Member Stories: Meet the Brands Winning With Today’s Consumers (Cultural Fluency Examples)

The world’s leading brands are effectively using cultural intelligence to fuel growth with today’s high-growth consumer segments. Here we outline the importance of cultural fluency to guarantee the success of marketing campaigns, and include examples from our member brands.

Reading Time: 7 minutes

May 3, 2024
David Evans – Chief Insights Officer

Collage Group’s Member Stories offer real-world examples of effective marketing campaigns. This installment showcases the brands that demonstrate cultural fluency, serving as a source of inspiration. Explore how cultural fluency underpins the success of each marketing endeavor.

Hear directly from Collage Group’s members as they share their invaluable insights on this topic. Each reveals how mastering cultural fluency has propelled them toward their marketing goals. Plus, discover how Collage Group has played a pivotal role in this journey.

    • What Is Cultural Fluency?
      • Why Successful Marketing Depends on Cultural Fluency
    • Brands in the Spotlight: 8 Cultural Fluency Examples That Resonate With Today’s Consumer
      • Example #1: Walmart
      • Example #2: Subaru
      • Example #3: Netflix
      • Example #4: Costco Wholesale
      • Example #5: Adidas
      • Example #6: Microsoft
      • Example #7: Sprite
      • Example #8: Visa
    • Begin Your Cultural Fluency Journey With Collage Group

What Is Cultural Fluency?

As defined in Collage Group’s Cultural Fluency 4-Step Roadmap, cultural fluency is: 

“…the ability to use cultural intelligence to efficiently and effectively connect with diverse America across different consumer segments. Culturally adept brands strategically redefine conventional norms by placing multicultural and diverse segments at the core of operations. These brands harness the power of data and analytics to decipher and navigate cultural complexity and nuance. They ingeniously employ culture-specific elements that not only target specific segments but also captivate broader audiences, a phenomenon often referred to as the ‘halo effect.” – Cultural Fluency 4-Step Roadmap, Collage Group 

Why Does Successful Marketing Depend on Cultural Fluency?

Cultural fluency needs to be a part of everything we do, from our employees to the partnerships we’re working with, ensuring we put out the right research to demonstrate that cultural fluency is imperative and not optional.” – Ariella Williams, Disney Advertising

From a business standpoint, embracing cultural fluency is crucial for the success of every marketing campaign. That is, cultural fluency:

    • Ensures marketing activities connect with the new U.S. mainstream.
    • Creates authentic and relatable brand experiences.
    • Ensures targeted and genuine interactions.

Cultural Fluency Ensures Marketing Connects With the New U.S. Mainstream

In today’s landscape, diverse segments are the new mainstream that drive market growth. This diversity encompasses both demographic and psychographic dimensions, with key shifts including: 

    • The Growing Influence of Younger Generations: With over 50% of Generation Z identifying as multicultural and 33% as LGBTQ+, brands that champion individuality and inclusivity are gaining traction among these consumers.
    • Changing Gender and Identity Dynamics: By 2030, women are expected to oversee $10-20 trillion in investable assets, reshaping consumer markets and influencing purchasing patterns.
    • Multicultural Expansion: Over 140 million Americans belong to diverse ethnic groups, driving more than 65% of expenditure growth.
    • Increasing Expectation for Brand Advocacy: A remarkable 72% of Americans expect brands to take a stand on social issues, preferring those that reflect their values.
    • Urbanization and Its Impact on Household Economics: Urban and rural demographics are reshaping shopping behaviors, brand loyalties, and purchasing trends, with one in five Americans now residing in rural areas

As a company, we are creators of conviviality. This means we aim to foster connections among people. Connections are made when people share a ‘cheers’ while having a drink or find a common language, so having cultural fluency really opens that door.” – Christian Arango, Pernod Ricard

In response to this changing landscape, brands must understand the values of different consumer segments. Think: How are the beliefs and priorities of my consumers impacted by their unique values?

Having this understanding is a marketing imperative. 

Paramount is a huge global brand reaching many diverse audiences, including multicultural ones, and so for us, cultural intelligence is at the helm of what we do and how we aim to reach our audiences.” – Karen Vega-Porcelli, Paramount Advertising

Cultural Fluency Creates Authentic and Relatable Brand Experiences

We’re a beverage alcohol company, so we sell liquid, but what people are truly buying from us are experiences.” – John Mutterperi, Campari Group

As a marketer, you not only promote a brand but you also sell an experience. And crafting engaging and relatable experiences depends on your understanding of people. 

Your goal is to align your brand’s portfolio with the diverse moments celebrated in the lives of different consumer segments. To do this, you need to know how culture shapes these celebrations – you need to be culturally fluent.

Cultural Fluency Ensures Targeted, Intentional, and Genuine Interactions

At Urban One, we are focused on the Black consumer, encompassing any and all things related to Black people, and so cultural fluency is especially important to us. I believe the majority of the staff at our organization is part of the Black community. However, when you get into different segments and try to target them, people, in general, need to understand that Black people aren’t a monolith.” – Audrey Cochran, Urban One

Your marketing campaigns must connect with consumers personally. As such, cultural fluency needs to be embedded into the DNA of every marketing initiative. It needs to be an integral part of everything your brand does.

