Top Ten Brands on Shared Values for 2020

Top Ten Brands on Shared Values for 2020

Read on to find out which brands consumers identify as sharing their values - and the practices they used to get there.

In a time where people are exposed to more advertising and have more options than ever before, it’s critical for brands to create authentic connections to keep consumers coming back. One way to do this is to demonstrate you care about the things your consumers care about. After all, we know that many consumers across racial and ethnic segments will reward brands that share their values and punish those that defy them.

Collage Group’s brand rating tool, CultureRate:Brand, provides insight on how well brands are signaling shared values with consumers.

 The tool, which is designed to assess cultural fluency (i.e., number of segments the brand resonates with), measures shared values by asking brand-aware consumers to agree or disagree with the statement “This brand cares about the things that are important to me.” Here we see the top ten brands among more than 400 in our database that consumers aged 18-39 most often identify as sharing their values.

But we know that America is diverse and different segments have different values that line up with different brands.

So we took a deeper look at the data to understand which brands are connecting on shared values across racial and ethnic segments and which are connecting on shared values with specific segments. The top 10 lists for each racial and ethnic group are below.

First thing to note, both Lysol and Clorox rank highly across segments.

In the era of COVID-19, when consumers are placing higher value on cleanliness and staying healthy than ever before, it’s not surprising to see these brands pop. Lysol and Clorox have proven they value cleanliness and health by having select products approved by the EPA to successfully kill the COVID-19 virus. And they’ve continued to show their commitment to health and safety by making generous donations to various organizations (CDC, NEA and the American Red Cross) fighting against COVID-19 and helping to get the country back up and running.

Second thing to consider, outside of a handful of brands appearing across lists, we also see significant variation by segment.

For example, the top 10 list for shared values for the Black segment includes Chick-Fil-A, Nike, and Fenty. Nike’s a no-brainer given their extensive and very public support for racial equality. And Chick-Fil-A’s high ranking is probably tied to its association with Christianity and Christian values—something the highly religious Black segment likely resonates with.

Fenty Beauty, a brand founded by music superstar Rihanna in 2017, is a relative newcomer that’s been able to connect with Black consumers through its commitment to diversity and inclusion. Fenty has gone that extra step and baked these values into the products it sells. For example, it offers 50 shades of foundation, a substantial improvement over many other brands that treat dark skin as a monolith. The brand also features models of varying genders in their advertising. And it donates 100% of proceeds from select products to the Clara Lionel Foundation, which provides extensive support to marginalized communities around the world.

Our findings illustrate that both rising and established brands can successfully communicate to consumers that they share their values. And you can too.

In addition to shared values, our proprietary B-CFQ (Brand Cultural Fluency Quotient) metric also measures Brand Fit, Brand Relevance, Brand Trust, Brand Advocacy, and Brand Memories. Fill out the form below to learn more about our category-specific CultureRate:Brand studies and how you can use them to increase your brand’s cultural fluency. 

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While Love of Family Is Universal, Representation Must Be Nuanced

While Love of Family Is Universal, Representation Must Be Nuanced

Family is a commonly shared value across diverse segments, but that doesn’t mean it’s one-size-fits-all. Read on to understand the nuances within multicultural family life for authentic representation and effective connection on the path towards Cultural Fluency.

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Human beings are social by nature – this is universally true. No matter our background, we all crave connection. We value family and anchor our lives to our loved ones.

Our research confirms that family matters to pretty much everyone, but our data also reveals: how is family experienced and expressed differently across cultural backgrounds?

These subtleties aren’t just food for thought – getting them right matters. Multicultural Americans, especially Black and Unacculturated Hispanic consumers, say it matters a lot to them that advertisements represent families that look like theirs. And a fifth of Americans, especially Black consumers, want to see more non-traditional family structures represented.

How should brands activate on the shared value of family connection?

