“The Ugly Truth About Black People…”


“You just can’t trust em – ever. Black people are all thieves, drug dealers and they should’ve stayed slaves. That’s what they’re good at – being told what to do.”

White People Are Even Worse

“White people on the other hand are racist pigs. So full of themselves…they think they’re superior to the whole freekin planet. The white man is responsible for more social problems than any other race in history. Oh and white man can’t jump (or dance).”

These are some of the comments that were flying around on the blogosphere during Barrack Obama’s campaign for the presidency. Strong words and strong emotions.

Here’s how it all affects your business….

The above are called ‘preconceptions’ and they’re extremely powerful. A preconception is a strong opinion formed (usually) without adequate evidence – but always it creates a very powerful bias.

Take a racist for instance…

He forms his opinion of people – their character, intelligence, potential – long before he even meets them…just by their shade of melanin. He’s brain is programmed to subconsciously search for evidence to support his world view – and every move you make, good or bad is pre-judged and interpreted through his racist lenses.

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It’s the same in business. You already have many opinions about entrepreneurs, products, brands that make your perspective and choices fairly predictable. Many of these are not based on fact.

  • Mac enthusiasts hate PC and Microsoft. On the other hand, they already love Apples new IPad – no need for an objective analysis. No need for a fact finding mission. All he really needs is the money to buy it.
  • Before you’d even heard the facts, you believed Nigel Chanakira was right and Moxon was wrong in the recent scandal. I did too.
  • 3 Months ago, you automatically assumed that the toys Spar was selling were of a better quality than the from Zhing zhong shops downtown. (They were actually exactly the same toys – just a 1000% price difference).
  • You assume a man who drives a Benz is more successful than the one in a Toyota (often not the case).

Oh and don’t forget stereotypes…

  • Accountants are accurate – but boring and uncreative people.
  • Big time CEO’s are serious, intimidating, ‘no nonsense’ type people.
  • ET drivers are all unruly personalities.
  • Debt collectors are hard, no mercy – sometimes prone to violence.

Okay, here’s the point

1)      Your market has preconceptions about your product, industry or your profession. They have a perception of what products or services will solve their problems and which ones won’t. They have a perception of what kind of person or business they want to buy these solutions from. This represents an opportunity to position your brand powerfully by carefully conforming or contradicting these expectations.

2)      Your industry has preconceptions on what marketing strategies work and which don’t. It’s called marketing myopia and it’s why businesses in the same industry tend to market themselves exactly the same way…noticed that? Mega opportunity there.

3)      YOU have preconceptions currently determining which opportunities you’re able to notice and whether or not they’ll work. They can determine which new people you trust and who you don’t.

I tell people all the time – marketing DOES NOT deal with reality. It deals with perceptions. Perceptions govern human behavior…including buying behavior. To the degree you know and understand the perceptions that affect your business – to that degree, you can be a smart marketer.

The stronger your market feels about certain issues, the more easily influenced they are by the brands that support or contradict their world views.

Learn From President Obama.

It’s interesting to see how Barrack Obama pulled off his campaign. Firstly, many black people voted for him, just because of his race. More importantly though, He leveraged his race to position ‘Voting Obama’ as a symbolic demonstration of America’s readiness for real change – whilst also allowing his white supporters to feel good about themselves for ‘being intellectually above racial prejudice. T’was an excellent example of good marketing. He could only do that with a very sound understanding of the perception of his market.

Same goes for you.

Please Leave A Comment!

 

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“The Ugly Truth About Black People…”

“You just can’t trust em – ever. Black people are all thieves, drug dealers and they should’ve stayed slaves. That’s what they’re good at – being told what to do.”

White People Are Even Worse

“White people on the other hand are racist pigs. So full of themselves…they think they’re superior to the whole freekin planet. The white man is responsible for more social problems than any other race in history. Oh and white man can’t jump (or dance).”

These are some of the comments that were flying around on the blogosphere during Barrack Obama’s campaign for the presidency. Strong words and strong emotions.

The above are called ‘preconceptions’ and they’re extremely powerful. A preconception is a strong opinion formed (usually) without adequate evidence – but always it creates a very powerful bias.

Take a racist for instance…

He forms his opinion of people – their character, intelligence, potential – long before he even meets them…just by their shade of melanin. He’s brain is programmed to subconsciously search for evidence to support his world view – and every move you make, good or bad is pre-judged and interpreted through his racist lenses.

