Gun violence in the U.S. is an intractable problem. A steady stream of mass shootings and increasing homicide rates do not appear to be motivating politicians to enact meaningful gun control laws. The recently passed bipartisan Safer Communities Act does little to solve the problem. Its provisions are so weak that few gun control advocates believe it will significantly impact U.S. gun-related deaths.
Democratic and Republican politicians have shied away from the problem because of the potential for electoral backlash. While more amenable to gun control, Democrats often attribute their loss of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994 after four decades in power as a consequence of their passage of an assault weapons ban earlier that year. This led to years of anemic Democratic support for gun control while Republicans pushed to loosen gun laws under pressure from the NRA.
Weak Democratic support and Republican antipathy towards gun control has worked politically, but it appears the electorate is shifting its opinion on this issue. ThinkNow recently collaborated with Team Friday to field a nationally representative survey of 1,200 registered voters and found that 66% believe the U.S. needs stricter gun laws. Our survey results match those released by Gallup earlier this year which also found that 66% of respondents want more stringent gun laws, up from a low of 44% in 2010.
According to our data, party affiliation strongly indicates whether a respondent supports gun control. Eighty-six percent of Democratic voters, 41% of Republicans, and 69% of Independents stated that gun laws should be stricter. While 41% Republican support might seem low, it’s an improvement over the past couple of years which measured their support in the low 20s.
This shift in Republican support could have implications in Texas and Florida where a clear majority of the electorate support stricter gun laws while their legislators are actively loosening them.
More interestingly, we found that gun owners, themselves, support stricter gun laws.
While there are differences in opinion based on party affiliation, we found there are four reforms that Americans across the political spectrum can get behind. Universal background checks, red-flag laws, raising the gun buying age to 21 and permits for concealed carry all garner more than 50% support among Americans that want stricter gun laws.
Politicians in Red (leans toward Republicans) or Purple States (similar support for Democrats and Republicans) who are interested in addressing the gun problem can presumably support the four measures above without the risk of electoral backlash.
At 74%, the primary reason Americans state for buying guns is to protect their home. No other reason exceeds 50%. This would suggest that gun legislation that does not infringe on individuals’ right to protect their home has a lower chance of creating voter backlash.
Interestingly, a policy that does not have overwhelming support, even among Democrats is allowing individuals to sue gun manufacturers.
It’s possible that Americans don’t support suing manufacturers because they fear this will put them out of business and restrict their access to guns for home protection.
It’s often assumed that gun rights and gun regulations are mutually exclusive. That’s not true. Clear majorities of Americans that support gun rights want better regulation. Americans, in general, are tired of the carnage and want something done about it. In 2020, voters listed attitudes towards guns laws as one of the reasons they were voting for president. Unfortunately, the problem has only gotten worse since then. Politicians who respond to this crisis can lead the nation to a future where mass shootings and unprovoked gun deaths are a thing of the past. Those interested in maintaining the status quo may find themselves without a constituency.
Join ThinkNow and Team Friday for a webinar discussing insights from the study on Wednesday, November 2nd at 10 AM PST/ 1 PM EST.
Click here to register.
Consumption has changed since the pandemic, as consumers consider their lifestyles more deeply. Companies and brands are following suit, studying how their actions, systems, and beliefs impact the consumer dynamic and striving to be more inclusive in their marketing and advertising. However, not all consumers feel seen.
Latinx consumers in the U.S. are not a homogenous group. Marketers are accustomed to segmenting these groups by factors like country of origin but often overlook the biculturalism that exists among niche groups, like Latinx consumers of Asian descent who immigrated from Latin America to the States in the past few decades.
In this episode of The New Mainstream podcast, Silvia Li Sam, founder of Slam Media Lab (Slam), talks about her experience as a Peruvian Chinese American and how marketers must leverage research to understand the complexities of the Latinx consumer market.
About Silvia Li Sam:
Silvia Li Sam is a Peruvian Chinese American founder, published writer, and expert on content marketing, web design, and SEO.
Li Sam was one of the youngest CEOs to start a multi-million dollar agency during the Great Resignation of 2021. Her award-winning agency, Slam Media Lab (Slam), focuses on SEO, Webflow, content marketing, and brand strategy for founder-led and mission-driven companies.
Before starting Slam, Li Sam was the first hire for digital & SEO at the XQ, the nation’s leading organization rethinking America’s high schools started by Laurene Powell Jobs. She scaled XQ’s marketing efforts from 0 to over 650,000 members in 3 years, and skyrocketed their SEO from 0 to 2MM searches. Li Sam has led multi-million dollar advertising and branding campaigns, managed and executed partnerships with all social media platforms, and led two successful TV shows (Graduate Together & XQ Super School Live) on the four major networks. The shows have reached over 2B people.
Li Sam is known for starting one of the largest startup publications in the world in three months, growing it from 0 to 250,000 readers with no budget.
Her work has been nominated for Webby and Peabody awards. Li Sam’s marketing strategies have been featured on Forbes, The Huffington Post, NBC, and more.
She is a Board Member at Wild Awake, a nonprofit that provides immersive outdoor learning experiences for youth and adults that bring us closer to the earth. She also serves as a tech and marketing advisor to two tech-focused nonprofits: Peer Health Exchange and LTX Connect.
Li Sam holds a B.S. in Business & Marketing with a minor in design from the University of Southern California.
She lives in the East Bay with her partner and her labradoodle and frequently bounces between San Francisco, Lima, Honolulu, Los Angeles, and New York.
Food in America is multicultural. It’s a fusion of various tastes, ingredients, and cooking styles from around the world that culminate into a rich flavor profile of cultural diversity. But at its core, it’s American food, representing the swiftly changing demographics in the U.S. as it trends toward a majority-minority nation.
