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Postmodernism

Paper outline

Introduction
Postmodernism features

Nike Retail store and museum

Conclusion
Reference List

 
 
Postmodernism
Introduction
Postmodernism is a contrast of modernity. It introduces a thinking attitude in terms of unity, totality, and imposition of strong hierarchies uniquely upon knowledge (O’Shaughnessy & O’Shaughnessy, 2002). It covers different opinions or viewpoints regarding different ideas, cultures, and principles of modernity. Though there is no conclusive definition of postmodernism, it can be denoted to mean “existence of attitudes and ways of being that are different or alternate to those typical of modernity” (Ligorio, 2004, 1313). In marketing, postmodernism relates to consumer behaviour. Firms in the Western world have to deal with well-educated, sophisticated, and savvy stakeholders and consumers. It is becoming comparatively complex to dictate what customers should buy in today’s comparatively affluent societies (Proctor & Kitchen, 2002). Postmodernism rejects human, social experiences and ideas. It considers them to be having no real basis. It regards human structures, freedoms, agency, self, or individual ideas as arbitrary and ephemeral (Firat, Dholakia & Venkatesh, 1995).
Postmodernism features
Cultural development and migrating culture from modern to postmodern society are driven by technological advancements (Goneos-Malka, 2011). On the other hand, many authors identify seven key features that are of benefit to marketers and communicators. These features include hyper-reality, fragmentation, pluralism, chronology, de-differentiation, pastiche, and anti-foundationalism (Goneos-Malka, 2011)
Fragmentation, de-differentiation, and hyper-reality are the most commonly analysed postmodernism features (Judit, n.d). Fragmentation is the disintegration of markets in numerous segments. Companies target much specific and smaller markets instead of populous and crowded markets. Companies strategically establish niches and focus on satisfying the needs of that market segment. This is done by the development of a wide product range and altering product features to meet the needs of different market segments. Customizing of products to meet given segment needs involves the fragmentation process by the company involved. Commercial advertisements before, during, or after television or radio programs are other forms fragmentation (Firat & Schultz 1997).
De-differentiation refers to the disappearance of established categories. The central themes of life affected by de-differentiation postmodernism are culture and economy (Arias & Acebrón, 2001). De-differentiation encourages play, flexibility, and indeterminacy in management philosophies (Willmott, 1992). De-differentiation changing patterns in tastes, sexuality, media consumption, holidays, lifestyle, and traditional ideas. Postmodernism has blurred institutional and individual boundaries resulting in a shared and mixed culture, politics, education, training, and show business (Berner & Tonder, 2003).
The hyper-reality concept is the power to use simulation in determining the reality. Hyper-reality is caused by increased infiltration technology in mass media (Berner & Tonder, 2003). The continued integration of mass media gives significant credibility as compared to the realities. With regard to mass media that once transmitted reality, postmodern era merely considers the media as losing its association with its referent. In general, it is viewed as a simulation of reality (Ritgerð & Björnsson, 2006). Hyper-reality characteristic offers opportunities and dangers in marketing practices. It represents a complex living simulation and representation is more important than reality (Berner & Tonder, 2003).
Nike Retail store and museum
Fragmentation characteristic is well practiced by Nike store and Museum. The store has properly implemented micro-marketing strategies to reach out to as many consumers as possible. Nike store considers micro-segmentation and clutter communication as major fragmentation issues in its marketing strategies. The Store established certain market niches and varied strategies of serving the segment satisfactorily. Typically, Nike store and Museum targets a number of sport genres and segment them in terms of sex, age, income, and professional levels. It targets both men and women from as young as fifteen to thirty-five years. It targets consumers with high preference for high quality sportswear ranging from footwear to jersey and sports gadgets. Furthermore, the shop has engaged in market communication tactics through mobile and social media.
In relation to the de-differentiation concept, Nike shop and museum has established customer partnerships and collaborations. This has been driven by product abundance and intense competition from rival shops and companies. The shop is aligned with the value-use concept and thus has established partner-player and post-consumer strategies to improve positive product experiences. For instance, Nike partners with football clubs and individual players as a strategy to establish blurred boundaries in the sportswear business.
Nike recognizes hyper-reality marketing communication opportunities within the virtual environments. For instance, Nike usually allows avatars to customize their own running shoes in-store. Additional hyper-reality is very evident in the Nike branding idea. For instance, the “Just Do It”, bears almost no representational relationship but a vague exhortation concept (Whittall, 2011).
Conclusion
Postmodernism concept is becoming a very vital component in marketing today. As technology advances, observable movement in culture and ideas is continuously being realized. Postmodernism has led to swift changes in consumer behaviour thereby presenting enormous challenges. This has altered marketing strategies of many as responses to changing consumer behaviour. Companies identify postmodernism characteristics by looking at shifts in culture before they design appropriate strategies to incorporate the variables in marketing. Most companies utilize three concepts in the design of marketing strategies. This includes fragmentation, de-differentiation, and hyper-reality. Advancement in mass media technology has successfully enabled most companies to achieve their marketing targets.


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