Since the onset of COVID-19, global communities have been rallying around one another in solidarity, giving marketers a unique window into the cultural nuances reshaping consumer behavior. As brands peer into the looking glass of the next normal, much of the context for their brand strategy will be dictated by these cultural connections and new patterns in consumer behavior. This week, Dr. Jake Beniflah, Executive Director of the Center for Multicultural Science, stops by The New Mainstream podcast to discuss the influence of cultural DNA on brand strategy, recession marketing, and the future of brand loyalty during the pandemic. ·
Semiotics -- the study of symbols and their usage in a broader context -- is a major element of effective brand strategy but is often overlooked and underutilized. Marketers tend to analyze consumer behavior at a high level but fail to look at the subconscious forces that influence consumers’ thoughts, feelings, and ultimately purchasing decisions. This week, we speak with Whitney Dunlap-Fowler, semiotics expert, brand strategist and founder of A Touch of Whit Creative, to examine the history of culture, the differences between culture and multiculturalism, and how semiotics can be used by brands to get a more comprehensive narrative of consumer behavior. ·
In early May, we took the temperature of consumers in the U.S. to learn how they view brands that support social causes. In general, corporate engagement in social and environmental causes has a positive impact on consumer perceptions and purchase intent for brands. But, in light of George Floyd’s death and the continued acts of lethal violence against communities of color, we are curious to learn how these dynamics have shifted in the wake of the current racial climate in America. But this research still provides insight into consumer sentiment toward corporate social good overall.
As the coronavirus continues to spread across the U.S., brands are looking for ways to stay connected to consumers and to understand the impact of the virus on their lives in real-time, especially among multicultural groups who have been hit disproportionately. This week, we sit down with Natasha Pongonis, co-founder of Nativa and CEO of OYE! Business Intelligence, to discuss how social media insights reveal nuances in multicultural conversations, including keywords and geographic sentiments, that brands can use to meet the needs of diverse audiences and stand out with relevant messages during the pandemic.
Bilingual and bicultural, most second-generation Hispanics (and those who immigrated early in life) must navigate the nuances of both American and Latino ways of life. Often the only English speaking members of their families, they are the interface of their family’s online purchasing decisions and digital transactions. This week Maria Twena, Global Head of Consumer Acts at 9th Wonder Agency, talks with us about the “bi-directional toggle”, and how the behavior of bilingual consumers can be used to guide more comprehensive marketing and branding strategies. ·
Stay at home orders across the globe has had an immediate impact on consumers. Streaming times are at an all-time high, food delivery services are at max capacity, and almost all of us have become gamers. While it is true that immediate consumer behaviors have changed during stay at home orders, the real question marketers are grappling with as mandates are slowly lifted is if the disruption in purchase routine will affect consumer behavior long-term, and if so, how.
In 2017, smart speakers sat on the counter-tops and coffee tables of just over 30% of U.S. consumers. Today, that number has jumped to nearly half according to our 2020 ThinkNow Voice-Controlled Products report brief, which is on par with earlier predictions that 55% of homes will have smart speakers by 2022. The most popular speakers, Amazon Alexa and Google Home, dwarf category competitors like Apple Homepod.
Today’s multicultural consumers are younger than the general population and tech-savvy, making mapping their digital DNA essential to a company’s value chain. The issue is that some of that intel comes too late in the process. This week, Charlie Echeverry, founder of Black Brown Collective, discusses the intersection of digital, diversity, and youth and how putting diverse consumers at the top of the value chain will be a game changer for companies and brands looking for sustainable growth.
Standing in line at the grocery store last week to get some essentials, the existential crisis we have all been going through the last several weeks since COVID-19 hit the U.S.A. hit me hard. As a business owner, the economic reality playing out in front of us is bleak and we are all doing what we can to service existing clients. But standing in line, knowing that my brand preferences are out the window when it comes to groceries, I realized that it is out the window for all consumers.
Millennials are so yesterday. That’s the growing sentiment among brands as they make the shift away from the once-coveted Millennial consumer to now court the new generation in town, Gen Z, or the “iGeneration.” The oldest Gen Zers are now entering adulthood and look very different than their Millennial counterparts. They are the country’s most racially and ethnically diverse generation ever. Additionally, they are on their way to becoming the best-educated generation, according to a Pew Research Center report.