Beloit College released their Mindset List for the class of 2020. This year’s list contains 60 items that provide a look at the cultural touchstones that have shaped the lives of this fall’s entering class. Most of this year’s freshmen were born in 1998, just for fun; take a look at the world through their eyes:
In general, the Mindset List is a statement of experiences and events that shape the views of this year’s freshmen. It’s how they see and understand what occurs around them. And since most people believe their views are accurate it must also represent their understanding of the truth. Their perception is their reality.
Marketing is involved in the process of dealing with perceptions. What makes the process even more challenging is that consumers frequently make purchasing decisions based on second-hand perceptions (friends, family and other social connections). In short, they make purchasing decisions based on another person’s perception of reality. If your organization views the world through a product-centric position you may be inclined to dismiss the perception challenge. Market research facts and figures convince you that the real truth is on your side and that the best product - your product, will win. Do you believe that all you need is to have the truth on your side?
Perceptions can be a source of strengths or of weakness. It takes skill and discipline to overcome bad perceptions, to separate reliable signals from deceptive ones, to filter out prejudice, expectation, and fear in order to get down to the truth. Most of us struggle to get past our perceptions, that’s why marketer’s need to embrace the phrase “through the eyes of the customer.”