I recently stumbled across a column entitled, “Gender Marketing Differences.”
The laughably generic tome was authored by Joseph Carrabis, founder and CEO of The Next Stage, a firm which helps companies improve their marketing efforts and understand customer behavior.
But, after reading the Carrabis synopsis on the fundamental shopping differences between men and women, methinks The Next Stage should be yanked off-stage. Pronto.
According to Carrabis, women are cogno-emotional placial shoppers who make strategic purchases with the long-term use of a product weighing heavily in their decision-making (BTW, ya gotta love the term ‘cogno-emotional placial.’ It sounds like something you’d study in Paleoanthropology 101).
We Neanderthals, on the other hand, are dismissed as mere spatial shoppers who make immediate buying decisions to fulfill our of-the-moment needs.
To which I respond, hogwash!
The Carrabis piece not only reinforces generic stereotypes but, once again paints men as thoughtless, egocentric, shoot-from-the-hip buffoons (which, BTW, does describe Donald Trump to a T). It also continues the virtually endless portrayal of women as thoughtful, calculating, strategic and far-sighted visionaries (Note to female readers: Would you use those words to describe Sarah Palin?).
I have two immediate issues with the findings:
1.) They most certainly do not apply to any man I know. You won’t find any guy making a snap, impulse decision when it comes to buying a car, a home or a serious fashion item (Think: A brand new suit).
Indeed, this spatial male-cum-blogger thinks long-and-hard about everything from re-sale value and durability, to objective, third party reviews and the opinions of trusted friends and family before reaching into my wallet.
2.) The perpetual negative male stereotyping by pseudo experts like Carrabis as well as the depiction of men as stumbling, bumbling idiots by Madison Avenue and Hollywood, respectively, is doing a real psychological number on young boys and men.
Indeed, an entire generation of boys has been schooled to believe their female counterparts are smarter, more intuitive, and better communicators. And, Homer Simpson is their uber role model. Talk about emasculation!
Stereotyping of any kind is dangerous. Stereotyping one gender as being far superior to the other in so many ways (including shopping) is destructive. In many ways, it reminds me of 19th century thinking about minorities.
I, for one, would like to call out the people who are perpetuating these dangerous generalizations. I’m all for equality of the sexes, but not at the cost of making millions of boys and young men think they’re inferior.
I’d continue, but I just spotted a tie that I MUST buy. I guess I’m just embracing my inner spatial self.