BIM: A New Scale To Measure Hispanic, Cross-Cultural Identity

June 27, 2017 Author: Mario X. Carrasco

Marketers and market researchers working in the multicultural and cross-cultural space have long known the shortcomings of utilizing acculturation models for segmentation. Our conflicted national identity and increasing demographic diversity have created a cultural Rubik’s cube that resists classification. I’ve written on this topic several times and have proposed alternative segmentation tools but there has never been a viable replacement for the acculturation model so it has persisted, until now.

Introducing the Bidimensional Identity Measure (BIM), a tool born out of Mitú’s first empirical study, “A New Scale to Measure Multigroup Ethnic and American Identity in the U.S.,” conducted in partnership with us. The study proposes that multigroup identity must be measured bidimensionally to account for the collective identity of the multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and multicultural US consumer. The BIM model is comprised of two subscales: the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM-R) and American Identity Measure (AIM) which simultaneously measure one’s ethnic and American identity to help corporations understand the multidimensionality of the U.S. population.

Older, linear models assumed that individuals moved along a cultural continuum with clearly defined start and end points. It’s possible, however, for Hispanics to identify as more “American” than non-Hispanic whites and for wealthy Whites and Asians to have more in common with each other than with their ethnic cohorts. The BIM model measures these differences and commonalities and creates more meaningful groupings that go beyond the typical ethnic/cultural identifications.

Read the full blog here - Engage: Hispanics