Talking About 'Inflation' May Backfire for Brands

Hispanic, Black, and Asian Americans are also adopting different purchasing strategies.

August 17, 2022
Quintin Simmons – Public Relations & Communications Manager

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It’s no surprise that in Collage Group’s recent consumer survey on the economy, a whopping 93% of respondents said they have noticed that items they ordinarily purchase are now more expensive, and 78% said they are “a little” to “very worried” about their current financial situation.

Fill out the form below to watch the replay and download the presentation for key insights.

Data from the analysis, “Guard Against Recession with Cultural Insights,” also reveals that brands should avoid certain language about the economic outlook when addressing consumers, including using terms like ‘the economy,’ ‘recession,’ and ‘inflation,’ as these phrases may trigger unexpected responses from consumers.

“These words polarize buyers, and once they hear them, there’s a tendency to absorb the message as loaded or too political,” explained David Evans, chief insights officer at Collage Group. “I recommend brands avoid playing into the economic anxiety.”

Brands need to concentrate on what they can control, he says. “They need to focus on solving consumers’ real problems.”

Evans instructs brands to connect around personal finance issues and look to address everyday problems such as paying down debt and managing escalating costs.

“So, it is imperative for brands to refraining from giving too much attention to the economic-narrative headline, and more important to explain how their products and services would be helpful,” Evans continued.

To that point, another 93% of consumers want brands to do something to help them. At the top of the list: offer discounts, cut prices, and provide lower cost versions or packaging.   

Additionally, it is equally critical for brands to recognize that consumers are navigating the waters differently, especially across racial and ethnic segments.

Hispanic Americans are worried and changing behavior: Collage found that 35% of Hispanic Americans say they are “very worried” now, much higher than other groups. As a result, they have already begun adjusting their purchasing across virtually every category, including purchasing more generic or store brands and shopping more frequently at discount stores.

Black Americans are far less concerned than other segments: Remarkably, Black Americans are far less worried about what’s to come, and in fact are holding steady on purchasing behaviors. Evans attributes this poise to Black Americans’ tenacity over time, citing the segment’s higher levels of optimism and courageousness, two of a variety of cultural traits which Collage Group tracks across all demographics.

Asian American are adopting a wait and see approach: Asian Americans are a bit in the middle of the spectrum. They are not yet worried, according to the study. However, Asians said they are planning to adjust spending in the future in order to be safe.

“Every segment is feeling the pinch, and brands need to respond with empathy and show they are prepared to do something,” said Jack Mackinnon, senior director at Collage Group and the author of the study.

“At the same time, it is essential for brands to avoid attempting to adopt a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to the multicultural segment,” he added. “Brands also need to recognize the variety of responses consumers are having to inflation.”

Top action steps brands should consider:

    1. Avoid political anxieties by steering clear of the headline economic narrative: Our highly polarized national media causes many to view the economy through their own political lens. Brands must be mindful of playing into this polarizing dynamic.
    2. Embrace the realities of consumers’ real financial challenges: Show empathy about what’s happening to consumers now, especially with respect to managing credit, delaying purchases, shopping and driving habits.
    3. Explaining cost savings opportunities: Tell consumers how products and services can save them money.
    4. Emphasizing steadiness/predictability: Seize those consumers who have strong brand loyalty. Position your brand as steady and willing to provide what’s needed. 
    5. Being willing to sacrifice: Those brands in particular that have generated record profits should reward their devoted consumers by supplying coupons, by discounting prices, and by offering layaway or delayed payment options.

Contact us 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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Quintin Simmons

Quintin Simmons
Public Relations & Communications Manager

Quintin Simmons is Public Relations & Communications manager at Collage Group. He has over two decades of journalism and communications experience, having written and edited for a variety of publications, and servicing as media rep for a number of national outlets. Quintin, a communications and media relations expert, is always looking to connect and engage with writers and reporters.

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Gen Z Passion Points

What matters most to Gen Z consumers? Collage Group’s latest Generational Passion Points study includes key insights into Gen Z consumers to enhance brand engagement and activation.

August 8, 2022
Natalie Griffith – Director, Product & Content

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Passion Points are the activities and areas of life of deep interest to consumers. They are the “things” that people prioritize when spending their time, money, and attention. And, they are concrete expressions of culture.

Fill out the form to download the attached presentation for key insights and applications.

Collage Group’s Passion Point research offers deep insight into 8 different Passion Points we know are most important to American consumers. This work offers brands and marketers important tools to engage and win diverse consumer segments.

To get you started with our Passion Points research, read on for sample topline findings on Gen Z consumers, as compared to other generational segments.​​

Travel

The majority of Gen Z is already saying they have a strong urge to travel the world–they are close behind Millennials in this passion. And this sense of urgency is consistent across Gen Z cohorts. With the wealth of travel content online, they have had a greater exposure to all the world has to offer at such a young age than any generation before them. And with all that content, they have a had a lifetime to develop FOMO, or fear or missing out, on seeing the world, and travel influencers sure make it look exciting.

