Collage Group Raises $25 Million in Growth Capital to Continue to Fuel Member Engagement with Diverse Consumers

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Collage Group Raises $25 Million in Growth Capital to Continue to Fuel Member Engagement with Diverse Consumers

June 29, 2022
David Wellisch – CEO and Co-Founder

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With deep humility, pride, and excitement, I would like to take this opportunity to announce that Collage Group has raised $25 million in growth capital led by Boston-based growth equity firm Wavecrest Growth Partners, with participation from Dennis Ainge, an industry veteran and investor.  This new funding will be used to continue to accelerate our robust growth and further invest in our technology infrastructure and product innovation, thus continuing to support America’s iconic consumer brands in their journey toward Cultural Fluency.

I could not be more grateful for the honor and opportunity that our brand partners have provided our team, allowing us to serve as their cultural partner. I am truly inspired by the current moment and feel responsible to continue to innovate given today’s complex climate in America. Such forward-looking development will help brands to continue to super serve Diverse America, and, in doing so, amplify the voices of under-represented consumers. I would also like to take this occasion to thank our talented team at Collage Group, who are mission driven, committed to the cause, and at the ready to do what it takes to serve our member brands.

As America’s demographic landscape continues to shift through the accelerated growth of diverse consumers, it is imperative for brands to deeply understand this cultural transformation across race, ethnicity, generation, sexuality, and family relationships. Collage Group was founded on this mission­–to help corporations unleash the power of culture to drive brand growth.

Since 2009, we’ve grown our first mover Cultural Intelligence Platform to be the leading SaaS platform in the space, which now includes four unique data and insights offerings–Multicultural, Generations, LGBTQ+ & Gender and Parents & Kids. The insights and best practices available in the Platform, as well as our custom research and advisory solutions, offer more than 250 of America’s iconic brands continued support. Effectively engaging and resonating with today’s American consumer is a challenging mandate. Our insights, data, and tools have become an important enabler to effectively engage and connect with diverse America, while at the same time generate incremental ROI.

Our investors echo our excitement:

“The spending power of diverse consumers represents most of the potential growth opportunity for America’s leading B2C brands. Furthermore, the current U.S. social environment necessitates a greater understanding of the wants and needs of these consumers. We believe Collage Group provides an essential data and service offering to empower and enable revenue growth, and its traction with over 250 top brands speaks for itself. We’re very excited to be partnering with David and his team to help them capitalize on the market opportunity. Our investment will continue to fuel the company’s growth by expanding the depth of their team, their technological infrastructure and product innovation, and their sales and marketing efforts.”

- Deepak Sindwani, Managing Partner at Wavecrest

“During the past seven years, I’ve watched David assemble an incredible team of professionals who have a passion for evangelizing the benefits of Collage Group’s unique solutions for America’s top brands. The strength of this team, Collage Group’s existing and planned solutions, and the combined value-add of the Wavecrest team guarantees a very bright future for Collage Group and the more than 250 brands they support.”

- Dennis Ainge, founding executive of TARGUSinfo and former Neustar executive

Contact us at the form below if you would like to learn more about our offerings and the many ways that we can help you and/or other teams at your company in your journey to Cultural Fluency.

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David Wellisch

David Wellisch
CEO and Co-Founder

David Wellisch is CEO & Co-Founder of Collage Group, a consumer insights and intelligence company with a focus on research exploring race/ethnicity, generation, sexuality and gender. Since the inception of Collage Group in 2009, David has led the company through growth, now serving more than 200 brands in across 15 industries. David is passionate about entrepreneurship and company building, and often works directly with members to help guide the integration of multicultural consumer insights and marketing strategies.

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New Diverse Consumer Insights for Q3 2022

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New Diverse Consumer Insights for Q3 2022

More than 250 of America’s top brands have access to the deep cultural insights needed to engage America’s diverse consumers. Do you?

June 27, 2022
David Evans – Chief Product Officer

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Here’s an overview of the new reports we’re releasing in Q3 2022 and beyond that you’re missing out on. 

Read on and fill out the form to contact us today to learn how you can gain access:

Passion Points

Discover each segment’s core passion points: the activities and areas of life of deep interest to consumers. These are the “things” that consumers prioritize when spending their time, money, and attention. Our research helps you engage diverse consumer groups based on their interests in food, fashion, sports, fitness, music, movies, TV shows, games, home improvement, and travel.