Brands must understand nuances in multicultural family dynamics to accurately represent and connect with these powerful segments. In doing so, you’re not only pleasing consumers – you’re taking a strategic approach to be Culturally Fluent.

Authentic representation of one segment doesn’t come at the cost of resonance with other segments. In fact, genuine cultural signals are what resonates. Even if the cues aren’t personally relatable, the recognition of authenticity is priceless. An accurate portrayal of one segment is a way to position your brand as trustworthy and respected by all consumers.

Collage Group’s 2020 research initiatives dive deep into family values, attitudes, and behaviors to distinguish variations across segments and uncover authentic details. Keep reading for high-level segment takeaways and download the deck for more, including family profiles by segment.

1. Which consumers value the role of song, music and dance in the family?

About a third of Hispanic and Black Americans value the role of song, music, and dance in the family. These activities are ways to bond with one another and are also likely to be present at family gatherings.

For instance, Oreo acknowledges the lively nature of Hispanic American families with a relevant portrayal of the importance of song and dance in family life. Their recent spot features Latin pop singer Becky G video-chatting her brother. They connect over a shared love of music – and Oreos – as they sing and dance over the phone with her extended family in the background.

Our CultureRate:Ad research shows that this ad successfully represents the Hispanic experience of the universal Group Trait of Family, while simultaneously resonating across segments (including White viewers). The music-and-dance-filled ad did exceptionally well with the Hispanic segment, with an A-CFQ score of 81 (+6 points above the resonance threshold of 75), as well as the Black segment (A-CFQ score of 74). But the power of authentically representing the Hispanic family was appreciated by other segments, too, with A-CFQ scores of 73 for the Asian segment and 72 for the White segment. Even though the ad was in Spanish, consumers recognize and appreciate the cultural cues of singing and dancing as relevant to Hispanic families.

2. How do Unacculturated Hispanic and Asian American consumers value family?

Both segments like to make their families proud and live in accordance with familial expectations. They also tend to be especially loyal to their families and prize their input when making decisions.

This spot by Chase leans into Asian Americans’ desire to please their elders. A son is learning to make noodles from scratch, and along the way seeks guidance from his mother and approval from his grandmother.

3. How often do multicultural consumers spend time with family?

Multicultural Americans tend to have more relatives and be closer to distant relatives than White Americans. Moreover, Hispanic and Black segments spend more time with their relatives and are more likely to build close relationships with them than White Americans are.

Connect across segments through this common value and illustrate how your brand can strengthen family ties. For instance, a recent Christmas spot by Etsy shows a Black family gathered for the holiday. The son’s new boyfriend joins the celebration, but feels intimidated by all the relatives, until they warmly “welcome him to the family” with a personalized gift.

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“Community” Means More for Multicultural Consumers

“Community” Means More for Multicultural Consumers

Collage research identifies community as a powerful space where all consumer segments engage with the universal Group Trait of Connection. Here’s what brands and marketers need to know about community across race and ethnicity.

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Human beings are social by nature. No matter our background, we all crave connection. We build community around the things we hold in common, and we spend our lives surrounded by others whose company we enjoy and trust.

But what your own community looks like depends on many factors. Do you seek out community with your neighbors? Or with those who share your faith? Or your cultural heritage? Or is it something else, entirely, which makes you feel connected with others?

Getting these questions right is essential for marketers trying to authentically represent and resonate with multicultural consumer segments. Collage research confirms that community matters to pretty much everyone, but our data also reveals how community is experienced and expressed differently across cultural backgrounds.

In our 2020 Roundtable Study, we learned that multicultural Americans, especially Black and Hispanic consumers, want to see communities that look like their own represented in advertising.

Moreover, it is within their communities that these segments discuss and evaluate marketing executions.

In other words, people do indeed share and discuss what they like and don’t like about advertising within their community.  The importance of this insight cannot be overstated, especially for Black and Hispanic consumers.  These segments are far more likely to talk about your ads, even if their respective racial/ethnic background isn’t the focus of the advertisement at hand!