Overwhelmingly, 55% of Gen Z agrees they would rather travel internationally. Younger Gen Z, ages 13 to 17, is even more so interested in traveling abroad. This is a great contrast compared to older generations, as it speaks to this generation’s greater ingroup diversity and their acceptance of and interest in experiencing other cultures.

Gen Z is strongly driven by a desire for adventure. When forced to choose, they would rather be doing exciting things than relaxing on vacation. Younger Gen Z comes out on top with 67% preferring excitement. Fun is the priority, a common theme for this generation.

Cooking & Dining Out

Brands must be careful not to overestimate Gen Z’s identification with being a “foodie,” meaning someone who takes enjoyment in meals and trying new foods. While Millennials are known for this, Gen Z is not quite there. The younger group tends to be less adventurous, as it’s important to remember that they are mostly still living at home with their parents, and likely have lacked the freedom to go out and expand their palate. Older Gen Z consumers, however, are now young adults and are more likely to try new foods.

About half of Gen Z and Millennials like to source their recipes from food influencers or chefs. Our data shows that 49% of gen Z saying they follow food influencers, chefs, and other people to learn new recipes. Often what these viral recipes have in common is that they put an unexpected twist on known ingredients, and that they’re easy and accessible.

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Other Recent Gen Z Research Articles and Insights from Collage Group

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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Gen Z Passionate About Travel, Eager to Explore the World

The desire to travel is a key interest among the majority of Generation Z consumers, with more than half (60%) stating they have a strong urge to travel the world, according to new research from the cultural intelligence firm, Collage Group. This generation’s urgency for travel exceeds that desire of the older Gen X and Boomer generations by nearly 15%.

August 2, 2022
Quintin Simmons – Public Relations & Communications Manager

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The recent study, titled “Gen Z Passion Points,” notes that Gen Zers have had a great wealth of exposure to the world via the internet and this likely contributes to their wish to journey. Moreover, this generation is digitally native – the internet has been around literally for their entire lives – so they have been exposed to distant parts of the globe at an earlier age than any previous generation.

Fill out the form to download an excerpt from the presentation and read on for further insights.

“This virtual access to the world, to other cultures, at such a young age, has fueled an expectation that they will be able to see and experience these places and cultures firsthand, says Natalie Griffith, Director of Product & Content at Collage Group. “Not only does Gen Z want to travel to various locales, but they would like to take these trips in the very immediate future.”

And a quick getaway or merely crossing state lines is not the hope. The Passion Points study reveals that for Gen Z, international travel is the overwhelming favorite when paired against domestic travel, as 55% of the segment said they would prefer to go abroad vs. vacation in the States. For younger Gen Zers, those ages 13 to 17, the yearning to travel internationally is even greater at 61%. This contrasts with the other generations who may want to travel too, but not to the extent exhibited by Gen Z.

Another interesting comparison regarding Gen Z travelers and those from other age groups, is the reason why they travel. Amongst other older generations, traveling for pleasure usually involves leisure and time to unwind. But for Gen Z, traveling – in terms of a vacation – is driven by a desire for adventure or action. Fifty seven percent of Gen Z agrees that for them, a vacation consists of excitement, which is opposed to 57% of the total population who say they’re looking to relax when on a trip away.

“The Gen Z segment loves to vacation, but they don’t want to go away and simply soak up the sun,” says Griffith. “If they’re taking a trip, their preference is to explore; they’re planning an adventure.”

Again, younger Gen Zers are more intense than the older Gen Z cohort, as 67% of the younger segment says they seek excitement over relaxation.  

To that point, Gen Z is largely made up of people who are apt to stepping out of their comfort zone and abandoning their everyday routine. This proclivity enthusiastically comes across in their Passion Points, especially in respect to traveling. They pursue unique and unforgettable experiences.

In addition to that, Gen Z is also passionate about technology, including Instagram, TikTok and other social media. Thus, it is not surprising that the two passions – travel and technology – bridge seamlessly. Gen Zers commonly take trips or travel abroad with intentions of sharing their voyage on Instagram, posting pictures and photos.

Finally, food is another Passion Point among Gen Z and it too ties in with their zeal to move about and travel. Gen Zers frequently pick travel destinations solely to partake in the local cuisine. Seventy three percent of the generation reports selecting places to travel based on the food served there.

Gen Zers clearly have a deep appreciation for other cultures and environments. They tend to express their admiration for an area by visiting it. This generation likes to experience the possibilities and thrives in creating new memories.