Understand & Embrace Multicultural Terminology – Update

Engage culture with a deep understanding of the words that define it. In this newly updated report, we cover diverse consumer perceptions of traditional terminology (Black, Hispanic, Latino, Asian American), cross-segment terminology (People of Color), and novel terms such as BIPOC and LatinX. Dig deeper into the labels and/or identifiers each consumer segment prefers and double-click by age, gender and more.

Activate American Parents through Culture: 2

Build connections with American parents with these consumer insights that differentiate parents from their non-parent peers along two dimensions: 1) their cultural values and related attitudes, and 2) their media habits. This presentation unveils in-depth profiles of both moms and dads through the lenses of both gender and race/ethnicity.

The Next Frontier: Young Gen Z and Older Gen Alpha

Learn more about America’s next frontier of consumers with this deep dive into kids between the ages of 9 and 17. This research applies the lenses of both gender and race/ethnicity to create cultural profiles that reveal similarities and differences among these young Americans. Join us and explore their attitudes and behaviors across key categories.

Media Habits and Channels

Build deeper connections with Americans through media with a deep dive into diverse consumer attitudes and behaviors across visual, social and audio channels. This research supports engagement and targeting with data including core locations of media consumption, the role of influencers, the Metaverse, potential disruptors, and key changes from 2021.

Contact us at the form below to learn more about how you can gain access to these diverse consumer insights and much more in our Cultural Intelligence Platform.

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David Evans
Chief Product Officer

David serves as the Chief Product Officer responsible for content, data products, and innovation. He is passionate about creating amazing products and building great places to work.

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Essentials of Black Consumers

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Essentials of Black Consumers
Collage Group’s Essentials of Black Consumers presentation explores three areas of our consumer fundamentals research: demographics and economic opportunity, identity, and Group Traits.

June 17, 2022
Sudipti Kumar – Associate Director

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Black Americans are an important U.S. consumer segment, and their population and economic power are growing. Brands must better understand this influential consumer group to effectively engage with them through their marketing and advertising.

Collage Group’s Essentials of Black Consumers explores three areas of our consumer fundamentals research: demographics, identity, and Group Traits to help your brand authentically connect with Black Americans.

Read on and fill out the form for an excerpt from our Essentials of Black Consumers presentation.

Key Insight #1

Black Americans are a a large, diverse, and economically powerful segment.

Implication

Recognize and celebrate the diversity of the Black segment in America by including Multiracial, Afro-Latino, and Non-Hispanic Black Americans in your marketing.

Key Insight #2

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.

Black Americans identify stronger with their race than other Americans

Implication

Understand the historical context for Black Americans in this country and develop a clear strategy to holistically and authentically support the Black community over the long term.

Key Insight #3

Black Americans’ are increasingly unsatisfied with how they are portrayed in advertising.

Most Black Americans are not satisfied with their portrayals in advertising.

Implication

When portraying Black Americans, showcase their daily lives authentically and in ways that are culturally relevant and relatable. Actively pursue diverse marketing teams to provide more accurate portrayals of Black consumers’ lives.

Key Insight #4

There are four unique Group Traits important to understanding Black Americans: Determined, Real, Believing, and Forward-Thinking.

2022 Black American Group Traits

Implication

Utilize the Group Traits as ways to connect with Black Americans authentically. For example, to activate on determined, demonstrate how your brand can help Black Americans reach their goals by staying on track and getting to the finish line.

Contact us at the form below to learn more about how you can gain access to these diverse consumer insights and much more in our Cultural Intelligence Platform.

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Sudipti Kumar
Associate Director

Sudipti is an Associate Director on Collage Group’s Product and Content team. She is a graduate from NYU’s Stern School of Business where she studied finance and marketing, and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs where she received her Masters in Public Administration. In her spare time, Sudipti enjoys reading, cooking, and learning to crochet.

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Engaging Women Small Business Owners

Engaging Women Small Business Owners

Small businesses drive the American economy, and the number of women-owned small businesses is growing. Read on for more information about how to connect with women small business owners by understanding how they see themselves, their goals, challenges, and motivations for partnering with larger companies.

