Driving through one of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods – coming from the vehicle of a man whom many would assume a loyal fan of hard rap, based on his attire and early model ride – I heard an impressive version of a British pop song with the singer’s intermittent vocals fading in and out over lush instrumentals, creating an extended, soulful remix. The musical effect was charismatic, as it inspired my interest in the song, which I have yet to hear anywhere else.
Soon after this encounter, I came across another vehicle blasting explicit rap lyrics, which I'd assumed to be coming from someone fitting the above profile, rather than what I saw after daring to look – preppy vehicle, driven by a clean-cut young man reflective of college status.
It’s common to assume that certain demographics gravitate to certain genres of art without consideration for the “individual” marketing dynamics that play into the marketing equation, based on individual tastes and/or personal experiences.
As we are becoming a more globalized society, the standard demographic models used to define target markets will increasingly have to take the individual approach into account, predicated on the complexities of global interests, personal tastes, and consumer sophistication.