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Multicultural Consumers Less Enthusiastic About Being American

In what seems like a lifetime ago, we began the year full of ambition and resolve because 2020 represented more than a flip of the calendar. In pun worthy comparison, 2020 or “20/20” was supposed to be the year of great vision and clarity. We energized our sales teams with it and redirected our strategic plans. But now, just a month away from year-end, we realize that the clarity we sought didn’t elude us. We clashed with it violently in the streets and on the front lines. The past few months have been some of the most polarizing in recent history. A global pandemic decimated the economy, and the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd sparked a worldwide outcry for social justice.

The Impact of Culture on Multicultural Consumer Identity

For many of us, our ideals and attitudes about who we are as individuals are shaped by our heritage and cultural experiences. As consumers, our affinity for certain brands pass through these filters resulting in purchase behaviors that tie back to our beliefs and how we see ourselves. Among multicultural audiences, this presents a unique challenge for marketers. There is no one size fits all solution to gaining buy-in from this diverse group. U.S. Hispanics hail from over 20 countries of origin, and Asian Americans, 40 countries. Understanding the importance of identity to multicultural audiences is essential to mitigating cultural bias in your marketing campaign strategy and delivering culturally relevant advertising.

Remix Culture: Multiculturally Influenced, Influencing Culture

Multicultural audiences are significantly driving mainstream identity and influencing emerging trends. According to UM’s Annual Cultural Dimension study, two out of five general population consumers indicate being influenced by Latino, Black, and Asian segments when it comes to passion points like music, fashion, hair care, food, sports, and more.  As consumer behavior shifts in response to cultural identity and increased exposure to cultural norms via the internet and social media, brands work overtime to cultivate relationships steeped in the remix culture, which is primarily defined by a mindset, not the consumer. This paradigm shift is changing the fabric of what we know today as American culture. 

Marketing to Asian Identity, Not Assumptions

America is often described as a “melting pot” of different nationalities, ethnicities, and cultures. Much to the dismay of Teddy Roosevelt (who in a 1916 speech noted “There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism”), Americans have perfected naming each ethnic group within our borders distinctly, and those names have evolved.  For example, we dove into the names by which Hispanics prefer to identify. Responses ranged from “Latino/Latina” to country of origin, to the hotly debated yet emerging term “Latinx.”  We see a similar pattern among Black Americans, who do not identify with labels such as “African American” despite its use in the U.S. Census, media, and other databases.

Americans Say Masks Are “Necessary” To Prevent COVID-19 Spread

From grocery stores to airline flights, America’s debate over wearing face masks is playing out on small and large screens globally. What was once seen as a medical imperative has become politicized. Some see mask mandates as an infringement on their constitutional rights, and others, a patriotic duty. According to our research, however, most Americans have this collective request, “wear a damn mask.” ThinkNow conducted a nationwide online survey among American adults ages 18 to 64 to get their perspective on COVID-19 and wearing face coverings.

Your Cultural Biases Can Impact Research Design

It’s common for many of us to feel as if we have no biases. To make that assumption, however, would be woefully incorrect and naive.  The hard truth is that we are human, and our cultural biases make their way into every aspect of our lives, including our work.  If you’re doing market research, that’s a bitter pill to swallow. We like to think of ourselves as some of the least biased people in business. We are more aware of consumer behaviors and the psychological implications of marketing messages. Nonetheless, unconscious bias often creeps into our research design.  It’s not all doom and gloom, though.

Beauty Products Are Not Recession Proof, But Demand For Them May Be

Despite thousands of shuttered stores across the country earlier this year and varying degrees of re-openings as restrictions ease, the beauty industry has proven resilient. While sales have declined, they have not bottomed out like many other industries. However, the loss of in-person experiences has fundamentally changed the dynamic of how beauty brands engage consumers. In our ThinkNow Cosmetics & Beauty Report™, we surveyed a representative sample of cosmetic/beauty buyers to gauge sentiment in the category and how COVID-19 has impacted purchase behavior. Through our research, we’ve found that the decrease in sales has not depressed consumers’ love of beauty products, but it has changed how they buy them.

Why Does Multicultural Expertise Matter In Marketing Research?

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.

Will Hispanic Automotive Consumers Put The Brakes On Spending?

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.”

Responding In Crisis: How Brands Show Up Influence Consumer Loyalty

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.