June 16, 2022
Jenny Wolski – Analyst

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Nearly all private businesses in the U.S. are small businesses and 1.2 million of those companies are women-owned. The number of women-owned small businesses is growing, and women small business owners are highly engaged in the day-to-day decisions about their business. As a result, women small business owners make up an important segment with whom marketers and larger businesses should engage and build partnerships. In our recent Small Business Owners Study we look at small business owner’s identity, future outlook, operations, and relationship with larger companies. Read below for highlights of the study related to women small business owners and download the deck for the full picture.

Key Insight #1

Women small business owners self-identify as purposeful individuals who think about their impact on the world and value community involvement. They possess a strong desire to have their business connect to other women in their community.

Women small business owners are determined to make a difference in their communities

Implication:

Women small business owners see themselves as perseverant, conscientious, and community-oriented, so focus in on those attributes in your communication with the segment.

Key Insight #2

Women small business owners are feeling less confident than men small business owners about the current health of their business. As a result of a more tepid business outlook, they are less likely to aim for expansion.

Women small business owners are less likely to report improvements in their business

Implication:

Recognize that women small business owners haven’t had the easiest year and focus communications on how your company may be able to lend a hand.

Key Insight #3

Women small business owners are hands-on leaders that play a significant— if not complete role— when making operational decisions including benefits, finance, technology, etc.

Implication:

Address marketing communication directly to women small business owners. Despite their busy and varied schedules, owners are usually at the heart of their company’s day-to-day decisions.

Key Insight #4

Women small business owners are looking for product innovation partnerships with large companies.

Implication:

Provide women small business owners with the tools and knowledge they need to innovate.

Contact us at the form below to learn more about how you can gain access to these diverse consumer insights and much more in our Cultural Intelligence Platform.

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Jenny Wolski

Jenny Wolski
Analyst

Jenny is an Analyst on Collage Group’s Product & Content team. She is a 2021 graduate from The George Washington University where she studied Statistics and Sociology. In her spare time, Jenny is often on a hike enjoying nature.

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How Great Brands are Supporting the LGBTQ+ Community

How Great Brands are Supporting the LGBTQ+ Community

Collage Group was delighted to have hosted more than 100 consumer insights professionals for a conversation with diversity, marketing and research leaders from the American Cancer Society, Paramount Global, UnitedHealth Group / Optum and Pernod Ricard USA.

June 7, 2022
Jill Rosenfeld – Senior Analyst

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During this presentation, brand leaders shared real-world examples of how they are using diverse consumer insights to support the rights of and improving the lives of LGBTQ+ Americans.
    • Alexander Cammy, Manager, Insights & Cultural Intelligence, Paramount Global.
    • Gina Debogovich, Senior Director, Marketing, UnitedHealth Group / Optum.
    • Tawana Thomas-Johnson, Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, The American Cancer Society.
    • Katherine Chen, Manager, Multicultural & Inclusive Marketing, Pernod Ricard USA.

Read on and fill out the form for the replay and excerpt from our
Pride Month presentation.

The LGBTQ+ segment is a complex, multifaceted group that’s often ignored or misrepresented in advertising. In fact, more than six in ten LGBTQ+ consumers are not satisfied with how people of their sexuality are portrayed in advertising. But representation alone is not enough to prove that your brand cares about the LGBTQ+ community.

Brands today must understand LGBTQ+ people on a multitude of levels—from their demographics to how they identify and even what they value—to effectively understand and engage them.

The Collage Group insights, presented by Senior Research Analyst Jill Rosenfeld, include results from a survey on the LGBTQ+ community’s lived experiences, demographic profile, and attitudes and behaviors specific to Pride Month.

The insights presented were created as part of our member research program, LGBTQ+ & Gender, launched in January 2021. As the leading source of consumer insights about diverse America, we are thrilled to share these insights into sexuality and gender identity with you.

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Jill Rosenfeld

Jill Rosenfeld
Analyst

Jill is an Analyst on Collage Group’s Product & Content team. She is a 2018 graduate from the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. In her spare time, Jill enjoys exploring Washington DC’s restaurant scene and practicing yoga.

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Essentials of Millennial Consumers

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Essentials of Millennial Consumers
Collage Group’s Essentials of Millennial Consumers presentation explores three areas of our consumer fundamentals research: demographics and segment context, identity, and Group Traits.

