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. ·
Many factors come into play when choosing a market research vendor. Some of the most common are methodological expertise, pricing, and, most importantly, data quality. However, when a multicultural research need comes up, rarely do corporate researchers vet their vendor’s multicultural expertise. So, should it be a prerequisite for getting the job? Absolutely, and here’s why.
In the wake of global protests denouncing police brutality and racial inequality, many companies have issued statements of solidarity and are actively pledging to work towards building more inclusive workspaces. But often, diversity and inclusion are reduced to hiring and recruiting metrics, and not considered in the broader context of culture, product development, and content creation. This week, we sit down with Ish Verduzco, Diversity Specialist and Strategic Partnerships Lead at Snap Inc, and author of “How Successful People Get Ish Done,” to discuss how diversifying your teams naturally increases engagement of multicultural audiences and has a sizable impact on your bottom line. ·
Multicultural minority groups collectively comprise one-third of the US population. Hispanic and Latino Americans have contributed to this significant demographic shift in the United States. Currently, more than 59 million Hispanics live in the United States. That massive growth is attributed to high rates of immigration and fertility. However, COVID-19 and the associated impact on the global economy and the daily lives of US consumers is still playing itself out. With the speed at which consumer behaviors and environments are changing, companies and brands must be proactive in their preparation for the “new normal.”
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. ·
“You get a car! And you get a car, and you…!” When Oprah gifted 276 unsuspecting audience members a brand new fully loaded Pontiac G6, cheers erupted from the crowd. In a similar fashion, but with far less flair, when market researchers “gift” clients fully loaded sales pitches claiming “you, you, and you get representative research,” the deafening silence is even louder. You see, just as the cars Oprah gave away weren’t technically free (guests had to pay the taxes), more than likely, the marketing research you’re getting isn’t technically representative. And from the results of your last marketing campaign, you’re probably starting to figure that out.
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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.