing, I understand the steadily increasing buying power of blacks and Latinos and how big the ROI could be for companies to extend their marketing efforts to reach those audiences. However, as a black woman, and a member of one of those ‘ethnic’ markets that companies are trying reach, I want, deserve and expect products that are truly for me – not the same crap just re-bottled in brown packaging, promoted by advertisements with people of color, who I don’t know, but am expected to immediately identify with and thus spend my hard-earned money, ONLY to get home with a product that was not designed for me, but only designed to sell me. *Yes, I know, that was a run-on sentence.* It’s disgusting.
Yes, advertisements should show representations of all the people who spend their hard-earned money on products and thus contribute to the financial well-being of this nation; however, if you are marketing a product to a specific group of people and you are saying that it is designed for them, then you should be able to stand behind your claims. Take the time to actually study and learn the needs and wants of the audience that you hope to attract. Clinical studies, surveys, focus groups – be thorough. Don’t just pay an endorser, find new models or switch up the colors of the packaging (what’s up with brown being synonymous with “this is for the black folks” anyway?) and think that you’ve got a product that’s FOR a certain group of people.
Companies shouldn’t just develop marketing efforts for ‘ethnic’ groups, they need to develop products for us, too.