You’ve seen the growth numbers. You’ve seen the purchasing power. You’ve seen the large multicultural successes in 2017 such as Coco. And you’ve been hearing it for years now. You know you have to start tapping into the multicultural market for the future of your brand or business. So what’s stopping you?
For many brand managers and business owners, impostor syndrome often stops them from chasing the opportunity they know will be a critical key to their current and future success. But guess what? Impostor syndrome is the exact way you should be feeling. And it means you are primed and ready to jump into tapping into the trillion-dollar multicultural market opportunity.
Impostor syndrome was coined in 1978 by two American psychologists and represents the feeling of "phoniness in people who believe that they are not intelligent, capable or creative despite evidence of high achievement." Those with imposter syndrome are perfectly capable of achievement and are highly motivated to do so, but they struggle with the feeling of being "found out" or exposed as frauds.
Does this sound similar to how you feel about starting a multicultural marketing program? Good. That’s the perfect place to start.
Starting with the opposite mindset — thinking you know everything as a marketer — is a much more dangerous place to start. Let’s take 2017, for example. Despite marketers having access to more data than ever before, 2017 saw an inordinate amount of multicultural marketing gaffes, from Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner fiasco to Dove’s tone-deaf online campaign.
So why is impostor syndrome a good place to start before diving into a multicultural marketing program?
1. It forces you to do your research. You don’t want to go through a Nivea-type situation, so start with figuring out what message will resonate with your multicultural consumers. Market research is a great place to start dealing with your impostor syndrome head-on. You’ll stop feeling like you’re going to be found out by finding out what multicultural consumers care about.
2. It means you are highly motivated to achieve. Channeling that energy into a potentially game-changing market for your company or brand is time well-spent. If you get it right, the rewards can be great. Just ask Disney, which invested in cultural consultants for the first time, catapulting Coco to one of the top movies of 2017.
3. Assuming you know nothing as a marketer will set you up for success. We know the old adage about assumptions, right? Well, for brands and companies, it doesn’t just affect you and me, it affects the bottom line and your brand perception. Starting from the place of feeling like a phony will force you to look for those cultural insights that will drive authenticity.
Harnessing the energy of impostor syndrome can be a powerful thing, especially for those ready to take the leap into multicultural marketing. The trick is to overcome the paralysis of inaction when it comes to tackling new markets. Don’t think of your impostor syndrome as a hindrance, but as fuel to tap into the fastest growing market in the U.S.
So, you feel like a phony? Jump in.
This blog post was originally published on Forbes