May 26, 2022
Giana Damianos – Senior Analyst, Syndicated Research

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Millennials are one of America’s most diverse generations to date. Almost half of the segment is multicultural, and more than one in ten identify as LGBTQ+. Millennials today range in age from 26 to 42, placing them squarely in the midst of some transformational lifestages – including their prime career years as well as parenthood. In their lifetimes, Millennials have lived through not one, but two, major periods of change: the Great Recession, and then the COVID-19 pandemic. The Millennial worldview has been irrevocably shaped by coming of age under these circumstances.

Read on and fill out the form for an excerpt from our Essentials of Millennial Consumers presentation.

Millennials are a generation that’s taken a lot of blame and ridicule. They’re often stereotyped as “self-centered, immature, snowflakes”—yet evidence shows that they’re smart, strategic, hardworking, and compassionate. And while they may be fun-loving and experiential, “Millennial” can no longer be synonymous with “youth.”

Brands today must understand Millennials on a multitude of levels—from their demographics to how they identify and even what they value—to effectively understand and engage them.

Collage Group’s Essentials of Millennial Consumers explores three areas of our consumer fundamentals research: demographicsidentity, and Group Traits to help your brand authentically connect with Millennials.

Download the attached presentation above and take a look at a few key insights and action steps:

Key Finding #1: Demographics & Segment Context

Millennials are delaying important life milestones, such as having kids and buying houses, primarily in response to challenging financial circumstances.

A Deeper Look:

Millennials have been impacted by difficult circumstances time and time again: the Great Recession, high unemployment, student debt crisis, and then the COVID-19 pandemic.

Action Step:

Give Millennials credit for the storms they’ve weathered. Validation goes a long way with this segment. Steer clear of stereotypes or tropes, even if intended as a lighthearted joke.

Key Takeaway #2: Identity

While parenthood is becoming an important aspect of Millennial identity given their life-stage, many are instead opting to be “child-free by choice.”

A Deeper Look:

Millennials’ financial setbacks and stunted entry into “adulthood” have caused many to feel unprepared and ill-equipped to raise children. Today’s turbulent social, political, and environmental problems further compound feelings of uncertainty around parenthood.

Action Step:

Normalize Millennials’ choice to not have kids by sending an empowering message that becoming parents isn’t an essential step on the road to fulfillment – and being childless by choice is equally valid.

Lean into Millennials’ “cool aunt” vibe by framing your product/service as a point of connection for them to show up in the lives of their friends or family members children.

Key Finding #3: Millennial Group Trait – Worldly

Millennials welcome diversity, prioritize new experiences, and pride themselves in being knowledgeable of many cultures.

A Deeper Look:

Millennials are an inherently diverse and highly educated generation with access to huge amounts of worldly information at their fingertips. These factors drive their intense interest in culture. Their desire for experiences is further compounded by the material things they desire feeling out of reach.

Action Step:

Play into Millennials’ gravitation towards cultural knowledge by pairing it with an experience. They want to both learn and do.

Feature cultural elements in your advertising to capture Millennial’s interest.

Key Finding #4: Millennial Group Trait – Connection-Seeking

Millennials are more expressive than other generations and use this as a tool to forge connections with others.

A Deeper Look:

Millennials’ “pioneering” experience on social media provided them with the first opportunity to widely find and connect with those who shared their interests and experiences. They’ve carried this connection-seeking spirit with them as they’ve moved onto new life stages, such as parenting.

Action Step:

Provide Millennials with opportunities to engage with one another—whether online or off. This is a great opportunity to capture both their desires for experiences and connection by showing how your product/service delivers on both of those aspects.

Key Finding #5: Millennial Group Trait – Tenacious

Millennials are motivated by competition, they don’t let fear hold them back, and they’re not willing to settle.
A Deeper Look:

Millennials were raised to seek achievements, a value instilled by their Boomer parents. But as fate would have it, they came of age at a less-than-optimal time to find success. The Great Recession caused them to stumble off track, but Millennials never lost ambition. Instead, they pivoted and cultivated a resilient spirit as a result.

Action Step:

Prove to Millennials that your brand’s products/services are worth chasing after.

Celebrate stories of resilience and tenacity in your marketing, such as a spotlight on someone who has overcome a challenge or who has created an innovate solution for their problems.

Contact us at the form below to learn more about how you can gain access to these diverse consumer insights and much more in our Cultural Intelligence Platform.

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Other Recent Millenial Research Articles & Insights from Collage Group

Giana Damianos
Senior Analyst, Syndicated Research

Giana joined Collage in 2019 from Indiana University, where she studied economics, political science and psychology. In her spare time, Giana is getting to know Washington DC and its historic architecture.

