Multicultural Women Expect Brands to Take Action towards Gender Equality

Multicultural Women Expect Brands to Take Action towards Gender Equality
This research is part of a series that expands on our 2021 Roundtable Presentation, America Now. Read on to learn more about American consumers today, their relationship to their gender identities, and what they expect from brands like yours.
 

Brands can better engage with consumers if they understand how they view identity. Race, ethnicity, age, sexuality, and gender are just some of the characteristics that people consider important to who they are. The different intersections of identity that people hold also impact how they think about themselves and the world around them. Women, and especially Multicultural women, consider their gender identity important and want to see brands support women in a variety of ways.

In a recent survey, Collage Group asked people to choose the most important aspect of their identity. Personality came out on top, followed by race, American nationality, and age. Just 5 percent of women responded that gender is the most important aspect of their identity. However, as Americans place increasing emphasis on all aspects of their identities, gender is no exception. Nearly half of women say that their gender has become an increasingly important part of their identity in recent years. Multicultural women are significantly more likely to agree with this statement, at 52 percent, compared to 39 percent of White women.

Multicultural Women and Gender Identity

As gender becomes a more important element in how women see themselves, brands must improve on current gender representation in advertising. Only about half of women say they’re satisfied with portrayals of their gender in advertising, significantly less than the approximately 60 percent of men who agree.

Representation is especially important to multicultural women. Nearly two thirds of multicultural women say it matters to them either somewhat or a lot that advertisements portray people of the same gender identity as them. This is significantly more than the 40 percent of White women who say the same. Multicultural women also more often agree that they are more likely to patronize brands that use their advertising to challenge gender stereotypes.

But for many women, representation alone is not enough to prove that your brand cares about their identity. About half of women want to see brands commit to equal pay for equal work and train their employees to recognize and confront sexism. Women also want to see brands hire more women in leaderships roles and make supportive statements and donations. Multicultural women demand a wide span of action from brands towards gender equality and are significantly more likely than White women to say they want brands to take all of these actions.

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How Women Want Brands to Get Involved in Women’s History Month

How Women Want Brands to Get Involved in Women’s History Month
How do women celebrate Women’s History Month? And what are their expectations from brands during the month of March? Read on for insights curated from our 2021 Holidays and Occasions research.
 

Women’s History has been celebrated in March nationwide since 1982, when the government designated the week of March 7th as Women’s History Week. The occasion expanded to Women’s History Month beginning in 1987.

Today, about four in ten Americans – women and men – celebrate Women’s History Month in some way. More than half of younger women ages 18-40 celebrate the occasion, as do more than 60 percent of multicultural women.

4 in 10 Americans celebrate Women's History Month

The most common way women mark Women’s History Month is to support women-owned businesses. Overall, about a quarter of all women do this, with multicultural women even more likely to do so. Education, both about women’s history and the challenges facing American women today, is also a common way many celebrate the month. It’s also important to note that multicultural women are significantly more likely to participate in all the methods of celebration we asked about than White women. The sole exception to that trend is donating money to relevant non-profits.

Multicultural women celebrate Women's History Month

In 2021, the food delivery app DoorDash celebrated Women’s History Month by leveraging women’s interest in supporting their peers’ businesses. They created a “Made by Women” section of the app to allow users to browse women-owned businesses all in one place. Plus, for each order from these restaurants that month, DoorDash donated $1 in support of women culinary entrepreneurs. This campaign allowed DoorDash to both support women-owned restaurants directly and provide support to the non-profit sector.

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How Americans Celebrate the Lunar New Year

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How Americans Celebrate the Lunar New Year
As we enter the Year of the Tiger, learn how Asian American consumers prepare for and celebrate Lunar New Year. Read on for insights curated from our 2021 Holidays & Occasions research.
 

This Lunar New Year begins on February 1st and will say goodbye to the year of the Ox and hello to the year of the Tiger. Lunar New Year marks the beginning of the calendar year for cultures whose months are moon-cycles and notes the transition between different zodiac signs. Celebrations in 2022 will last from February 1st to February 15th. While Lunar New Year is often referred to as Chinese New Year, it is important to note that Non-Chinese cultures that celebrate New Year do not necessarily refer to their holiday as Chinese New Year. For example, South Korean Americans often celebrate Korean New Year and Vietnamese Americans celebrate Tet. Regardless of how they refer to the holiday, almost half of Asian Americans we surveyed told us they celebrate Lunar New Year!

This holiday is really about time with the family and is usually celebrated with having special foods or drinks. Gifting money in red or white envelopes is also a key part of the occasion, generally given from adult to children to pass on a year of good fortune and blessings.

