Avoid Alienating

by Megan Slick December 9th, 2009 

Communicating is not an easy task. Especially through the website copy. Communicating to our target market is about knowing who they are, what they like, etc… But have we considered the people that we alienate when communicating to our target market?

Often times, to make a point or win people over we make fun of or belittle other people. This is all fun and games until people are offended. Even the target market can become offended for those people and be turned off to the product or service.

This may seem like common sense but I think not. In fact, I think that most of the time we don't even know that we are being offensive. We become immersed in the culture of our company which promotes a culture of us vs. them. Inside our culture we are not concerned about them or being offensive because we are surrounded by like-minded people. Once our thoughts are published online, they become public and not everyone who reads will be like-minded. This creates the environment where alienation can easily take place.

The good news is that we can present an image without alienating. A campaign that achieved this is the MAC/PC commercials by Apple. They are able to present an image of youth, creativity and style without alienating the 40 plus population or analytical people. I haven't met one person (even my parents, computer nerds and avid PC users) who haven't enjoyed the humor of those ads. This communication tells people that they will be youthful, creative and stylish if they have a MAC, no matter their age or the side of their brain they use.

It would have been easy for Apple to inadvertently alienate the 40 plus population and brainy people by making fun of them. Possibly insinuating that old, geeky people use PCs and young, creative people use MACs instead of MACs making people youthful and creative. Instead, everyone loves PC. He is adorable & likeable and yet, the target market still desires a MAC. The campaign successfully presents the image of a MAC without alienating people that aren't in the target market.

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One Response to “Avoid Alienating”

  1. Very thought-provoking post. I would never intentional alienate people. I think I will go through my posts and make sure I haven't.