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Essentials of LGBTQ+ Consumers

Essentials of LGBTQ+ Consumers
Collage Group’s Essentials of LGBTQ+ Consumers presentation explores three areas of our consumer fundamentals research: demographics and segment context, identity, and Group Traits.

May 26, 2022
Jill Rosenfeld – Senior Analyst

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LGBTQ+ Americans are a large and growing United States consumer segment in terms of population and visibility. They’re also very diverse, since LGBTQ+ people can (and do) come from every walk of life. Their racial and ethnic breakdown largely mirrors that of the general population, and while the segment does lean young overall, Americans of every age identify as LGBTQ+. Within the segment there is a great amount of diversity given the infinite sexual and gender identities encompassed under the umbrella of “LGBTQ+.”

Read on and fill out the form for an excerpt from our Essentials of LGBTQ+ Consumers presentation.

The LGBTQ+ segment is a complex, multifaceted group that’s often ignored or misrepresented in advertising. In fact, more than six in ten LGBTQ+ consumers are not satisfied with how people of their sexuality are portrayed in advertising. But representation alone is not enough to prove that your brand cares about the LGBTQ+ community.

Brands today must understand LGBTQ+ people on a multitude of levels—from their demographics to how they identify and even what they value—to effectively understand and engage them.

Collage Group’s Essentials of LGBTQ+ Consumers explores three areas of our consumer fundamentals research: demographicsidentity, and Group Traits to help your brand authentically connect with the LGBTQ+ community.

Download the attached presentations and watch the webinar replay below for more. In the meantime, take a look at a few key insights and action steps:

Key Finding #1: Demographics & Segment Context

The LGBTQ+ segment is large and growing – with current estimates ranging from 20 to 30 million Americans, the population has nearly doubled in the past 10 years.

Context:

The U.S. Census Bureau does not currently ask respondents their sexuality or gender identity in the official Census or American Community Survey. As a result, researchers rely on sources like Gallup and the new Household Pulse Survey for population data, with all these sources giving different estimates.

Action Step:

Do not ignore the LGBTQ+ segment and plan for its likely growth. Develop a strategy or grow your current efforts to connect with the segment through outreach and marketing.

Key Finding #2: Identity

LGBTQ+ Americans support brands that are committed to supporting their community and other diverse segments. They are also more likely than others to say that their gender and sexuality have become increasingly important parts of their identities in recent years.

Context:

Since LGBTQ+ people can come from any background, they want to see all the intersections of their identity addressed by your brand’s efforts.

Action Step:

To win over LGBTQ+ people, brands should demonstrate support for marginalized communities. Brands should also support social causes LGBTQ+ consumers care about.

Key Finding #3: LGBTQ+ Group Traits

There are four unique Group Traits important to understanding LGBTQ+ Americans: Proud, Empathetic, Communal, and Worldly.

Action Step:

Utilize the Group Traits as ways to connect with LGBTQ+ Americans authentically. For example, to activate on Empathetic, demonstrate how your brand takes social action to improve the lives of marginalized communities.

Contact us at the form below to learn more about how you can gain access to these diverse consumer insights and much more in our Cultural Intelligence Platform.

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Jill Rosenfeld

Jill Rosenfeld
Analyst

Jill is an Analyst on Collage Group’s Product & Content team. She is a 2018 graduate from the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. In her spare time, Jill enjoys exploring Washington DC’s restaurant scene and practicing yoga.

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Parents & Kids: Category Essentials

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Activate Parents & Kids Within Categories
Part of understanding parents and kids is appreciating how decisions are made in specific categories. Explore usage, drivers, and channels for specific categories that are top of mind for parents and kids, as well as additional insights brands need to fully understand parents and how they differ across diverse segments.

May 20, 2022
Natalie Griffith – Director, Product & Content

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Collage Group’s Parents and Kids Category research explores dynamics of parents and kids by ethnicity within key categories: food, beverage and QSR, personal care and beauty, infant care, media, toys and games, and travel.

Read on and fill out the form for an excerpt from our 
Activate Parents & Kids Within Categories presentation.

