Hey. You’re reading a series of posts were we’re looking at LEGO models as messages, not just pretty sculptures. I’d recommend reading the introduction and the first part before diving into this one. It’s worth it.
Last time we looked at how the label we give a message affects it. The conclusion? That you put pictures in the minds of your audience already when you say “look at my fantastic alien sculpture!”
Today we’ll peek at how different audiences perceive things differently. After all, knowing what you want to say isn’t enough to be able to say it; you also have to have someone to say it to. And hey, if you do – why not analyze the audience and customize the message so that you’ll make a good impression on them?
I believe that all builders at one point or another must ask themselves for whom they build. Who will see this MOC, and how? Why will they see it? Do I care what they think? What do I have to do to make an impact on them? What kind of people are they?
Designers, writers and communicators world wide define their target groups. This is arguably the most important thing to do before you construct a message. They jot down traits that define their target group – they learn the demographics of that group. Age, sex, education, hair colour, skills, language, dominating hand, married, single, job… anything you can think of are potentially important demographic traits.
Whoah. Easy there, big guy. Too. Much. Information.
Yeah, absolutely. Demographic data is important, but it’s incredibly hard to know which differences that matter. But here’s the good news: you probably already know most of the things you should about your target group. You just have to keep in mind that those are the ones you’re wanting to awe. Or annoy. Or whatever your goal is.
Let’s make an experiment. Have a look at this picture of Peter Reid’s gorgeus LL-142 and write down the five first things that pop in your head. If it takes more than 20 seconds, you’re thinking about it too much.
My thoughts were:
- Whoah, neat.
- Dig the colour blocking.
- Nice greebling.
- But it seems he ran out of pirate hooks – he’s missing one on the front.
- And the x-pod is integrated pretty well.
I’m a 23 year old male Swede, semi-blond, both parents alive, adult fan of LEGO for six years.
I asked my friend to do the same. Here’s what she got:
- Ooh, blue.
- And chunky.
- It has a lot of dots on it.
- Looks like a fish face.
- A fish face that’s smiling, even.
She’s a 22 year old female Swede, dark hair, lost her mother when she was eight, likes LEGO but last touched a brick when she was twelve.
Which of the demographic traits I listed best explain our different results? Pretty obvious, isn’t it?
One could make a mind map to properly layout this information, but remembering this second point in case takes you pretty far: different audiences expect and appreciate different things depending on their background. Keep this in mind, use your gut feeling for your target group and do some trial and error, and it shouldn’t be too hard to find out how you should express yourself.
Next Monday we’re finally opening the toolbox. It’s time to look at some of the design and build choices that you can use to get your message across to your audience.