Every retailer has a strategy on how to best serve a customer that walks through the front door. There's nothing insidious about that. Tailoring your initial approach to someone based on their gender, age, or general appearance is not anything new, and people on both ends of the experience have become accustomed to certain norms that are both socially and morally acceptable. A man walking into a lingerie store, for example, will draw a different reaction than a woman. Is he shopping for his wife? Himself? Is he a pervert? Maybe he's just lost? All of which are legitimate questions that may come to mind in the initial few seconds he enters the establishment.
What is new in big box corporate America is the practice of developing whole personas for customers. These personas come complete with fictitious names and backgrounds that incorporate family structure, moral values, emotional needs and wants, attitudes and psyche. There are even more precise sub-set types for each persona.
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