Another key part of this holiday is the climactic ending, through the Lantern Festival. Activities that are part of the Festival include lion and dragon dancing, stilt-walkers, and eating rice balls.

While Asian Americans are split on whether brands should activate on Lunar New Year, very few believe that they should never do it.

If brands do market or advertise about Chinese or Lunar New Year, Asian Americans — especially those who are Chinese and Vietnamese — want them to explain what the holiday is about and why it is important. Sharing stories of people celebrating the holiday, showing how to support Asian Americans and the issues this segment faces, and what people can do to celebrate the holiday also rank quite high.

So what should your brand do if you want to market during the Chinese or Lunar New Year?

  1. Build awareness of what Lunar New Year is and why it is importantPanda Express did just this through an ad campaign in 2021 that taught a young child the important traditions that make up this holiday.
  2. Highlight how your brand supports Lunar New Year through increased representation of the components that make this holiday special (e.g., food, décor). Target offers a great example of this by highlighting Jing Gao on their website. Jing Gao is the Founder and CEO of Fly By Jing and is bringing Chinese flavors to American households. Her brand is now available at Target.
  3. Include Lunar New Year as part of a larger promotion of holidays and occasions celebrated by multicultural consumers. American Girl has done this through their recently released celebration outfits which includes Lunar New Year, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Eid al-Fitr, and Hannukah.

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How Americans Are Celebrating Black History Month

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How Americans Are Celebrating Black History Month
Learn how American consumers across racial and ethnic segments prepare for and celebrate Black History Month. Read on for insights curated from our 2021 Holidays and Occasions research.

January 14th, 2021
Alonzo Bailey – Data Analyst

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Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. The month of February was officially recognized as Black History Month in 1976, as a part of the country’s Bicentennial celebration.

Fill out the form to view a sample from our research on consumer attitudes and behaviors around Black History Month.

Today, over three-fourths of Black Americans celebrate Black History Month, compared to one in four Americans across all racial and ethnic segments.

Most Black Americans Celebrate Black History Month

Nearly a Quarter (24%) of Hispanic and Asian Americans Also Celebrate the Heritage Month.

The most common way Americans participate in Black History Month is by supporting black-owned businesses. Overall, about one in five of Americans do this, with half of all Black Americans likely to do so. Education about Black history and culture and the challenges facing Black Americans today, is also a common way many celebrate the month especially for Black Americans. Multicultural segments overall are more likely to participate in all the methods of celebration of Black History Month than White Americans.

Supporting Black Owned Businesses and Self-Education Art the Most Popular Ways American Celebrate Black History Month

Multicultural Americans are more likely to celebrate black history month than white Americans.

Do you do any of the following to celebrate or acknowledge Black History Month?

Total Pop. Hispanic Black Asian White
Support Black owned businesses
20%
20%
50%
21%
13%
Educate myself about Black history and culture
20%
23%
43%
19%
14%
Educate myself about issues facing Black Americans today
16%
18%
37%
18%
11%
Make of share posts about Black History Month on social media
12%
13%
33%
9%
8%
Buy products that brands/companies release specifically for Black History Month
11%
13%
27%
10%
7%
Donate to charities or non-profits that support Black Americans
10%
9%
22%
10%
7%
Have foods or drinks from Black culture
9%
9%
30%
9%
5%
Attend events celebrating Black culture (e.g., parades, festivals)
7%
8%
27%
8%
3%

In 2021, Barbie celebrated Black History Month by adding a new doll honoring Dr. Maya Angelou to their “Inspiring Women” collection. Started in 2018, the line celebrates real-life role models which includes other Black Women such as Rosa Parks and Ella Fitzgerald. Barbie also pledged “that more than 50% of future Role Models honored will be Black, indigenous, or women of color,” and has committed to supporting Black-focused non-profits.

How have your personal and profession priorities changed due to the COVID pandemic, if at all? Please rate the level of importance being happy and healthy plays in your life today versus one year ago.

Much more or somewhat important:

Fill out the form below to contact us to learn more about our Black Consumer and Holidays & Occasions research.

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Other Recent Black Research Articles & Insights from Collage Group

Alonzo Bailey

Alonzo Bailey
Data Analyst

Alonzo is an Analyst on Collage Group’s Product & Content team. He is a 2019 graduate of Morehouse College. His previous experience includes business and psychological research at Johns Hopkins University – Carey Business School, Columbia Business School, and the University of Maryland.