To activate on the shared value of community connection, brands must therefore understand the power of authentically representing community across multicultural and other segments.

For most brands, the authentic representation of community and family offers pure upside: not only does it result in increased activation of the target group, it also resonates with other segments, who are drawn to the authentic representation of segments, even if not their own .

Read on for high-level takeaways and download the deck for more, including community profiles by race/ethnicity.

1. Black and Hispanic Americans Feel Most Connected to Their Racial/Ethnic Communities.

Hispanic consumers – especially within the Unacculturated Hispanic segment – have the strongest connection, with 76 percent feeling either “very” or “somewhat” connected to the broader Hispanic community. Asian consumers, on the other hand, feel a weaker connection to a broader Asian community, with only 58 percent feeling either “very” or “somewhat” connected. Given the important distinctions within the Asian segment based on country of origin, it makes sense that these consumers feel weaker affiliation with a sense of generalized Asian American identity.

2. Hispanic and Black Americans Lean More Heavily on Religion as Part of their Daily Lives.

While most Americans do ascribe to a religious tradition – with Christianity holding a plurality across racial/ethnic segments – only 1 in 5 adult consumers say they participate in a church group or other religious organization. The Hispanic segment, though, sees a higher rate of religious participation, at 25 percent. Black consumers are also more likely to have strong connections with their religious and spiritual communities, being most likely (19%) to turn to them for emotional support.

3. All Multicultural Segments Feel a Stronger Connection to their Neighborhoods and Cities.

Most Americans – including white consumers – identify strongly with the places they live. But Hispanic, Black, and Asian consumers all feel stronger connections to their neighborhoods or towns/cities. It is therefore essential to emphasize the role local communities play in daily life when trying to reach and resonate with multicultural America.

Across these three insights, and the others presented in the attached slides, there is a clear pattern: multicultural segments tend to be more connected with their communities.

White consumers are simply less engaged with community networks, whether geographic, online, spiritual, or cultural. To reach and resonate with multicultural America, brands and marketers must see these consumers not only as individuals, but also as members of vital and vibrant communities.

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The Self-Aware Generation: How Gen Z Consumers Choose to Self-Identify

The Self-Aware Generation: How Gen Z Consumers Choose to Self-Identify

From sexuality to star signs, Gen Z self-identifies in more ways than older consumers. Here’s what brands need to know to activate on the many ways America’s youngest consumers self-identify.

Gen Z has grown up in an increasingly diverse and polarized America. At the same time, social media continues to generate new universes of micro-communities, each creating new ways to self-identify. As a result, these young consumers embrace more and more what makes them different, as individuals, rather than what makes them the same as everyone around them.

Given the vast landscape of identities open to Gen Z, it is essential for brands to understand what, if anything, these young consumers do hold in common. Here are some key insights to get you started:

1. Gen Z is the most self-aware of its status as a “generation”.

All individuals born from 1997 through 2012 can claim membership in Generation Z. which follows Generation Y, or the “Millennial” Generation. While there is not yet final consensus on whether Gen Z will receive such a title, we see tremendous interest within the generation in using whatever words are available for self-identification. Almost half of Gen Z consumers use their generational identity to describe themselves to others, with statistically significant differences from each of the other generational segments. With phrases like “ok boomer” and “zoomer humor” ever-present in the Gen Z lexicon, generational identity is very real for these youngest of adult consumers.

2. Gen Z is most likely to think sexuality is important to identity.

Today’s young consumers live in a world which not only accepts sexual identity, but also encourages individuals to celebrate and explore their own sexualityGen Z is the most likely generation to identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community. And 1 in 5 Gen Z consumers say that sexuality is one of the most important aspects of their identities for self-description, with statistically significant differences from each of the other generational segments. Understanding the LGBTQ+ segment will only increase in importance for brands hoping to earn market share with this segment.