It’s the same in business. You already have many opinions about entrepreneurs, products, brands that make your perspective and choices fairly predictable. Many of these are not based on fact.

  • Mac enthusiasts hate PC and Microsoft. On the other hand, they already love Apples new IPad – no need for an objective analysis. No need for a fact finding mission. All he really needs is the money to buy it.
  • Before you’d even heard the facts, you believed Nigel Chanakira was right and Moxon was wrong in the recent scandal. I did too.
  • 3 Months ago, you automatically assumed that the toys Spar was selling were of a better quality than the from Zhing zhong shops downtown. (They were actually exactly the same toys – just a 1000% price difference).
  • You assume a man who drives a Benz is more successful than the one in a Toyota (often not the case).

Oh and don’t forget stereotypes…

  • Accountants are accurate – but boring and uncreative people.
  • Big time CEO’s are serious, intimidating, no nonsense type people.
  • ET drivers are all unruly personalities.
  • Debt collectors are hard, no mercy – sometimes prone to violence.

Okay, here’s the point

1)      Your market has preconceptions about your product, industry or your profession. They have a perception of what products or services will solve their problems and which ones won’t. They have a perception of what kind of person or business they want to buy these solutions from. This represents an opportunity to position your brand powerfully by carefully conforming or contradicting these expectations.

2)      Your industry has preconceptions on what marketing strategies work and which don’t. It’s called marketing myopia and it’s why businesses in the same industry tend to market themselves exactly the same way…noticed that? Mega opportunity there.

3)      YOU have preconceptions currently determining which opportunities you’re able to notice and whether or not they’ll work. They can determine which new people you trust and who you don’t.

I tell people all the time – marketing DOES NOT deal with reality. It deals with perceptions. Perceptions govern human behavior…including buying behavior. To the degree you know and understand the perceptions that affect your business – to that degree, you can be a smart marketer.

The stronger your market feels about certain issues, the more easily influenced they are by the brands that support or contradict their world views.

Learn From President Obama.

It’s interesting to see how Barrack Obama pulled off his campaign. Firstly, many black people voted for him, just because of his race. More importantly though, He leveraged his race to position ‘Voting Obama’ as a symbolic demonstration of America’s readiness for real change – whilst also allowing his white supporters to feel good about themselves for ‘being intellectually above racial prejudice. T’was an excellent example of good marketing. He could only do that with a very sound understanding of the perception of his market.

Same goes for you.

Please leave a comment.

33 thoughts on ““The Ugly Truth About Black People…”

  1. Wow… that headline almost offended me! Great article Mr Soutter. This is probably my favourite website in Zimbabwe. You are quite impressive.

    • i do agree with you Clive..its going to be one of my best web sites in zim for sure..am new..!!thanx to Max as well

  2. Did Obama take a really big risk and harvested a really big reward or was it a well orchestrated strategy.

  3. I think it was very well calculated, and brilliant. Obama would have been the first black politian to run for a high office position in America. The problem with those before who tried and failed was that they isolated themselves from the white community with a strong “racial equality’ message. Obama didnt. he won.

    Great post Max.

  4. Dear Max,

    That’s a great essay; you’re sharing with us here.

    We are facing ‘preconceptions’ usually when people don’t check all the way and just throw statements. For example, if you wish to open a Sushi restaurant in Harare, who would you ask for advice, from someone that never had a Japanese restaurant or from someone that is the owner of a very successful Japanese restaurant. If you wish for a good advice, you have 2 options, either you ask from someone who failed, how he messed things up, or, look for the one who made it, and ask for his story, however, getting an advise from someone that has no idea, no experience what so ever, that’s a very expensive advise, which you usually, can’t afford

  5. Please get a facebook and twitter link/whatever so one can post this stuff to an account there. You’ve got some good information on your blog, keep it up.

  6. Much respect for Max, a true inspiration to all inspiring entrepreneurs out here in the motherland.

    Hopefully we may all take a leaf out of this man’s hat and make our country, one which is permanently stuck in a capitalist world dominated by other races, better modeled on values that suit both the nature of our social-economic predicament and the demands of this world.

    We as Zimbos (enlightened ones lol) must do what the Japanese , the Chinese and other Newly Industrialized Countries did……..develop a custom made economic system that is suited to their strengths and improves on their weaknesses.

    To Max- U are doin a freekin gud job keep it up!