Brands in the Spotlight: 8 Cultural Fluency Examples That Resonate With Today’s Consumer

Unlocking the power of cultural intelligence is essential for mastering the art of cultural fluency. With this in mind, Collage Group’s fluen.ci application and insight reports give the tools you need to fully engage diverse America. As you read through each marketing example, you’ll gain a glimpse of how fluen.ci drives cultural understanding with invaluable consumer-, brand- and category-specific reports.Collage Group is the only cultural intelligence engine that fuses together consumer, industry, and brand insights on the why behind consumer behavior, so brands can fuel immediate growth. The team focuses on assessing and educating brands across three primary components of cultural intelligence that every brand needs to win

    1. Consumer fundamentals: cultural traits, demographics, passion points, seasonal experiences, media habits, and the evolving political and social values of these consumers.
    2. Category essentials: the needs, preferences, and behaviors across 14 different industries. From health care to financial services, to food and beverage, and everything in between.
    3. Resonance of your brands and ads in the marketplace, and why they pop.

In this article, you’ll learn why industry-leading brands turn to Collage Group for cultural intelligence and strategic expertise. Today, these brands speak to you! Each highlights the importance of mastering cultural fluency to obtain their marketing goals. Explore the factors contributing to each campaign’s success, enabling you to apply these learnings to your work.

Fill out the form to access these case examples:

Example #1: Walmart

 

Example #2: Subaru

Example #3: Netflix

Example #4: Costco Wholesale

Example #5: Adidas

Example #6: Microsoft

Example #7: Sprite

Example #8: Visa

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Embark on Your Cultural Fluency Journey with Collage Group

How has Collage Group not helped? We are very fortunate to be partners and to work alongside Collage. From internal meetings about terminology, and multicultural understanding, and keeping our focus, to very specific tailored programs and research they’ve conducted for us, Collage has been integral to Pernod Ricard’s multicultural journey.” – Christian Arango, Pernod Ricard

Collage Group serves as a pivotal ally for marketers striving to elevate the cultural fluency of their campaigns. From tailored programs to invaluable research, Collage Group ensures your marketing resonates with diverse Americans. Harness the power of Fluen.ci‘s dynamic platform and cultural insights to forge connections that extend beyond your target audience, creating a lasting halo effect.

Fluen.ci is an incredibly dynamic product that allows you to assess the cultural fluency of your brand in real time. It’s incredibly powerful to have that information at your fingertips for reviewing both your brand and your competition

…It meticulously measures brands across six key dimensions that we’ve thoroughly studied and understood as pivotal drivers of cultural fluency. These dimensions are, in turn, predictive of brand favorability and purchase intent.” – Victor Paredes, Collage Group  

Uncover how your brand compares across consumer segments and measure these rankings against competitors using Fluen.ci’s Brand360 and Head-to-Head dashboards. These dynamic tools offer invaluable insights for strategic decision-making.

fluen.ci’s Brand360 leverages over 12 years of rich cultural research to unlock consumer insights necessary for brand growth. This AI-powered application provides Collage Group members with instant access to deeper, more actionable data. Gain a 360-degree view of your diverse American audience across different consumer psychographics, values, beliefs, habits, and attitudes to identify growth opportunities.

But that’s not all. Collage Group members can also preload fluen.ci’s Head-to-Head dashboards with thousands of brands, to view each side-by-side for quick identification of opportunities, threats, and inspiration. That’s over 499,500 different comparison combinations! 

If you have a growth opportunity with Gen Z or Hispanics or Black consumers or White Gen Z, for instance, you’re able to pinpoint exactly that dimension or component that you need to focus on, and then leverage the syndicated insights to help you understand what you need to be doing differently…” – Zekeera Belton, Collage Group 

Identify gaps in your branding and messaging strategy, and benchmark your brand against competitors and industry leaders. Use these insights to inform strategies for product bundling, development, messaging, positioning, and pricing

In summary, fluen.ci provides the strategic understanding necessary to optimize your marketing campaigns. Plus, you can assess how your brand stacks up against competitors, helping you maintain a competitive edge in diverse America.

It is critical for us to have partners who provide us with guidance, and data, and even to internally help our teams with training on how to leverage these massive amounts of insights and intelligence. That’s exactly what we’ve been doing – attending webinars, asking questions, collaborating on thought leadership pieces, and providing commentary on the industry as a whole…” – Karen Vega-Porcelli, Paramount Advertising

Join the brands that are prioritizing cultural fluency to better engage and connect with diverse America. Sign up for Collage Group today to get started

I’m excited to continue this journey. I think there are so many different topics that are ongoing and relevant to all of the different audiences.” – Ariella Williams, Disney Advertising

Other Recent Research Articles & Insights from Collage Group

David Evans

David Evans

David serves as the Chief Insights Officer responsible for all syndicated content and thought leadership. He is passionate about leading the teams that reveal insights into consumers that can transform the fortunes of our members, make these actionable in our products and experience, and build great places to work.

Before joining Collage Group in 2018, David served in a variety of senior roles in data, analytics and syndicated research organizations, including Cushman & Wakefield as Strategic Advisor, CoStar Group as Vice President of Research, and the White House where he founded the Office of Executive Councils in 2011. From 1998 to 2009, he worked at the Corporate Executive Board (now Gartner), serving ultimately as Chief Researcher for a $100 million division covering eight major business units.

David holds a Diploma (M.Arch equivalent) from the Architectural Association in London and an M.B.A. from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Before pursuing a business career, David worked as an architect in the UK, France and Germany, and published and exhibited widely. David was born in London to American and Canadian parents. He lives in Bethesda with his wife Juliette Searight and younger Generation Alpha daughter, while avidly following his older Generation Z daughter’s journey into adulthood in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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