3. Gen Z continues the Millennial trend of embracing “alternative” sources of identity – astrology included!

While they’re not likely to be checking the morning papers for their daily horoscopes, roughly 2 in 5 Gen Z and Millennial consumers leverage the Western zodiac as a tool for self-identification. Apps and online resources allow consumers to gain hyper-personalized “insight” into their astrological identities through star charts and compatibility analysis with contacts who also use the same platforms. Additionally, the Gen Z meme ecosystem provides (often humorous) content which reinforces associations between star signs and individual personality. These webs of association also offer plenty of space for brands to make connections with their product offerings.

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On the Use of the Term “BIPOC”

On the Use of the Term “BIPOC”

The term “BIPOC” exploded in popularity this summer. But few consumers have embraced the term in their daily lives, and the trend seems to be fading. Should you use it? Read on for more insights.

In the wake of the homicide of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police on May 25, 2020, and the subsequent #BlackLivesMatter protests that proliferated around the country in the following weeks, a new term appeared on everyone’s radar apparently out of nowhere: BIPOC. Standing for “Black, Indigenous, and People of Color”, the term is meant to be an inclusive umbrella for non-White individuals. The New York Times found the earliest use of the #BIPOC in a 2013 Tweet, although it isn’t clear if the author intended the same meaning as the term has today. Fill out the form below to download the full report.

Google trends data reinforces that interest in the term exploded from nothing to a large spike in late May and early June 2020.

Interest quickly trailed off. This could be due to people’s understanding of the term and not needing to research it anymore, but could also be due to a rejection or reluctance to embrace the term.

The explosion and then rapid decline in interest in the term raises questions.

First, many people are confused about the acronym itself. Does it stand Black, Indigenous, People of Color? Black, Indigenous, and People of Color? Bisexual People of Color? And how do you pronounce it? Do you say each letter, or just “bye-pock?”

Then, of course, you need to consider the opinions of the groups that the term claims to represent. According to a Collage Group survey fielded in October 2020, three quarters of each racial/ethnic segment neither uses nor identifies with the term.

In addition, more than half of each segment feels generally negative or neutral about the term BIPOC.

One reason is that, while the term attempts to be inclusive of different minority groups, many feel that using an umbrella term actually minimizes or erases the individuality and identity of each segment.

The most important thing for your brand to do is make sure the terms you use are appropriate for the situation.

When talking about issues broadly faced by non-White people, such as racism or pay disparities, it may be appropriate to use BIPOC. But in the context of police brutality, using BIPOC may be inappropriate, as it’s really the Black segment that bears the brunt of it. Black consumers expect your brand to recognize that explicitly.

Frequent usage of a term in the media does not necessarily mean that the relevant groups want to be called by that term.

We found similar results earlier this year when we asked Hispanic consumers their opinions of the term “Latinx”. While many brands and news sources have adopted the term in attempts to sound progressive and inclusive, very few Hispanic consumers use or identify with the term.

Considering that consumers across segments feel mixed if not negative emotions about the term BIPOC, and the sharp drop-off in search activity after June 2020, it’s not clear whether BIPOC is here to stay. For now, think carefully about using this term while closely monitoring consumer attitudes in the complex area of self-identification.

For more insights on the term BIPOC and what terms each group prefers to be called by, see the attached presentation

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Race, Ethnicity is the Most Important Part of Identity for Multicultural Consumers

Race, Ethnicity is the Most Important Part of Identity for Multicultural Consumers
Understanding consumer identity is key to building authentic connections. Read on for actionable insights.
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Replay our webinar featuring these findings, “New Insights for Authentic Multicultural American Connections.”

Consumers are expecting more of brands as cultural transformation accelerates in the U.S., with multicultural consumers now representing more than 100 percent of population growth.

As their expectations increase, understanding how consumers define themselves is key to building authentic connections. In our recent research, we found that nearly 3 in 4 multicultural consumers say race and ethnicity is an important part of their identity, outweighing all other factors including personality, being American, gender and more. For Hispanics, this is especially high for unacculturated consumers.

