As we see the younger generations moving away from broad-based social media platforms to more app-specific channels, not only has the generational divide become apparent but also the ability of marketers to target these niches has increased.
The mountain, to the climber, is clearer from the plain and as the various interest groups devolve to their fundamental essences, the characterising features of each group become more obvious.
This is a natural process, no different to tribal formations based on common need factors. The implications for social communication relate more and more to interest-specific messages rather than editorial style monologues that emanate from a central edifice.
The colour of your socks and the brand of clothing that you wear are becoming totemic in their relevance to a sense of identity for many, largely due to the intuitive online marketing methods that give the consumer a sense of ‘care factor’ that may be missing elsewhere in their lives.
The notion of a commercial interest being your best friend is somewhat perturbing, however the ultimate judge of satisfaction is the consumer. If you’re satisfied with an inferior product but superior marketing, then why go past McDonalds?
The downside of this trend is that the greater marketing muscle of these giants destroy competition without the same imperatives. So they ultimately disappear, in the same way that many kids these days don’t know where milk comes from and probably don’t drink it anyway, preferring a Slurpee, Shake or energy drink thanks to the psychological arm twisting methods of the big fellas.
The manipulation of processed food labelling is an example of the insidious cynicism displayed by the profit masters. The downsizing of product and increased use of artificial additives are but minor aspects of a greater intrusion into the consumer landscape.
Henry Ford understood this when he introduced the first mass-produced motor car as being available in ‘any colour you like, as long as it’s black’.