America Now: Economic Inequality

,
America Now: Economic Inequality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get In Touch.

There's a world of just for you

collage-transparent-white-156px

Collage Group Case Study | Cell

,
Collage Group Case Study | Cell

INDUSTRY: TECHNOLOGY

GLOBAL CORPERATE REVENUE: $183 BILLION

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

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

CHALLENGE

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

SOLUTION

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

Tying Objectives to Insights

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

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

OBJECTIVE

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

COLLAGE RESOURCES, DATA & TOOLS

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

Connecting the Dots

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

OBJECTIVES

Immerse in LGBTQ+ cultural experience.

COLLAGE RESOURCES, DATA & TOOLS

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Putting Insights Into Action

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

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

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

Get In Touch.

There's a world of just for you

collage-transparent-white-156px

CultureRate: Better Target Your Brand While Driving Halo Effects in Ads

, ,
CultureRate: Better Target Your Brand While Driving Halo Effects in Ads

Using our CultureRate database, we analyzed over 500 brands and 100 ads gathered across the last 12 months to establish a set of lessons that help marketers better connect with today’s “New Wave” consumers between 18 and 41, across race and ethnicity.

June 7, 2022
David Evans – Chief Product Officer

Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on email
Email

Read on and fill out the form for an excerpt from our CultureRate:Brand – Better Target Your Brand While Driving Halo Effects presentation.

Brands Are Challenged by Rising Cultural Diversity and Polarization

As shown in research accompanying this initiative, marketing and insights leaders face increasing pressure to translate the rapid cultural transformation underway in the U.S. marketplace into clear action steps for brands. From 2020 to 2021, we witnessed an astonishing 10 percentage point-plus increase in the already-high importance of race and ethnicity for multicultural consumers, even as satisfaction of portrayals fell by an average of 8 percentage points.

Multicultural American support brands that support them

One thing is for certain: the increase in multicultural consciousness that arose in the wake of COVID-19 lockdowns and George Floyd’s murder has not reverted to norm. Cultural Fluency is emerging as a new mandate for marketing as a whole, and can no longer be understood as a sideshow to the main act of mainstream marketing. Cultural Fluency demands that brands use culture to connect effectively and authentically within and across segments.

How CultureRate:Ad Reveals Powerful New Insights

To address these issues, we launched CultureRate in 2018, a brand and creative evaluation methodology that is now providing our members with powerful new insights into brand and ad performance across cultural groups.

CultureRate is different from any anything on the market today, in four distinct ways:

    • Culture is Intrinsic to the Entire Approach: CultureRate positions culture as the primary lens through which to understand diverse segments.
    • CultureRate is Grounded in Science of Group Emotion and Rationality: Our approach is based on long-ignored research into the psychology of group emotion and emerging insights from evolutionary psychology into the role of rationality as a mechanism for signaling group affiliation. CultureRate breaks new ground by fully recognizing that consumers not only make decisions to buy products on a path toward optimization of personal net benefits and self-actualization, but also make decisions as a member of group. We have learned nothing since 2016, if not the importance of this phenomenon and the degree to which it completely reframes our understanding of human behavior.
    • Rigorously Validated Metrics: We undertook an exhaustive process to identify metrics that matter, identifying the six most critical component metrics for CultureRate:Brand through an exhaustive review of 20 candidate metrics to derive the critical six that optimally reflected cultural dimensions while predicting brand favorability.
    • Linkage to Cultural Traits of Consumers: methodology is integrated within Collage Group’s Cultural Traits system, a rigorously proven method for measuring cultural variation, that enables marketing professions to link how using cultural insights into specific segments improve ad and brand effectiveness. Explore how Cultural Trait analysis works when applied to Black consumers

Unrivaled Rigor and Database Depth

The methodology introduces two important new metrics: the Brand Cultural Fluency Quotient (B-CFQ) and the Ad Cultural Fluency Quotient (A-CFQ), composed of six and four subcomponent metrics respectively, both of which were designed to optimally predict favorability and purchase intent. A-CFQ is also complemented by Backlash, which takes conventional brand favorability a step further by quantifying the degree to which an ad can “flip” perception from positive to negative or vice versa. Combining A-CFQ and Backlash metrics for target segments reveal the dynamics that make ads successful.