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America Now: Life Priorities Across Generations

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America Now: Life Priorities Across Generations

This research is part of a series that expands on our 2021 Roundtable Presentation, America Now. Read on for a snapshot of American generations’ current priorities in life.

Understanding Americans’ priorities and life values offers crucial context into how consumers make choices. Personal values often stem from cultural context, such as each generation’s unique upbringing. While one’s outlook on life usually remains stable over time, the pandemic sparked a massive reevaluation of priorities as Americans grappled with uncertainty and unexpected life changes. Brands must stay abreast of these changing consumer tides by getting back to basics: understanding their target consumers on a core level through current attitudinal and values-based data.

Fill out the form to view a sample from our research presentation,  America Now: How We Have Changed Since 2020.

America Now

In a recent study, Collage Group asked Americans about the top three things they consider important to living a good life (such as good health, financial stability, healthy relationships, a job that they love, being well-educated, or experiencing new things). Our data shows that younger Americans tend to desire a more well-rounded lifestyle, spreading priorities across many of these areas of life. Older generations, by contrast, approach life more traditionally—strongly valuing health and finances while de-emphasizing other topics.

These generational differences can be partly explained by socio-historical context. Boomers and Gen Xers grew up during a time period where the ethos was the “American dream.” Hard work was—and still is—highly valued by them and viewed as a direct path to success.

Just decades later, Millennials and Gen Zers each came of age in a rapidly changing world with turbulent political and economic circumstances (Millennials, the 2008 recession; Gen Z, the COVID-19 pandemic). This upbringing tainted their worldview, calling the “American dream” into question entirely. In turn, younger generations cope with cynicism by taking on a “YOLO” (“you only live once”) attitude. They try to enjoy life while they can rather than wasting too much of their life working towards a version of success they’ll never attain.

While historical context explains a core part of each generation’s outlook on life, it doesn’t mean that people’s attitudes and values are locked in permanently. Times of massive change and uncertainty, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, can be the spark for deep realignment of social values. We are already seeing this trend in our data.

For example, Gen X and Boomers, two generations that have historically valued more traditional life goals and prioritized work over happiness. When asked explicitly about how their personal and professional priorities changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, two-thirds say that being happy and healthy is more important than it was a year prior. In fact, the data is on par with Gen Z and Millennials. This is evidence of values shifting and even converging across generations. Moreover, this data point indicates that wellness is a growing area of opportunity for the total market despite conventional wisdom that it’s a Gen Z and Millennial fad.

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America Now: Acculturation and Afro-Hispanic Identity

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America Now: Acculturation & Afro-Hispanic Identity

This research is part of a series that expands on our 2021 Roundtable Presentation, America Now. Read on to learn how acculturation and race impact Hispanic identity.

As more Americans embrace intersectional identities, you may be wondering what that means for the Hispanic population which is anything but monolithic. One of the most talked about intersections in recent years are Afro-Hispanics (sometimes referred to as Afro-Latinos), individuals with origins in Spanish speaking countries that identify as black or African American.

Fill out the form to view a sample from our research presentation,  America Now: How We Have Changed Since 2020.

America Now

According to recent data from the Pew Research Center, 15 percent of Hispanic adults self-describe as having darker skin. This proportion largely tracks with Collage Group’s data from September 2021, in which 22 percent of Hispanic respondents do not identify as “White” and about 12 percent identify as Black or African American.

Within this sub-set, Black Hispanics balance the importance of their racial identity and Hispanic heritage. Among respondents identifying as both Black and Hispanic, 45 percent – almost half – say their race is one of the most important components of the way they describe themselves. Just over half – 51 percent – say the same of their Hispanic or Latino heritage.

For these Black Hispanics, racial identity is important partially because they believe it puts them at a disadvantage in society. Pew finds that about 6 in 10 Hispanic adults agree that:

    • Having a darker skin color hurts Latinos’ ability to get ahead
    • Having a lighter skin color helps Latinos’ ability to get ahead
    • Skin colors shape their daily lives and experiences

Given these high numbers, and recent controversies over colorism in the casting in productions like In the Heights and Crazy Rich Asians, it’s essential for brands to recognize the importance of diversity within multicultural segments. And it’s clear that Afro-Hispanic Americans aren’t impressed with how they’re currently being portrayed.

While a slim majority of Hispanic Americans say they’re satisfied with how their ethnicity is portrayed in advertisements, most Black Americans are not, and even fewer Afro-Hispanic Americans say they like what they see when it comes to seeing themselves in ads. Further, Afro-Hispanics’ dissatisfaction with their portrayals in advertisements demonstrates the importance of telling diverse, culturally-nuanced stories in marketing content. Even though a brand may be working towards creating content more inclusive of Hispanic and Black consumers, that might not translate to intersectional identity segments of Americans.

