the danger of demographics

The clip above is an enlightening talk by novelist Chimamanda Adichie.

Central to her argument is an implicit, yet critical question: what makes people similar?

As Chimamanda illustrates, it’s not ethnicity; nor is it age, or gender, or income, or any of those other ‘statistics’.

So why does almost every brief still include demographics?

It’s ironic: our task is to separate our brands from the masses, but the first thing we do is to group individual people together into a mass.

It makes no sense; we all know that everyone wants to be recognised as an individual.

Do we really expect to form a bond with our audiences if we treat them in the exact opposite way to that which they hope?

I recognise that it’s unrealistic to approach every individual in a unique manner, but it’s high time demographics disappeared from our toolkit.

Because no matter who your audience is, it’s always made up of individual people.

Thanks to Slava for introducing me to the talk.


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