How Market Research Can Help Brands Connect with Black Consumers

September 6, 2023 Author: Mario X. Carrasco

Mainstream media often focuses on the economic and racial disparities that plague Black communities, and brands misunderstand and misrepresent Black Americans in advertising. Despite this, Black Americans are a resilient consumer group with $1.6 trillion in purchasing power and undeniable influence on American culture.

But reducing Black Americans to their economic potential is a disservice to their value as people. Because they speak English and have acculturated in many ways to various circumstances, often to access better opportunities or for safety, there is a tendency to roll them into the mainstream instead of seeing them as a unique demographic with their own set of values, experiences and behaviors. And even within the Black population, it’s important to note that Black consumers in the U.S. are not a monolith. Like Hispanics and Asians, Black Americans are diverse — from skin tones to language, culture rules to mores. One in 10 Black consumers living in the U.S. is foreign-born, bringing with them the cultural nuances of their countries of origin.

The diversity of Black American sub-cultures makes it essential for marketers to close the gap of misunderstanding about the Black consumer collective through market research and insights.

In this episode of The New Mainstream podcast, Pepper Miller, president and senior analyst at Hunter-Miller Group, returns to the podcast to discuss the importance of market research in understanding underrepresented consumer segments and her new book, “Let Me Explain Black, Again.”