Professor Jerome Williams of Rutgers Business School discussed the ways the commercial marketplace caters to different racial groups—already a pervasive problem resulting in certain groups suffering disadvantages, often in subtle or obscure ways.
In one case Williams researched, one particular racial group represented only five percent of the total customers that entered the store but accounted for 95 percent of the customers stopped for suspicion of shoplifting. "What that suggests," Williams said, "is the security cameras only focus on that one group."
This could have amplified implications given the potential uses of facial-recognition technology, Williams said.
For many, a shopping trip is a simple experience. It certainly isn’t one where you expect to be followed and supervised by store employees who think you’re going to steal something.
In some cases, people not only acknowledge that this stereotyping exists but attempt to justify it as well. Racial profiling is often defended by claims that black shoppers are more likely to shoplift, but according to Jerome Williams, a business professor at Rutgers Business School, the facts don’t agree – in fact, according to statistics, white women in their 40s engage in more shoplifting than any other group.
"The reason they don't show up in crime statistics is because people aren't watching them," said Williams. He went on to say that statistics that say black customers steal more “are not really an indication of who's shoplifting. It's a reflection of who's getting caught. That's a reflection of who's getting watched. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Minority entrepreneurs who feel their road to success is more difficult than others may not be imagining things.
Sterling Bone, an assistant professor at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University, said research he has completed shows that entrepreneurs who are minorities face more obstacles to success and deal with the rejection they sometimes experience differently than their Caucasian counterparts.
“Therefore, it is appropriate to continue asking the question: 'Is the glass half empty, or is the glass half-full?' in terms of progress being made in eradicating discrimination in the marketplace,” Williams said. “If marketers continue to remain insensitive to racial and ethnic minority consumers, they run the risk of alienating these segments and, as a result, suffering severe economic consequences.”
"If you are white and set out to get financing for an entrepreneurial venture, it might be a tough journey," said study co-author Glenn Christensen, an associate professor of marketing at Brigham Young University. "But, generally speaking, you would experience fewer obstacles and find more help along the way than if you came from an African-American or Hispanic background."
"While racial and ethnic minorities have made significant progress in terms of race relations over the past several decades, the harsh reality is that there still are remnants of discrimination in society," said co-author Jerome Williams, director of the Center of Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development at Rutgers Business School. "It is appropriate to continue asking the question, 'Is the glass half empty, or is the glass half full?' in terms of progress being made in eradicating discrimination in the marketplace."
So why the switch from informative, catchy slogans to things that are so hard to define? Criticized for selling fast food, companies reckon they can’t get in trouble for celebrating their customers’ inherent awesomeness. “Fast food companies have taken such a big hit, getting criticized for their contribution to the obesity problem. … ‘Be Your Way' is suggesting that it’s an individual choice to eat [at Burger King] and people can make their own choices,” says Jerome Williams, who holds the Prudential Chair in Business in the Department of Marketing at Rutgers Business School and who has studied consumer behavior and marketing. Burger King and its competitors are in a difficult advertising spot: They’re viewed as selling an unhealthy product, but they know people love that unhealthy product. So instead of touting how great their food is, they’re empowering customers to feel good about themselves when they order it.
“Most traditional supermarkets stay within a geographical area for distribution, advertising, labor and management,” Kalan said. “Whole Foods focuses on a niche market, on more of a demographic that is attracted to their offering of organic and natural foods and items. It is more of an upscale middle class demographic — those that are willing to pay a little more for a higher quality product and unique services. Metuchen is a similar type of community.”
Research conducted by The Economistlooking at the cost and return of a college education in America showed that Rutgers University–New Brunswick had an annual return-on-investment of 11.2% over a 20-year period. This places Rutgers in the top 15% in the U.S. in return-on-investment out of 896 schools.
“They’ve really made themselves an important player in a lot of the communities here,” he said.
Convenience stores are much different than traditional, larger-format food stores, he said. This makes location critical for such stores, and Wawa clearly prioritizes this aspect.
“They’ll spend a lot of energy identifying locations that are along good traffic routes,” Kalan said. “Convenience is its own benefit for consumers. Wawa’s not going to compete on price, although they are very competitive in the gasoline market. Price is not where you compete in that sector, but on convenience, location, hours and the array of products offered.”
When Rutgers Business School instructor Tyrha Lindsey gave the MBA students in her advertising and promotion course an assignment to create an integrated marketing plan last summer, she wanted them to approach it as if it were a real project rather just classwork
Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), a global leader in music rights management, today announced that the Board of Directors has unanimously elected Michael O'Neill as Chief Executive Officer effective September 16, 2013. O'Neill will also become a member of the Board. O'Neill succeeds BMI's current President and CEO Del Bryant who announced his desire to step down earlier this year after almost 42 years of continuous service to the company. O'Neill will assume the title of President upon Bryant's retirement in June 2014.
The Helpful Executives-In-Reach (HEIR) program at Rutgers Business School connects students from each academic department with a senior executive within the professional field they are preparing for. Tawana Burnett is the inaugural Marketing HEIR.
Dr. Elizabeth Hirschman, Department of Marketing, will participate in Melungeon Heritage Association's 17th Union: A Melungeon Gathering, June 29th. Sessions will explore different aspects of what it means to be tri-racial (European/African/Native American) Appalachian Melungeon today. The Melungeon Heritage Associateion was established in 1998 and holds annual Unions to celebrate and study the heritage of mixed-race communities and groups throughout the southern and eastern United States. The new film The Melungeons of Vardly Valley will show as part of the Union. The film follows Troy Williams exploring his Melungeon mixed-race ancestry while chronicling the legends and rumors that have swirled around the community since the 18th century.
When New Jersey Monthly published its annual Top Doctors edition late last year, the listing included the names of two physicians who were alumni of the Rutgers Executive MBA program as well as one current student who graduated with the Class of 2013 on May 22.
Rutgers Business School professor Jerome Williams has co-edited a new book of research that explores the role communications, including the marketing tactics of giant food companies, plays in the nation’s troubling epidemic of childhood obesity.
In one chapter of “Advances in Communication Research to Reduce Childhood Obesity,” the challenge of trying to reign in the pervasive influences that lead to unhealthy diets and overweight young people becomes painstakingly clear.