Part of understanding parents and kids is appreciating how and who makes decisions in specific categories. It’s also crucial to understand how parenting styles vary based on key characteristics such as race, ethnicity, generation, and gender. In this presentation, we explore usage, drivers, and channels for specific categories that are top of mind for parents and kids, including:

    • Food, beverage and QSR
    • Personal care and beauty
    • Infant care
    • Media
    • Toys and games
    • Travel

Key Finding #1: Consider the multiple factors impacting parenting style and values

Parents today are overwhelmed with information and influence – from competing information sources, to competing  parenting styles, it can be hard to make decisions in any category.

Action Step:

 Understand the specific factors that drive purchases in your category, as well as how they differ by ethnic segment.

Key Finding #2: Mealtime is an opportunity for familial and cultural connection

Mealtime is an important connection point for families, especially for multicultural parents who seek to introduce their culture to their children through native cuisine.

Action Step:

Message not just around the importance of mealtime, but around the cultural connection it enables. Also consider providing parents with accessible ways to introduce native foods to their children.

​Key Finding #3: Today’s parents give let kids share in family decision making

From mealtime and personal care to travel, parents today are involving their kids in decision making processes, big and small.

Action Step:

Recognize that there are two key decision makers when messaging to the families of today, and make sure you are communicating benefits that appeal to both parents and kids.

Key Finding #4: Use media to enable cultural connections 

Media is an important cultural connector for families today. Asian and Hispanic parents seek out shows and movies in their native language, and Black parents feel it is important for their kids to see characters that look like them.

Action Step:

Provide representation in ways that are culturally specific, and enable the learning experiences parents hope to provide – whether that is through language or representation.

Contact us at the form below to learn more about how you can gain access to these diverse consumer insights and much more in our Cultural Intelligence Platform.

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Natalie Griffith
Director, Product & Content

Natalie has over 10 years of experience in consumer insights and brand strategy, including 3+ years as lead researcher in Gartner Iconoculture’s Gen Z practice. Natalie has managed research projects across industries, including extensive work in financial services, media, technology, and food and beverage. Natalie holds a B.S. in Psychology from Tulane University.

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Aligning Multicultural Marketing to the Evolution of the American Consumer

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Aligning Multicultural Marketing to the Evolution of the American Consumer
Collage Group Joins Ad Age for a Conversation About Multicultural Marketing.

May 17, 2022
Zekeera Belton– Vice President of Client Services

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An incredible cultural transformation of the American consumer is now fully underway. Brand after brand sees the massive growth opportunity that 140 million multicultural consumers represent. These consumers–particularly prevalent among younger generations–are fueling more than 100% of U.S. population growth and are remaking the consumer landscape.

Fill out the form below to watch the replay and hear how brand leaders responded.

As the U.S. consumer landscape evolves, there’s a need for brands and agencies to improve their understanding of culture–across race, ethnicity, generation, sexuality, family relationships and more–and, in turn, evolve marketing strategies for authentic engagement. Understanding culture is grounded in the journey to Cultural Fluency, the ability to tap into shared experiences and intersectional expressions to truly activate and engage today’s diverse consumers.

Representation alone is not enough to prove that your brand cares about consumers across culture. Does your brand truly understand America’s diverse consumers? And, are you effective in authentically engaging across consumer segments?

In a recent collaboration with Ad Age, “Ad Age Next: Multicultural Marketing,” Collage Group had the pleasure of joining other leading brands, including Unilever, Twitter, BET Networks and PepsiCo, to dig deeper into multicultural consumer engagement strategies. The conversation of the panel I joined centered on the term “multicultural,” and the state of multicultural marketing–how it is evolving, best practices and lessons learned.

I was pleased to share key insights that brands need to keep top of mind to continue to be relevant and drive growth across diverse segments.

What we’re seeing across segments is that satisfaction levels of portrayals in advertising have dropped. There is a rising increase in importance of race, but also a backlash in inauthentic portrayals in advertising. Clearly, there is more work to do.

Recent Collage Group research shows multicultural Americans are increasingly interested in supporting brands that support them.

However, they are becoming less satisfied with how they’re portrayed.

With insights like this in mind, Collage Group has developed a range of solutions to help brands succeed. Our shared-cost syndicated research model embedded into our world class Cultural Intelligence Platform, gives brands access to more than 10 years of diverse consumers insights with new reports weekly. Our members also have access to our CultureRate reports that assess the Cultural Fluency of brands and ads–our database is the largest of its kind, growing annually by more than 200,000 responses. And we offer SO much more.

