What are Microcultures?
Culture affects every aspect of business in some way, often without us even realizing until we’re put into an environment significantly different from our normal culture.
Every consumer belongs to multiple cultural groups, and this effects their purchasing decisions a lot more than most would realize. There are many different microcultures such as ethnic culture, religious culture, generational culture, national culture, regional culture and university culture. The role in each culture demands actions to prove whether or not the individual is an authentic member of the group. Some cultures are inconsistent with others, so people have to choose with group they feel they belong to most at that point in time.
If you look at a college student from the Twin Cities, attending UMD, they probably have American culture, Minnesota culture, and university culture at the very least.
Microcultures of the Midwest
The Midwest has a very specific culture consisting of a core value of security and warm relationships. An example of this could be found in the “Minnesota Nice” stereotype. This could affect how you’re selling your products or services because you need to ensure a positive customer experience. Though this should be emphasized no matter where you conduct business, people in the Minnesota are often more sensitive to the aspects of customer service, and often times would sacrifice price for a superb experience instead.
The age-based microculture is a huge one across the world. Most would think people within the same generation in the same country would have similar behavior, but in fact it’s people throughout the world, no matter other cultural differences. Often times, people can connect with one another despite different social norms if they at least bond over a shared or similar microculture.
Segmenting your consumers based on microcultures could prove to be more useful than segmenting geographically. Marketing to microcultures is fairly easy once you learn what the subculture is. Typically, you will be using psychographic data to draw in subcultures, rather than demographics. This is very helpful because you can use what the culture identifies with, and make your brand something under that umbrella. Essentially turning your company into a sensation like Converse or the Polaroid camera, things that people can identify with via their subculture.
Defining a clear target market is essential to any company, and having a clear secondary market is as well. Rather than just using geography and age to determine your most appealing customers, look at what they like to do, how they grew up, the biggest trends in their age groups, their values, and what they’re doing with their lives. Subcultures can help you find an umbrella theme for your marketing campaigns, and can help you better understand your consumers’ wants and needs.
Written by Savannah Sophia Buck
UMD Marketing & Journalism Graduate