Selling By Customer Stereotypes

Saw this displayed on the wall inside a Free People clothing store…


It categorizes their female shoppers into 4 types:


1. Candy (hearts): Sweet, girly, flirty, whimsy, and femme  


2. Ginger (cherries): Sexy, confident, edgy, attitude, and mysterious


3. Lou (baseball): Cool, tomboy, laid back, tough, minimal


4. Meadow (sunshine): Flowy, bohemian, embellished, pattern, worldly


So this is how they stereotype their customers “to be helpful”?


Interesting also that they don’t see that people can be complex with: multiple traits that cross categories or even in no category at all.


Moreover, people can have different sides to themselves and reflect these in different situations. 


Perhaps in an effort to market and sell more, what they’ve done is reduce people to these lowest common denominator of idiot categories.


And what makes this worse yet is that it seems to be based just on snap judgment of how someone looks coming into the store and all the biases that entails. 


How about we look at people a little more sophisticated than this and treat them as individuals, with real personalities, and not just as another empty label?  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

>IT Leaders–In Service to User Diversity

>A colleague sent me this article about “Electronically Challenged Seniors” with the comment “I think this sums up my abilities to a “T”.” While in her case, she was grossly exaggerating–she is a highly intelligent, technologically proficient, and experienced professional–I though this was a fascinating commentary on how IT leaders need to take into consideration a wide variety of end-users when planning and rolling out new information technology.

For example, too often we treat IT training as a after-thought, communications with our users as a sidetrack from the “cool technology” itself, and the rollout and adoption of technology in our organizations as “you’ll take what we give you, when we give it to you, and you’ll like it!”

Certainly, generational differences have long been acknowledged in terms of IT awareness, understanding, desire, usage, and expectation. Those generations who grew up with the computer, PDAs, internet, social media and so on and so forth are not only versatile in them, but expect basically the “latest and greatest” to be available to them at work. While prior generations who did not grow up with these modern technologies, although fully capable of learning and using them, may not intuitively understand them or feel the same level of desire to adopt them.

As IT leaders, we need to work with people from many generations and walks of life–with various levels of breadth and depth of technical prowess, desire, and expectation, and we need to serve them all by understanding their particular IT requirements, service levels, and training needs, and tailoring our approach to servicing them to help each group–based on user segmentation–to be as productive, engaged, and comfortable as possible.

Of course, we can’t make everyone happy all the time, but perhaps, we can work ever harder to be more understanding, empathetic, and helpful to our variety of users–“challenged” or otherwise.