Why 79 year-old Billionaires and the rest of America are copying 20 year old rappers from Atlanta
When did we get so easily influenced? Why does it feel like each new dance craze is so much more overwhelming than the last?
Social media has eroded the walls of separation dividing the subsections of American pop culture. The same walls that formerly relegated stars and entertainers to controlling only small factions of the population are gone. America’s history of racial inequality has never allowed white collar, mainstream media to be so easily infected by “diverse” influencers. We’re more intimately connected with pop culture than ever before. Pop Culture has become increasingly unified, and culture is finally transcending America’s long-established race & income barriers .
Don’t believe me? Ask 3 different people to describe what a Kim Kardashian fan looks like. You’re sure to get three varying descriptions.
The marketing industry is witnessing a revolution. It’s now more important than ever to influence the entire culture, including diverse demographics particularly. Alienating a specific a minority group now presents ramifications far worse than simply forfeiting a calculated dollar amount. Culture is so thoroughly unified, that if your brand continues to shun people that look different than you’re used to, you’ll be eliminated. Indeed, your brand’s policy of “neutrality” (as long as we don’t get caught being racist) will no longer suffice. Suddenly, you must adapt and learn to build marketing plans and campaigns that appeal to minorities because their approval is increasingly paramount to your bottom line.
As a recent example, the media and entertainment have (excessively) embraced the new “Dab” movement, it’s technically a dance but more so of a pose. It was initially made famous with the help of 3 young rappers in Atlanta. Soon, a few local celebrities & athletes picked up the dance, and suddenly it proliferates through the media to the point where Billionaire Arthur Blank dabbing is performing the dance along with the rest of America. Honestly it has been everywhere. Perhaps most fascinating is the certainty that 2016 will produce several more “viral” trends even more intrusive than the dab. The new media revolves around an ecosystem that glorifies influencers.
Trends are are obviously nothing new. The power of young, urban influencers to create such proliferant trends in 2016 is transformative, however. I think it’s so vital, I’ll say it again, more simply: If you manage a brand that does not make concentrated efforts to connect with minorities, and then turn a blind eye to it, treat it as a non-issue, then you’re already on tomorrow’s list of has-beens…you just don’t know it yet.