Here are three suggestions for marketing to consumers who navigate between their Black and Hispanic identities:

    1. Don’t make them choose. Black and Hispanic identity are both salient for this segment, but many feel “forced to choose” between their identities. Reinforce the empowering idea that they can identify as both fully Black and Hispanic.
    2. Find country-of-origin intersections. Many Caribbean and Latin American communities are predominantly Black, challenging American conceptions of race and ethnicity. Tell stories from their perspective to ensure they feel authentically portrayed.
    3. Be inclusive of the overlap. Black Hispanics are just as much part of the Black community as they are the Hispanic community. Represent this segment and their needs in marketing to both Black and Hispanic consumers.
  1.  

Other Data Notes:

Among Biracial Hispanic/Black Americans, 58% say their race is important to their identity, while only 15% say their Hispanic/Latino heritage. Race is the most important identity consideration for this population, at 32%, and 13% say Hispanic/Latino heritage takes first spot.

Acculturation associates with increased importance of Ethnicity, lessened importance of race. Unacculturated/Bicultural Hispanics are MORE likely to say being Hispanic/Latino is important to them.

Gen X is most likely to say Hispanic/Latino heritage is the most important identity consideration (49%).

Source: Pew Research, “Majority of Latinos Say Skin Color Impacts Opportunity in America and Shapes Daily Life,” November 4, 2021

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America Now: Economic Inequality

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America Now: Economic Inequality

This research is part of a series that expands on our 2021 Roundtable Presentation, America Now. Read on to learn how Americans feel about income inequality in the United States today.

Income inequality is a significant issue in the United States today, especially for many non-White Americans. Data from the Federal Reserve shows that the top 10 percent of earners in the country hold almost 70 percent of the nation’s wealth. And findings from the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances reveal that White families’ median wealth ($188,200) is almost eight times that of Black families ($24,100) and five times that of Hispanic ($36,100) families. Brands and companies have an opportunity to connect with diverse America by understanding their perceptions on income inequality and taking steps to address the gap.

In a recent survey, we asked Americans how serious of a problem they feel economic inequality to be in the country today. While almost half of all Americans believe it’s a “serious problem”, Black and Hispanic Americans were much more likely to hold this belief. Non-Hispanic White respondents are clearly divided on this issue based on party affiliation – with 60% of White Democrats viewing it as a serious problem compared to only 26% of Republicans.

Multicultural Americans – Especially Black Americans – Are More Likely to See Economic Inquality as a Serious Problem in the Country

White Democrats Are Far More Likely than White Republicans to View it as Such

% of respondents who rated economic inequality in the country today as a very serious problem

* White demographic breakdown: Democrat 60%, Republican 26%, Other 40%

Further, when asked what political and societal issues were most important to them in today’s climate, 27% of Black Americans named reducing economic inequality followed closely by Asian Americans (24%) and Hispanic Americans (22%). For White Americans, the percentage who listed reducing economic inequality as a top three priority issue, was far lower. However, far more White Democratic Americans listed it as a top issue.

Multicultural Americans Are Also More Likely than White Americans to Believe that Reducing Economic Inequality is Personally Important 

One reason may be the wealth gap between white American and black and Hispanic Americans. 

Reducing economic inequality is one of the three most important issues to me:

* White demographic breakdown: Democrat 24%, Republican 8%, Other 14%

And it is not just that multicultural Americans are more sensitive to income inequality—they’re also more willing to reward brands that take active steps to reduce it. In fact, 40% of Asian Americans, 39% of Black Americans, and 34% of Hispanic Americans share this sentiment, compared to just 27% of White Americans. Again, White Democrats are more closely aligned to the multicultural segment – 43% of White Democrats are more likely to buy from brands who support reducing income inequality, compared to only 15% of White Republicans.

And They Are More Likely to Reward Brands that Step Up in this Space

White Democrats align closely to the Multicultural Segment in their preferences; 30% of Americans are more likely to buy from brands that support reducing income inequality.