Top Lessons for More Inclusive Marketing

For this research we filtered our database to derive a high-quality sample of around 250,000 consumer responses to over 300 brands and 100 ads for the population of 18-41 year old Americans we dub the “New Wave.”  We focus on this younger segment because it is the first in American history to grow up in a culturally and intrinsically diverse environment and thereby redefining the future of values and respect for diversity that will make or break brands in the next years. Our research into brand performance revealed that:
    • Brands need to appreciate the different reasons multicultural Americans love brands.
    • Multicultural consumers are much more likely to appreciate brands when they specifically see that the brand is for “people like me.” Gain an edge: go to extremes to show how your brand is for multicultural Americans. 
    • Trust is a game changer for Black Americans. Lean into opportunities to show how your brand has supported the segment, how your brand embodies values core to the segment, and/or connects to the Black Group Trait of Perseverance.
    • Hispanic Americans’ uniquely express their affiliation for a brand through their willingness to advocate for the brand to others. Leverage Hispanic Group Traits of Warmth and being Tuned-In to prime them to be a trend-setter on your behalf. Give Hispanic consumers a reason to talk about your brand and they will reward you with mentions, word of mouth and other opportunities to drive earned media attention.

Our research into ad performance revealed that:

    • Halo effects are much more common than you think, even as targeted ads remain important, especially for Black and Hispanic consumers
2021 Top 20 Ads: Black Halo Effects
    • Brands can drive inclusivity by showing how consumers are part of a spectrum of shared experience. Associate Black or Hispanic agency with the Passion Points of other groups.
    • Cross-generational familial bonds provide immense power for storytelling: The extended family relationships of younger consumers are your unsung opportunity.
    • Black consumers will punish you for poor representational choices, especially on themes that are universal. Ensure any “vignette” approach to a universal experience includes Black people.
    • Culturally-specific humor may not halo well. Increase the reliability of halo effects by appealing to universal themes of Connection (family, friends, and community).
    • Social justice messages that address multicultural issues work well when the consumers see the direct benefit of an investment in opportunity for real people.
    • The preferences of White consumers may be a poor guide for the general market appeal.

Collage Group members receive one free evaluation of a brand and of an ad of your choice. Members frequently combine CultureRate:Brand and CultureRate:Ad analyses to track how changes in advertising performance impact brand performance over time. Contact us at the form below to learn more.

Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on email
Email

Other Recent Multicultural Research Articles & Insights from Collage Group

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.

Get In Touch.

There's a world of just for you

collage-transparent-white-156px

Holidays and Occasions: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s

, , ,
Holidays and Occasions: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s

Learn how American consumers across racial and ethnic segments prepare for and celebrate the winter holidays of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s.

The beginning of winter brings a multitude of holidays for Americans to celebrate. While revelers will still have to cope with COVID-19 protocols during the 2021 festivities, vaccines and experience may better equip Americans to celebrate more openly this year than last. With an eye toward shifts in consumer behavior we bring you our updated findings from the 2021 Holidays & Occasions study to help your brand understand consumers’ changing expectations and how they plan to celebrate during this holiday season.

Fill out the form to view a sample from our research presentation,  Multicultural Holidays & Occasions.

Christmas is one of the most beloved and widely celebrated holidays in America. Over three-quarters of each racial and ethnic segment celebrate it, with its highest popularity among Hispanic and Non-Hispanic White Americans. Consumers from many backgrounds celebrate the holiday by enjoying seasonal food, listening to Christmas music, and putting up festive decorations.

However, multicultural consumers say that their Christmas celebrations often differ from typical depictions. Cultural nuance at Christmas is key information for brands producing traditional Christmas marketing content as it may land as unrelatable to some Americans consumers. often Over a quarter of Hispanic and Asian consumers agreed that their versions of Christmas celebrations split from a standard “American Christmas.” This is often the case because of the inclusion of cultural celebrations.

Christmas celebration traditions

Hispanics often celebrate Christmas through several holidays such as Noche Buena (Christmas Eve), Three Kings Day (January 6th), Las Posadas (the 9 nights leading up to Christmas), and Tamaladas (a Christmastime tamale-making party). Highlighting these holidays activities during the winter months is a great way to connect with Hispanic consumers.

Hanukkah is the Jewish eight-day holiday observed on the 25th day of Kislev (typically in December). Also known as the festival of lights, this holiday is celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting, special prayers, and fried foods. Though fewer than one in ten Americans celebrate the holiday, over a third of all consumers actively welcome brands to celebrate it through advertising and marketing efforts.

American retailer Target was able to successfully do this in their most recent holiday ad campaign “The Holidays Are Meant To Be Shared” which features a family celebrating Hanukkah by lighting the menorah, among several other different holiday activities.

Kwanzaa, a seven-night holiday observed from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, is a holiday to honor African American and Pan-African culture and traditions and celebrates African American unity. Though not widely popular with the total population, the holiday holds great importance for many Black Americans. According to our study, 18% of Black Americans celebrate Kwanzaa. This is also a holiday for brands to consider celebrating. About 30% of Black consumers agreed that all brands should celebrate Kwanzaa in their advertising. This provides the opportunity for brands to highlight Kwanzaa and its traditions to educate Americans unfamiliar with the holiday and connect with Black consumers.