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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Quintin Simmons

Quintin Simmons
Public Relations & Communications Manager

Quintin Simmons is Public Relations & Communications manager at Collage Group. He has over two decades of journalism and communications experience, having written and edited for a variety of publications, and servicing as media rep for a number of national outlets. Quintin, a communications and media relations expert, is always looking to connect and engage with writers and reporters.

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In Wake of Higher Prices, Grocery Shoppers Buy Cheaper Brands, Make Fewer Purchases

As prices for everyday items continue to soar, a number of Americans find themselves priced out of buying certain products, and others are able to afford but refuse to pay the steeper costs.

August 1, 2022
Quintin Simmons – Public Relations & Communications Manager

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When it comes to grocery shopping the choice to not buy isn’t a realistic option. Inflation has taken a noticeable toll on the cost of goods of all kinds, from home purchases to vehicle buys. The grocery store is no exception.

Fill out the form for more details in an excerpt of our Category Essential on Food.

To contend with higher grocery bills, a segment of shoppers have changed their shopping habits. Overall, most shoppers reported that they have decided to select cheaper brands, or they have opted to purchase fewer items.

Across racial and ethnicity lines, the reaction to grocery price hikes has been largely similar. Hispanic, Black, and Asian American consumers were more likely to report changing where they shop. These three groups also said they have stopped or have reduced making bulk food purchases.

All three segments – plus White American shoppers – said that affordability is indeed a factor when they decide which foods to buy. Of the White Americans polled, 78% answered that they often or always make a special effort to buy foods that are affordable. Black shoppers also see affordability as an important factor, as 73% responded in kind. Close behind them were Asians at 72%. 

Americans Food Choices

When asked what matters most when choosing a store for grocery shopping, 57% of all races responded, “low prices.” Moreover, collectively 42% of Hispanic, Black, Asians, and Whites said they recently decided to purchase cheaper items or generic brands due to the higher grocery costs. Some have bought less groceries and a portion have decided to shop for food elsewhere.

As prices and food bills continue to mount, buyers of all backgrounds have taken notice, and many are making adjustments.

Fill out the form below to learn more about how you can access the full report.

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Quintin Simmons

Quintin Simmons
Public Relations & Communications Manager

Quintin Simmons is Public Relations & Communications manager at Collage Group. He has over two decades of journalism and communications experience, having written and edited for a variety of publications, and servicing as media rep for a number of national outlets. Quintin, a communications and media relations expert, is always looking to connect and engage with writers and reporters.

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Authentically Engage Multicultural America Now

Collage Group joins The Quirk’s Event for a Conversation About Understanding & Engaging Multicultural America Now.

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

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It’s no secret that over the past two years, multicultural consumers have changed how they evaluate and view brands.

But, do brands truly know how multicultural American consumers’—responsible for more than 100 percent of total population growth—have changed since the unprecedented social, economic and public health upheavals since 2020? Or how to effectively engage them through advertising?

Fill out the form to download an excerpt from the presentation and read on for further insights.

Read on and fill out the form for an excerpt from our
Authentically Engage Multicultural America Now presentation.

To answer this question and more, I was joined by my colleagues David Evans, Collage Group Chief Insights Officer, and Jack Mackinnon, Director of Product & Content, to present at the Quirk’s Event in New York City: a valuable collection of sessions and networking opportunities with leaders in the marketing research and insights field.

In the first part of our session, which included highlights from our “America Now” study, Jack Mackinnon unveiled key changes in Asian, Black and Hispanic consumers’ attitudes and priorities since 2020. Attendees learned what these changes in perspectives mean for their brands, such as how to support the changing landscape of diverse American consumers.

One key takeaway from America Now: when brands that act on social movements, they are more likely to connect with multicultural consumers. However, brands also must accurately portray diverse stories and communities while ensuring that they are being authentic themselves.

Currently, many multicultural Americans are not satisfied with how they are being portrayed by brands. Which means there is an important opportunity for brands to explore how they are portraying multicultural consumers and ensure those representations are authentic. Consumers want brands to portray race and ethnicity accurately, but also want them to include the unique stories that are often not portrayed in advertising. This requires brands dig deeper into multicultural Americans and their stories and develop the diverse advertising campaigns more likely to connect across multicultural consumer groups.

Furthermore, shying away from action on social movements can be harmful for brands, specifically among younger consumer groups, and requires much more than running diverse ad campaigns. In fact, 25% of Black consumers and 21% of Hispanic consumers say they will stop buying from brands that do not take a stance on a social or political issues that are important to them. And for all multicultural consumers, they want to see diversity woven throughout the organization, including internal diversity vs. simply limiting support for a cause to an advertising campaign.

So then how do brands ensure they are connecting with multicultural Americans authentically? The answer is in embedding Cultural Fluency throughout the organization–to engage efficiently and effectively across consumer segments.