  7. this the best zim website i have ever visited.Thanx Max for such great work.was doing my research for my new business on the net and i came accross your writtings…very relevant stuff i must say.keep up the good work

  8. Max, great article! You did an excellent job tying the socio-political limits of a racist conceptual framework and poor business practices.

    It is refreshing to see an article that addresses a very primitive/historical issue with a modern/progressive approach.

    Well done!

    DPM

  9. Great article Max. It’s a pity people in Africa are still so racist and whites are perceived as being better than blacks. We need to catch up with the rest of the world, race doesn’t matter, we are all fearfully and wonderfully made by the Lord

  10. To Hezekiah.

    Its a pity that everyone thinks that whites are still racist to blacks in Africa, When in actual fact the tides have turned whereas the blacks are helped so much by white people, That the whites have been left out because of so called suppression. But as a matter of fact, blacks take advantage of all this and become greedy and turn into tyrants on their own people. The whites are the ones who take the blame for poverty etc… Step up and accept that it is not the whites fault, because we all work together.

  11. To Sibongile

    I am saying that the black people are racist to each other. We mistreat each other but treat the white person so well. Black Zimbabweans are the ones perpetuating the racism, they perceive white people as being better. How many times have you been in a service station, supermarket, takeaway etc and a white person is served first or given preference by a BLACK Person? This colonial mentality has to go away and it is up to us as black people to teach each other and our children that everyone is equal and more importantly if you don’t take care of your own noone will.
    White communities really look after their own and as black zimbabweans we need to stop being so greedy and selfish and see past our noses.

  12. To Hezekiah

    Your first message didn’t come across that way.The mentality is not colonial, but it is there because the whites don’t only look after each other, but they also chengeta the black people just as well..If u have ever been in one of those situations, you would have realised that the white person would be willing to leave his change with the teller and his or hers mannerism would be polite towards the person serving, whereas a black person would be rude, loud and disrespectful and have no intention of giving a tip or anything of the sort. So for starters etiquette, manners and respect need to be learnt before going forward.

  13. Hi Max
    An extremely apt observation especially given the kind of climate we are trying to operate in in Zim, and using the black/white issue as an example was a genius and relatable way to look at how preconceptions affect and effect our businessess. This is an issue we have great difficulty with, that of prejudice and preconception. The fact that I work for an organisation that has both black and white staff members, the fact that effeciency and product delivery is an essential part of our business success means we are often the victims of such prejudice. We strive and push for as well as expect execellence which has led to us openly being called ‘too white’ (because all balck businesses are inefficient right?), arrogant and a bunch of other unsavoury things! In fact, our success has even resulted in us being flagged for indigenisation! The extremely unfortunate fact is that enough black people in business in Zim feed into the sterotype of ineffeciency, coruption or general lack of principle or ethic, to keep such misconceptions and negative preconceptions very much alive in a prospective conusmers mind. We still have a lot of work to do, and I honestly believe that there are enough honest-to-goodness business practitioners out there who will change these views! I enjoy your writing.Keep it up!

  14. Thanks for your marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it,
    you may be a great author.I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and may
    come back very soon. I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great work, have
    a nice afternoon!

  15. People like you are the ones that stop society and civilzation from moving towards a positive future. Check your history. Europeans are the ones who introduced crime, murder, lieing, and all kinds of deceit and trickery. Where do you thing the rest of the world learned it from. There are bad people in every race, no matter where they are. There are just as many Europeand who are on welfare, as a matter of fact more, society has taught evryone to turn a blind eye to the atrocites and inhuman acts of the European culture that has exist long before the killing of the Native Americans when first coming to this land. So I, you, and they are in no position to call out another race of people when America is a replica of what the original criminlas sent to this land, has bought with them and called it justice, honesty and liberty. America is the biggest hypocritical nation on the Earth, when its own policies arent enforced then having the nerve to preach love, democracy and equal treatment and rights to outside nations. These nations laugh at us and we are to dumb and stupid to realize that we shall see a downfall and fall into servitude to outside nations in due time. And far as you r slave comment, read the literature and history, every race of people has been enslaved at some point and time, but the most recent being the Slave Trade. Your skin tone, education, wealth, lineage doesnt make you or anyone else superior because we were all stripped of this with the building of this nation, regardless where a persdon may be from. So get off your high horse and welcome to reality. All races practice discrimaination and inclusion / exclusion, to their own race much less one outside of their race. But end the end, we are ALL the same blood

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