Postmodernism is a contrast of modernity. It introduces thinking attitude in terms of unity and 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 for alternate to those typical of modernity” (Ligorio, 2004). In marketing, postmodernism relates to consumer behavior. Firms in the Western world have to deal with well-educated, sophisticated, savvy, and savvy stakeholders and consumers. It is becoming comparatively complex to dictate what customers should buy in today comparatively affluent societies (Proctor & Kitchen, 2002). Postmodernism rejects human social experiences and ideas and consider them having no real bases. It regards human structures, freedoms, agency, self or individual ideas as arbitrary and ephemeral (Firat, Dholakia & Venkatesh, 1995).
Cultural development and migrating culture from modern to postmodern society is driven with technological advancements (Goneos-Malka, 2011). Many authors on the other hand, identify seven key features that are of vital 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 analyzed 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 particular market segment. This is done by development of wide product range and altering product features to meet specific needs of different market segments. Customizing of products to meet specific segment needs involves fragmentation process by the company involved. Commercial advertisements before, during, or after television or radio programmes are other forms fragmentation (Firat & Schultz 1997).
De-differentiation is 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 shared and mixed culture, politics, education, training and show business (Berner & Tonder, 2003).
Hyper-reality concept is the power to use simulation in determining the reality (). Hyper-reality is caused by increased infiltration technology in mass media (). The continued integration of mass media gives more credibility as compared to realities. With regard to mass that once transmitted reality, postmodern era merely consider media as losing its association with its referent. It generally viewed as simulation of reality (Ritgerð, & Björnsson, 2006). Hyper-reality characteristic offers opportunities and dangers in marketing practices. It represents a more 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 has establishes specific market niches and drawn up 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 target 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 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 to value-use concept and thereby has established partner-player and post-consumer strategies to improve positive product experiences. For instance, Nike partners with football clubs and individual players to as strategy to establish blurred boundaries in sportswear business.
Nike recognizes hyper-reality marketing communication opportunities in the virtual environments. For instance, Nike usually allows avatars to customize their own running shoes in-store. Additional hyper-reality is very evident in Nike branding idea. For instance, the “Just Do It”, bears almost no representational relationship but vague exhortation concept (Whittall, 2011).
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 resulted swift changes in consumer behaviors thereby presenting enormous challenges. This has comprehensively altered marketing strategies of many as responses to changing consumer behavior. Companies identify postmodernism characteristics by looking at shifts in culture are then design appropriate strategies to incorporate the variables in marketing. Most companies utilize three concepts in the design of marketing strategies: fragmentation, de-differentiation, and hyper-reality. Advancement in mass media technology has successfully enabled majority of companies achieve their marketing targets.
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