Contact us at the form below to learn more about how you can gain access to these diverse consumer insights and much more in our Cultural Intelligence Platform.

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Zekeera Belton

Zekeera Belton
Vice President of Client Services

Zekeera Belton is the Vice President of Client Services at Collage Group. Zekeera’s oversees the team that acts as an extension of member organization by fostering deep relationships and leveraging the full set of Collage capabilities—strategies, insights, analytics, data, peer solutions and commercial collaboration—to plan and craft specific solutions that meet member challenges. Zekeera is a results-driven marketing and communications executive with 20 years of proven performance executing private and public (government) sector B2B, B2C, and G2M campaigns and programs. She has expertise in all aspects of marketing, from strategy to execution with real world know-how of the national, regional, and grassroots strategies needed to reach niche markets, such as multicultural Americans, women, LGBT, and people with disabilities. Prior to joining Collage Group, Zekeera served as a Marketing Director for Penn, Good & Associates, a marketing services consulting firm located in Washington, DC. Zekeera holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a double concentration in Finance and Management, from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, Washington DC.

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America Now: Mental Health

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America Now: Mental Health
Mental health is an important issue for Americans – now more than ever. Our 2021 Roundtable Presentation, America Now, offers insights that help explain how Americans are feeling about mental health and what brands can do to support them. Read on to learn more.

May 6, 2022
Sudipti Kumar – Associate Director

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Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are at an all-time high in the United States. Increased political polarization, heightened racial tension, and the ongoing pandemic are just some of the reasons that contribute to a lower overall sense of well-being for Americans. In a recent survey we conducted, we found that Gen Z Americans are the least likely to be satisfied with their physical and non-physical well-being, including their mental and emotional health.

In addition to the factors affecting all Americans, social media likely has an outsized impact on Gen Z’s mental health. Our survey data reveals that Gen Z is the least likely to feel confident in themselves, while also being the most likely to compare themselves to others on social media. And then there’s recent research, including Instagram’s internal research, that highlights the potentially negative impact of social media on younger people(1).

Something else that likely adds to young Americans’ struggles with mental health is the belief that they can’t show their emotions.  In fact, almost 50% of Gen Z Americans agreed with the statement: “I can’t show my emotions because society tells me I need to be strong”, compared to only 22% of Boomers.

But here’s the good news—despite their struggles, Gen Z’ers want to improve their mental health. When asked where they are most focused with respect to their health and wellness, over 40% of the segment chose improving their mood/mental health. This suggests improving mental health is a top priority for Gen Z, even higher than improving their diet and increasing physical activity.

Now you may be thinking, how can my brand help improve people’s mental health? It turns out there are several ways you can play a positive role and connect with consumers in the process.

  1. Support and amplify influencers sharing openly about their mental health struggles
    Many young Americans (~80%, in fact!) think it’s admirable when a public figure shares about their mental health struggles. Brands that show support for these individuals and amplify their voices will likely capture consumer attention and create affinity. Consider Cartoon Network’s shout out to Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles, and ESPN highlighting the many athletes that have spoken up about their mental health struggles including Michael Phelps and Demar Derozan.
                 

  2. Provide supportive resources
    Many brands are creating resources that consumers can use to improve their mental health. For example:
    – Athleta, Simone Biles’ sponsor, launched a new platform dedicated to women’s wellness called AthletaWell just days after Biles withdrew from the 2021 Olympic team finals for mental health reasons.
    – Maybelline New York launched the “Brave Together” program, an online platform to open the conversation around anxiety and depression.
    – JanSport has developed a fully integrated brand effort called #Lightentheload to connect Generation Z with resources to tackle the mental health challenges they face.

  3. Donate to causes
    There are important causes that aim to improve the mental health of young Americans. Stella and Bow donates proceeds of their Rainbow Connection necklace to a charity focused on helping people with depression and addiction. And Philosophy has donated over five million dollars to mental health initiatives via their hope & grace initiative. Consider donating to one or more mental health causes and then use social media and other marketing efforts to let your market know they too can have a positive impact by donating.

Contact us at the form below to learn more about how you can gain access to these diverse consumer insights and much more in our Cultural Intelligence Platform.

Sources:

(1) NPR, “Instagram Worsens Body Image Issues And Erodes Mental Health”, https://www.npr.org/2021/09/26/1040756541/instagram-worsens-body-image-issues-and-erodes-mental-health

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