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3 Things That Make Marketing to Michiganders Unique


Posted by Mark Parent - August 18, 2017

Socrates is quoted as saying: "Know thyself."

However, for digital marketing purposes, an equally important goal is to know your customers. And when planning to market to Michiganders, there are definitely some things you should be aware of!

Marketing to MichigandersWhen marketing to Michiganders, make sure to
avoid Michigan-specific "fighting words"! Twitter icon for click to tweet

Michiganders are unique. From the things they say to the things they do, there are some concepts that Michiganders regularly have to explain to outsiders. Here are a few things you should know when marketing to Michiganders:

1) Fighting Words

Granted, people from any region of the country likely have some pet peeves. But there are a few things that get Michiganders hot under the collar, no matter what the temperature is outside (which, in Michigan's case, is likely to be below freezing much of the time). Here are some conversational no-no's when speaking with Michiganders, courtesy of MLive:

  • "Hi, I'm from Ohio" or "I went to Ohio State." Even Michiganders who have no interest in football will likely give you the evil eye when the topic of Ohio comes into the conversation. Some rivalries are just too deep.
  • "I'm not really into beer" or "All beer tastes the same, right?" Michiganders take their beer seriously. Micro-breweries abound across the state, and everybody has his or her favorite.
  • "I love/own/drive foreign cars." What? Seriously? Granted, Detroit may be a little slow right now, but come on, it will be back on top in no time!
  • "Euchre's like spades, right?" No ... just no.
  • "I thought pasties are what strippers wear." How could anyone mistake the soul-soothing, lip-smacking meat pie for stripper gear? What are they thinking?
Marketing to Michiganders

Detroit—never count this city as "down" or "out"! Twitter icon for click to tweet

2) Overcoming the Language Barrier

Language is one of the sharpest tools in a marketer's arsenal, but marketing to Michiganders sometimes requires a crash course in "Michiganese." Here are some examples:

Pop: Carbonated soda.

Yooper: A proud resident of Michigan's Upper Peninsula (or U.P.). Not to be confused (ever) with residents of the Lower Peninsula (L.P.).

Troll: An "affectionate" term used by yoopers to refer to L.P. residents, who happen to live below the Mighty Mac Bridge.

Door-wall: The apparatus known elsewhere in the U.S. as a sliding door.

Big Mac: The Mackinac Bridge. Not to be confused with the fast food sandwich.

3) Understanding the Michigander Psyche

Thought Catalog's Koty Neelis knows that getting into a Michigander state of mind involves a few basic concepts:

  • Michiganders have three holidays in November. There's Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving Day, and the first official day of deer season.
  • Michiganders understand that Vernor's Ginger Ale has medicinal qualities, from soothing a sore throat to tackling flu symptoms. By the way, it is also the ONLY ginger ale. Period.
  • Football is not just a sport. It has the power to unite families, and tear them apart.
  • Michiganders know that geographical location can be illustrated best by using the back of one's left hand. Forget about the whole GPS thing.
  • Michiganders understand that it is perfectly natural to experience two seasons in the space of a day (sometimes three). And one of those seasons WILL be winter.
  • Michiganders are in love with automobiles. However, their first license is a boat license because ... ya' know, the lakes.
Marketing to Michiganders

Michigan football — the official state religion.

Finding Michigan Marketing Help

Are you ready for an inbound marketing agency that understands Michiganders? Contact us for Michigan marketing tips and help with all your inbound strategies. From custom website design to social media marketing, we can help you take your brand message to Michiganders, whether they're in the U.P. or the L.P. Let's get the conversation started today.

Getting started with inbound can prove to be intimidating, but we're here to help. To get you started, download our ebook: The Ultimate Guide to Hiring an Inbound Marketing Agency. It will help you select an inbound partner who can understand your campaign and deliver measurable results.

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