Brands in the food and CPG space are tasked with understanding the consumers driving these trends and showing up authentically, in-person and online. It's becoming increasingly important for brands to take intentional actions like staffing stores and restaurants to mirror the communities they’re serving. Birria lovers craving authenticity, for example, may give a restaurant a side-eye if no one in the kitchen serving up these tasty tacos is Latino. To them, insiders serve as translators, a bridge between the brand and the consumer communicating the needs and desires of the community.
But authenticity often gets misinterpreted in food. Dishes made generations before will naturally evolve based on what is available now and life experiences. Yet authenticity does drive purchases in CPG and food, from ingredients to labeling, especially among Hispanics and African Americans.
Luis Cachua, Director of Multicultural Strategy and Brand Partnerships at Food Beast, stops by The New Mainstream podcast to discuss the importance of authenticity in the food and CPG space and the love of birria tacos!
Listen to the The New Mainstream podcast.
Two years ago, the global shutdown sent the economy reeling, and many Americans, especially lower-income households, experienced a seismic shift in their financial security. Consumers reported worsening personal finances and a feeling that the economy was weakening. Their outlook for 2021 was equally as dim, with fewer Americans feeling optimistic about improvements in personal finances for the coming year. Uncertainty about the pandemic, unemployment, and higher prices threatened to thwart the comeback story of the American consumer. But with the mass distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, better protocols and treatments, and the distribution of trillions of dollars in federal stimulus, consumer sentiment has returned to pre-pandemic levels. (more…)
This time last year, America was fresh off the high of a change in executive leadership. Americans started rolling up their sleeves for COVID-19 vaccinations, and the nation was undergoing a racial awakening generations in the making. Then a week into the new year, democracy was breached, and the ensuing fallout would test the ideals of what it means to be American. In our 2021 ThinkNow year-end report we examine the economic highs and lows of the past twelve months, and how consumers, in their resilience, have weathered the storms by tapping into their power and wielding it to demand a fair and just society for all. (more…)
Mainstream media coverage of Black Americans often focuses on the economic and racial disparities that plague Black communities. These pressing societal issues, however, are not the only stories to tell. Black Americans have endured centuries of hardship yet have emerged vibrant, resilient, and optimistic, contributing culturally and economically to the prosperity of America. We explore this story in The Black Consumer Project. WATCH the playback here.
ThinkNow and Quantasy + Associates have teamed up to share the narrative of Black Americans as we see it through the lens of our consumer insights and ad agency work. Per the 2020 Census, 46.9 million Americans identify as African American or Black alone or a combination with another race. They contribute $1.4 trillion in annual spending, making them one of the country’s main economic drivers. Fortune 100 firms frequently retain our services to bring authenticity to marketing and media plans targeting Black consumers. But perhaps, more importantly, that authenticity gives a voice to a community that has been misrepresented in advertising since the dawn of the ad age. So, we launched The Black Consumer Project – a series of nationally representative surveys capturing the opinions of over 1,000 Black Americans and 500 non-Blacks to articulate the narrative of one of America’s most vibrant but often misunderstood consumer segments. The project uncovers the unique perspectives, behaviors, and preferences among African American consumers. The first of the several waves, Black Identity, releases in December 2021, focusing on values, self-perception, belief in “The American Dream,” and attitudes held by emerging Black affluent consumers. Future waves will focus on industry specific verticals such as Media & Entertainment, Financial Services and Health & Wellness.
We use the terms African American, Black American, and Black interchangeably throughout the research. In Wave 1 of The Black Consumer Project, we delve into how these terms are viewed by different segments of the Black community as well as more recent terms like Person of Color (POC) and American-Born Descendant of Slaves (ADOS). Rightly or not, race affects how Black Americans navigate our society and how they choose to spend money. We delve into whether Black Americans consider that their race/heritage defines them. The answers are enlightening and vary considerably by demographic segment. Like most consumers, African Americans appreciate being seen and heard by the brands and companies they support. We, therefore, ask Black consumers whether they have boycotted a company or brand that they felt did something unethical towards the Black community and whether they feel it’s important that companies and brands support diversity and inclusion. Race, however, is just one of many factors that play into Black identity. Included in the study are questions about personal values, how Black consumers would describe themselves, and what their dreams for the future are.
The belief that upward mobility and success is possible in America is shared across all races. What defines success, however, varies. There is considerable difference, for example, within the various age cohorts of the Black community in terms of how they view the American Dream and whether they feel pride in being an American. Income and other demographic differences also affect these views. There are also distinct differences between how Black Americans feel about upward mobility and success when compared to non-Black consumers. The Black Consumer Project, Black Identity, launches December 7th with an online streaming event featuring Associates’ Melanie Williams and ThinkNow’s Roy Eduardo Kokoyachuk, who’ll dive into the data, and a panel discussion featuring Rashad Drakeford (Global Head of Content Marketing, Robinhood), Dom Brown (Sr. Manager of Culture + Community, Instagram) and Diaundra Jones (Co-Founder, Seventh Ave), and moderated by the Julian Mitchell. Don’t miss the first wave of The Black Consumer Project.
Stream The Black Consumer Project here.
The pandemic has accelerated the shift from traditional in-person gym memberships to broader acceptance of at-home connected fitness equipment. But a recent ThinkNow study shows that the gym isn’t dead, and connected fitness has a long way to go.
For our 2021 ThinkNow Smart Fitness Report, ThinkNow conducted a nationwide online survey of American adults ages 18 to 64 to understand consumer usage of internet-connected fitness equipment and perceptions of connected fitness brands. (more…)