The week of Juneteenth 2020, Collage Group was honored to host a virtual panel discussion with Daneyni Sanguinetti from Coca-Cola, Natasha Aarons from Google Pixel and Brian Walker from Walt Disney Company on the topic of how great brands are confronting racism and injustice. Our sessions was scheduled on short notice after public outrage in the wake of the killings of black individuals and the video footage of white privilege at its worst in Central Park. We have witnessed an extraordinarily generative moment prompting citizens of all backgrounds across the country to protest for social justice, an end to police violence, and to initiate real meaningful steps toward reducing institutional racism.
As part of our session, we shared early findings from our just-fielded survey of over 2361 consumers on racism and social justice in America. Full results of this initiative will be published in several weeks, but we provided an excerpt to set discussion with our invited guests. Wound that the vast majority are feeling “sad,” “frustrated,” and “angry” in response to the recent events, but we also found that 20% of consumers felt “hopeful.” Indeed, similar positive emotions are significantly stronger among the multicultural community, with Black consumers in particular feeling “motivated” and “empowered” to a degree unmatched by other consumers.
We also asked consumers to report on how big a problem racism is on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 equates to “not a problem at all” and 10 to “a very serious problem.” No surprise that the Black community overindexes in response to this questions with 85% scoring it in the range between 8-10, but even a solid majority of White consumers report scores in this range. Indeed more individuals across every single intersection of race, ethnicity and generation responded with a 10, than with any other score.
The good news is that brands taking a stand are most likely to gain. We asked consumers how they would respond to brands making statements “supporting causes and organizations I care about”, and to brands “donating money to causes and organizations I care about.” The answer: the highest percentage of consumers report they are “more likely to purchase products,” with an around one in ten reporting they would react negatively.