In his presentation explaining the “halo effect” of diverse advertising, David Evans explained that Cultural Fluency is an emerging marketing mandate that can no longer be understood as a sideshow to the main act of “mainstream marketing.” It’s a necessary component for connection and growth among multicultural American consumers.

David explained that Culturally Fluent ads that aim to connect with a single story or community can have a halo effect across other consumer segments. For example, many Black and Hispanic centered segmented campaigns halo across other segments, allowing brands to reach even more consumers authentically, especially if the focus is on the “story”. Further White consumers are also responding well to multicultural ads.

We know this because help brands succeed with Cultural Fluent advertising, Collage Group created CultureRate, which leverages 10+ years of research and expertise in the survey design methods needed to understand diverse America. CultureRate is generating 30+ million datapoints annually, with nearly one million consumer responses collected since 2018. It allows our research team–and member brands–to reference the largest database of culturally focused consumer response to ads and brands growing at an annual rate of 100-120 ads, 50,000 of responses or 9 million datapoints.

From an deep analysis of this database, David and his team have unveiled 4 key areas for advertisers to take action on to increase their ROI from the halo effects. Download the excerpt above from the presentation to learn more.

Thank you again to our peers and partners at Quirk’s Media for the opportunity to share this important research. Contact us below to learn how membership to our cultural intelligence platform will help your brand harness cultural insights for growth.

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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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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.”

“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.”

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

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 Insights 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 Insights Officer

David serves as the Chief Insights Officer responsible for content, data science and innovation. He is passionate about creating the critical insights that can transform the fortunes of our members, informing how we create an unparalleled member experience with our products, and build great places to work.

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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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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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Health Care Across Generations
Each generation approaches the patient journey from a unique perspective. Keep reading for key insights and a  downloadable deck on generational differences in health-related attitudes and behaviors and the emerging consumer mindset.
 

Health and wellness are top of mind for consumers. With healthcare costs higher than ever, Americans are acting more and more as “consumers” when it comes to their healthcare and health insurance. They want to get bang for their buck by being more choosy and “shopping around.” As a result, they’re more sensitive to price and  think even more critically about their symptoms before deciding it’s necessary to seek care. And when they do, many are turning to cost-effective options like virtual care.

The rise of consumerism in healthcare means you’ve got to be thinking about all the levers that traditional service-oriented businesses have leaned on to win consumers. Highlighting and providing excellent service and competitive cost are two that many in healthcare still struggle with. To win consumers and provide them optimal care, you must understand how these factors are constantly shifting consumers’ expectations, needs, and desires.

Collage Group’s 2021/2022 Health & Wellness Study covers generational differences in healthcare-related attitudes and behaviors. Our research reveals how the emerging consumer mindset affects each generation’s attitudes and behaviors in healthcare.

Download the attached presentation and take a look at a few key insights and implications below:

#1: Gen X and Boomers emphasize doctors’ qualitative attributes, so provide bios that allow each individual doctor’s strengths to shine and focus your marketing efforts on how your organization stands out with excellent service. Your organization has exceptional talent, so make sure you get the credit for it!

What is important when considering a doctor

#2: Gen Z and Millennials emphasize their doctor’s identity attributes, so add filters (gender, race, etc.) to provider search tools to allow them to refine their search for a doctor they value. It’s important to make it easy for them to find a doctor they feel comfortable with. Finding a doctor with shared identity can also help them to feel less anxious.

Doctor preference

Executional Example

Indianapolis-based Community Health Network differentiates their medical facilities by highlighting the exceptional care they offer. Their creative showcases their patient-centric values and community-driven approach (the audio track in the ad was even performed by Community Health Network employees!). The ad affirms the network’s focus on service by communicating the diversity in their providers, showing that every patient can find a doctor who will listen to and understand their unique needs.

To bolster the themes in their creative campaign, Community Health Network has a robust provider search tool on their website. Each doctor has a short bio and an introduction video so that patients can evaluate them on a more personal level beyond their credentials. They can hear their voice and see their smile—as well as learn about their passions in healthcare and their approach as a physician. The website’s search tool allows patients to filter by different attributes like gender and language. The site even has a section for reviews.

Community Health Network screenshot

#3: Younger Americans have a more self-sufficient health perspective. They also say that feeling worried or anxious is the top reason they avoid care. Help them feel more empowered in their health by giving them some control over their health journey. This will help grow their trust and inspire confidence in themselves.

Executional Example

Virtual care company LetsGetChecked was founded in 2015 with the goal of empowering people to manage their own health from home. They provide at-home sample collection kits which can be sent to healthcare facilities for results. They also provide telehealth services. This innovative healthcare approach caters to the unique needs of younger Americans who want control and self-sufficiency in their health journey, and simultaneously are anxious and turned-off by conventional healthcare services.

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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.