What the Easter Bunny, the Honest Politician and the Upscale Bride Have in Common
ANSWER: In spite of our most optimistic desires, none of them really exists.
Yeah, I telegraphed that one, didn’t I? (Did I rush it? I feel like I rushed it, a little.)
Okay… then let’s get to the point. Why are “upscale brides” in that list, in the first place? If they don’t really exist, why are there hundreds (thousands?) of books, classes, workshops and advisors that are enticing you with how to find, attract, pitch and sell to them? Maybe it’s the same reason we keep electing the same “old white guys” to public office and expecting different results – wishful thinking. Alas, as we keep discovering every election cycle, and after spending lots of money and time on workshops, books and “good advice” – wishing does not make it so.
IMHO, the confusion about the concept of Upscale Brides is centered in the increasingly inaccurate belief that we can categorize the behavior of people by evaluating their age, education, location, income levels, etc. These points of data are referred to as “demographics” and have been at the center of 99% of all marketing theory and execution for a century or more. Here’s the thing…
Demographics don’t work. Never really have.
So, why does every professional marketeer use them, if they don’t work? You can blame that on a psychological bias known as “anchoring.” (This is a cognitive bias that describes the common human tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information offered (the “anchor”) when making decisions.) When we don’t have clear data that helps us understand the behavior of the market, we use the information we have, which is usually just the easily-compiled demographic data, even if it is totally invalid for our purpose.
I call this the “Big Lie.”
Now, those of us who aren’t satisfied with the Big Lie, i.e. using demographics as a key indicator for behavior, are often forced to compile social data (stories, examples and anecdotes) to reach our own analytical conclusions. For me, this is why and how I initially derived the philosophical concept of Specialism over 20 years ago. The goal of this type of social research is the need to add behavioral metrics to our analysis, i.e. how people “act” rather than simply who they “are.”