January 3, 2023
David Evans – Chief Insights Officer
As we navigated continued polarization on social issues, an ever-changing COVID environment, and a challenging economic climate, the evolution of the American consumer remained certain. Here’s a look back at the landscape of 2022 through some of our most popular diverse consumer insights.
1. Guard Against Recession with Cultural Insights
Economic fears have been a key concern for Americans this past year, and they continue into ‘23. In light of that, Collage Group advised brands to steer clear of certain terminology, as some words and phrases are off-putting to many Americans. Our research unveiled that brands should avoid worsening consumers’ political anxieties with terms like “the economy,” “recession,” and “inflation”–which stoke unrest. Also of note, during this Summer, Hispanic consumers shifted their purchasing to brace for the future, whereas Black Americans remained optimistic and kept purchasing steady. With these insights, brands adjusted messaging to avoid negative sentiment and backlash.
2. Respect for Diverse Consumers Begins with Respecting the Terminology They Prefer
Collage Group members relied on our expertise to engage culture with a deep understanding of the words that define it. Our work unveils consumer reaction to terms like Latinx and BIPOC, the nuances of Hispanic vs. Latino and Black vs. African American. And it digs deeper into the labels and/or identifiers each consumer segment preference and double-click by age, gender and more. For example, Black Americans are generally positive regarding both Black and African American as general descriptors, while Hispanic Americans are most favorable toward the terms Hispanic and Latino/Latina. This holds true across generation and country of origin. Moreover, although “Latinx” is a polarizing term, younger Hispanic Americans tend to feel positive toward it. Get diverse consumer terminology right with our deep insights.
3. Multicultural Americans View Staying Healthy as a Matter of Personal Responsibility
Our Category Essentials on health and wellness provides brands with insights on consumers’ approaches to physical health and well-being. This research unveils how many Americans are most likely to perceive lack of exercise and poor diet as barriers to their own health. Further, it explores multicultural American attitudes and behaviors toward health, as they are less likely to use regular doctor visits. This research equipped brands with lessons on engaging with these consumers and activating on the learnings.
4. Respecting Country of Origin Deepens Resonance with Hispanics
Hispanic Americans are a growing force in the U.S. and their population is projected to nearly double by 2060. Understanding the cultural and economic power of the Hispanic American segment is essential for authentic engagement. Hispanic Americans are not monolithic. Heritage and country of origin matter to their identity, particularly for the Unacculturated and Bicultural segments. America’s leading brands activated on this insight by highlighting the rich heritage and contributions of Hispanic Americans and include messages that speak to the segment’s different cultural backgrounds. Access more insights for action.
5. Locking in the Loyalty of Young Consumers Depends on Respecting Their Diversity
Did you know that Gen Alpha and Gen Z are the most racially and ethnically diverse cohorts of Americans to date? Many brands are missing out on resonating with older Gen Alphas and younger Gen Z members, and as a result, also failing to connect with the parents of these young consumers. Those in generations Alpha and Z are unique, as standing out is the new fitting in, so it’s understandable that brands need guidance on the best approach. Collage Group explains that forging a connection now is vital as the relationship will pay dividends for years to come, including pay off with the Millennial parents who contribute a sizable portion to America’s spending. This highly read blog, as part of our Generations and Parents & Kids programs, is chock full of even more insights and leadership, and explains how to authentically engage among these consumers.
6. Understanding Historical Context for Black Americans Helps Brands Authentically Connect
The history of Black Americans in this country, including systemic and institutional racism and race-related violence that continues today, results in Black Americans identifying with their race stronger than any other segment. However, they are increasingly disappointed with how brands choose to portray them in advertising. Brands struggling to correct this reality rely on Collage Group’s Essentials of Black Consumers, which provides key guidance that put brands in position to authentically connect with Black Americans. In these frequently updated insights, Collage Group examines three areas of our consumer fundamentals research: demographics, identity, and group traits.
7. Multicultural Americans Prioritize Food Health over Taste
Food and beverage brands, and entertainment companies, tailored their offerings based on vital findings that revealed how multicultural Americans consume, buy, and perceive food. Asian consumers, for example, prefer foods that are fresh, high in vitamins, and have no artificial flavors. Black consumers seek low-sodium meals, while Hispanic Americans tend to pursue foods that are low in fat. Social media also comes into play, as it has become a popular source for recipes among Hispanic Americans. Activate on these insights to successfully capture multicultural consumers’ attention and spending.
8. Most Consumers Across Every Racial Group Want Brands To Support Diverse Identities
Collage Group helped brands navigate the unprecedented social, economic, and public health upheavals–and continued shifts from 2020 to 2022. In our annual America Now research we explain how national issues have changed the perspectives and behaviors of diverse American consumers, and this year, dug deeper into the American Dream. Diverse consumers are now more likely than ever to choose the brands that support their diverse identities and represent them better in advertising. Through these insights released at our Annual Member Roundtable, brands gain valuable information on key social, political and economic issues. With this knowledge in hand, brands activate on the values and issues consumers care most about.
9. Connecting with LGBTQ+ Begins with Respecting The Internal Diversity of this Group
When engaging with the LGBTQ+ community, it’s important to understand terminology, from acronyms to identity. Collage Group helped brands appreciate that language entails more than saying the right word or referring to the right person, as it is more about relaying dignity and empathy. Once brands recognize that terminology is really a matter of respect, they are in a favorable position to engage with the LGBTQ+ community. Our member brands authentically engage with and support the LGBTQ+ community with language that reflects their values.
10. Brands Win Hispanics By Aligning Their Positioning With Hispanic Cultural Traits
Based on a CultureRate analysis of more than 250 brands, Collage Group identified the top ten brands that resonate with Hispanic consumers, and why. These brands showcase two elements for success: 1) strong commitment to the Hispanic community and 2) excellence in marketing executions that authentically resonate with the cultural traits and needs of Hispanic consumers. Our members activate on these learnings in a variety of ways, including investing in trusted grassroots community organizations, and developing high-touch immersive experiences that drive critical interaction. Hispanic consumers are loyal shoppers and will back brands that are proven advocates.This
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Chief Insights Officer
David serves as the Chief Insights Officer responsible for content, data science and innovation. He is passionate about creating the critical insights that can transform the fortunes of our members, informing how we create an unparalleled member experience with our products, and build great places to work.