* White demographic breakdown: Democrat 43%, Republican 15%, Other 24%

Now you may be thinking, what can my brand do to address a systemic issue as challenging as income inequality? The answer: quite a lot! Below are some examples of what brands and companies are doing.
    • Costco, among other retailers, recently raised their minimum wage way above state and federal mandates. The move resulted in significant media attention.
    • Mastercard has launched the Center for Inclusive Growth ; their twitter page (@CNTR4growth), provides daily updates and insights for the public.
    • Noodles & Co teamed up with the app Even to offer instant pay options to their employees as well as a suite of financial wellness tools that include budgeting and organizational guidance.
Sources:
    • Federal Reserve Data. “Distribution of Household Wealth in the U.S. Since 1989.” October 2021.
    • Federal Reserve Data. “Disparities in Wealth by Race and Ethnicity in the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances.” Sept 28, 2020.
    • ABC News. “Costco raises minimum wage to $17 an hour as businesses hike pay to retain workers.” October 28, 2021.
    • Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. Mastercardcenter.org
    • Payments Dive. “Noodles & Co. teams with Even.com on financial wellness benefits.” September 16, 2019.

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Collage Group Case Study | Cell

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Collage Group Case Study | Cell

INDUSTRY: TECHNOLOGY

GLOBAL CORPERATE REVENUE: $183 BILLION

Learn how the world’s leading brands are applying Collage Group’s cultural insights to drive authenticity in marketing that improves cultural resonance.

To demonstrate the company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, a global brand of consumer electronic devices planned an integrated brand campaign for Pride Month. As an organization, their objective was to engage multicultural audiences authentically and sustain conversation with diverse consumers. The electronic devices company aimed to shine a light on intersectionality of the communities they seek to engage throughout the year, specifically Black trans women. They saw an opportunity in Pride Month to show up as a brand to support the LGBTQ+ community, going deeper than they had in previous years. This was a key moment for the electronic devices company to elevate the stories and truths of underrepresented communities and carry optimism and advocacy forward throughout the year.

CHALLENGE

A global brand of electronic devices sought insight into how to activate LGBTQ+ consumers, with a specific focus on Black trans women. The Marketing Lead wanted to link category preferences to key segment insights to develop a creative brief for their ad agency for a Pride Month Campaign.

SOLUTION

Using Collage Group’s proprietary CultureRate:Ad data on advertising performance and the Cultural Traits of LGBTQ+ consumers, the company clarified the story line for the creative brief that grounded product features and category specific interests in an appreciation of Cultural Traits and was able to link these to the traits of LGBTQ+ allies. The Marketing Lead rethought the brief in a way that significantly expanded the audience without losing focus on LGBTQ+.  

Tying Objectives to Insights

Collage Group provided the insight and guidance needed to reposition the creative brief to significantly expand its appeal to a larger audience without losing focus on the target segment.

Category-level detail asked for by the client served as a useful, practical starting point for connecting with specific demographics.

OBJECTIVE

More deeply understand LGBTQ+ preferences for consumer electronic device usage.

COLLAGE RESOURCES, DATA & TOOLS

Category Essentials-Media specific to LGBTQ+ consumers provided a range of insights into streaming consumption, social media behavior, and device usage.   

Connecting the Dots

But to connect the dots, Collage’s deep dive into cultural insights allowed brand leaders to interpret the category-level detail into broader strategy and application of the insights.

OBJECTIVES

Immerse in LGBTQ+ cultural experience.

COLLAGE RESOURCES, DATA & TOOLS

Webinars and in-depth Q&A presentations on LGBTQ+ Cultural Traits revealed crucial Cultural Traits that could clarify the storyline particularly on the importance of a highly diverse friend group and low levels of “rootedness” or family ties.

Evaluate the cultural resonance of recent brand and recent ads with LGBTQ+ consumers.

Webinars on understanding Culturally Fluent ads provided essential guidance on casting, stories, and authentic representation.

 

Detailed CultureRate evaluations of recent alcoholic beverage ads leading with Black trans women and registering high Cultural Fluency were used to build confidence in the potential for allyship appeal.

Lean into LGBTQ+ Passion Points that reveal where the segment’s culture comes to life.

Webinars and Presentations on LGBTQ+ Passion Points revealed specific activities including music and fashion preferences that would inform creative decision making.

Putting Insights Into Action

Relying on these insights, and SME support from Collage Group’s in-culture subject matter experts, the Marketing Lead was able to develop a much more powerful creative brief.

Instead of relying solely on insights into the preferences of the (very small albeit visible) segment of Black trans women,  the Marketing Lead was able to reframe the campaign around the much more lucrative combination of this segment and its allies. The following actions were taken:

    • Oriented messaging around Cosmopolitan and Self-Expression, key traits of both LGBTQ+ and Black consumers.
    • Associated electronic device usage with the nuances of specific Passion Points appealing to LGBTQ+ people, including fashion and music.
    • Better positioned the product’s innovative camera features important to photography of diverse friend groups and community members.

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