Digging deeper into consumer identity, we asked consumers to select the three aspects they would most likely use to describe themselves.

Race and/or heritage ranks at the top of the list for most multicultural consumers, with the exception of acculturated Hispanics (ranked at 4). Personality and being American are also key factors for identity across all consumer segments.

Given the importance of consumer identity through the lens of race and ethnicity, opportunities are rapidly increasing for brands to deepen cultural connections.

We asked consumers about the actions brands would need to take for them to go out of their way to buy from that brand or company. The top answer across all multicultural consumers: they are most willing to reward brands that support people of their own race or ethnicity. 

What are brands to do to take action on these insights? Multicultural consumers told us a variety of things. Topping the list: more transparent business practices, diverse representation in advertising, diverse stories in ads and authentic stories of diverse people in ads. 

At Collage Group, we have built a framework to help brands understand your consumers, identify how they connect and relate to your brand, and take the steps needed to improve your brand and ad performance. We call this our Cultural Fluency Roadmap. Contact us to get started.

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Measuring The Cultural Fluency of Healthcare Brands

Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Health Care Brands

Our recent CultureRate:Brand study tested the cultural resonance of 18 healthcare brands.

One of our key findings from this study is that many health insurance companies fail to resonate with multiple cultural segments. In fact, of the six health insurance brands we tested, five did not resonate with any of the four core segments (Hispanic, Black, Asian, and non-Hispanic White).

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This struggle to resonate is likely because people don’t necessarily feel a personal connection to health insurance brands the way they do with other categories such as food. In addition, since CultureRate:Brand studies survey the New Wave of consumers (ages 18-39), these survey respondents are young and have less experience with health insurance. Many of them, if they are under the age of 26, may still be on their parents’ plan. Or these young consumers may not have health insurance at all because they feel healthy and invincible. They haven’t had an opportunity to build trust and relationships with providers over time. Health insurance brands aren’t alone here. In previous CultureRate:Brand research in the Telecom and financial services spaces we also saw a struggle to resonate. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to capture people, but rather that you need to be thoughtful and strategic about how you move forward.

So how can healthcare brands build connections and increase resonance with New Wavers across cultural segments?

The best place to start is looking at your B-CFQ component scores to see where the opportunities to improve are easiest to achieve. Take, for example, Alka-Seltzer. Alka-Seltzer received a cultural reach score of 1.

 As you can see in the chart below, White and acculturated Hispanic consumers ranked Alka-Seltzer around average for most of the components, while Black and Asian consumers rated the brand below average for most of the six components.

On the other hand, bicultural and unacculturated Hispanic consumers rated Alka-Seltzer strongly above average across the board. Bayer, which owns Alka-Seltzer, has been focused on marketing Alka-Seltzer in Latin American countries since at least the 1980s. In the late 1990s, Bayer partnered with a Hispanic advertising agency to develop a culturally specific campaign, in the Spanish language, which included TV, radio, and print ads to demonstrate the relevance and fit of the brand. Clearly this strategy has worked! Alka-Seltzer has gained a sort of cult following among Hispanic families as a cure for all types of ailments.  People share memes in Spanish showing, for example, a doctor prescribing a patient who is sick in bed to drink a soda with Alka-Seltzer.

One component where Alka-Seltzer did really well – around or above average with five out of the six segments – is strong brand trust. Even if it’s not a consumer’s preferred brand, or they don’t have great memories associated with it, they still trust that it’s a reliable product that will do its job if they need it. These high scores are good news for the brand, which can use these positives to offset some of the areas where they performed less well, such as brand values or willingness to be a brand advocate. These findings reveal opportunities and some next steps to further connect the brand with these segments: focus on what they value and what they need from insurance policies in the messaging, partner with relevant influencers to increase trust and brand-buzz, and then give them a reason to talk about the brand.


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