Finally, New Year’s also provides brands an opportunity to be the life of the party. New Year’s is celebrated by most Americans across all ethnic groups, though Hispanics are particularly likely to enjoy the festivities. Although sparkling wine is typically a toasting drink to usher in the new year, other alcoholic beverages play a prominent role in the celebration. Hispanic consumers are most likely to drink beer and hard cider during their celebrations, while Black consumers are most likely to drink liquor/spirits.

Get In Touch.

There's a world of just for you

collage-transparent-white-156px

America Now: Younger LGBTQ+ Americans Have High Expectations for Brands

,
America Now: Younger LGBTQ+ Americans Have High Expectations for Brands

This research is part of a series that expands on our 2021 Roundtable Presentation, America Now. Read on to learn more about LGBTQ+ consumers, their perspective on gender and sexual identities, and what they expect from brands like yours.

Brands can better engage with consumers by understanding how they view different aspects of their own identity. Race, ethnicity, age, sexuality, and gender are just a few of the many elements of a person’s identity impacting how people see themselves and shaping their expectations for brands. LGBTQ+ Americans, especially those who are younger, tell us that their sexuality is becoming an increasingly important aspect of their identity. As a result, brands have to step up their inclusive marketing practices and oftentimes that means deftly engaging with social and political issues.

In a recent survey, Collage Group asked people to choose the most important aspect of their identity. Personality came out on top, followed by race, and country of origin. Just 8 percent of LGBTQ+ people responded that sexuality is the most important aspect of their identity. However, the importance of sexual identity is on the rise for this segment. Over 50 percent of LGBTQ+ respondents agree that their sexuality has become an increasingly important part of their identity in recent years. This is especially true for those between the ages of 18 and 40 years old. Younger LGBTQ+ are also significantly more likely to say their sexuality plays an increasingly important role in their identity than older LGBTQ+ Americans.

Importance of Sexual Identity for LGBTQ+ People

As sexuality becomes a more important element in how LGBTQ+ see themselves, brands must improve their efforts to accurately represent sexuality and gender in advertising — especially when targeting younger and multicultural LGBTQ+ consumers. Only 39 percent of LGBTQ+ respondents say they’re satisfied with portrayals of their sexuality in advertising, significantly less than the approximately 53 percent of non-LGBTQ+ respondents who agree. Seeing their own sexual identity portrayed in advertising matters a lot to 42 percent of young LGBTQ+, significantly higher than older LGBTQ+ respondents. Similarly, for gender portrayals, over a third of all LGBTQ+ say it matters a lot to see advertisements with people of the same gender identity. Doing this comes with great benefits, as young LGBTQ+ are more likely to buy products and services from brands that challenge gender stereotypes in their advertisements.

LBTBQ+ Americans identify more with their sexuality

Beyond mere representation in advertising, LGBTQ+ consumers also desire to see brands engage in social and political issues impacting their community. About 40 percent of LGBTQ+ respondents agree that brands should focus on social and political issues even if they don’t directly relate to their products and services. 

Overall, most LGBTQ+ respondents prefer brands to get involved by educating consumers about LGBTQ+ rights and discrimination. However, young LGBTQ+ consumers would also like to see brands hire more LGBTQ+ in leadership positions and donate to LGBTQ+ causes.

America Now - LGBTQ and Identity - Collage Group

Contact us to find out how you can access the full America Now report with these insights and much more.

Get In Touch.

There's a world of just for you

collage-transparent-white-156px

Start 2022 Strong with New Diverse Consumer Insights

, , , ,
Start 2022 Strong with New Diverse Consumer Insights

More than 200 of America’s top brands have access to the deep cultural insights needed to engage America’s diverse consumers. Do you? Here’s an overview of the new reports we’re releasing in Q1 2022 and beyond that you’re missing out on. Contact us today for access:

​Health and Wellness

Explore how consumer attitudes and behaviors toward health and wellness are evolving across diverse segments, including barriers to access, provider preferences, and more.

Small Business Owners in America

Learn how to connect authentically with America’s small business owners. This research gives you a look into the attitudes and behaviors of culturally diverse owners and includes action items to integrate marketing best practices for effective engagement.

LGBTQ+ Terminology​

Engage the LGBTQ+ community with a deeper understanding of changing expectations and trends in self-identification. Understand the meaning and preferences for terms like non-binary and intersex, and the nuances of personal pronouns. Dig deeper into the labels and/or identifiers each segment prefers and double-click by age, race/ethnicity, and gender when relevant.

CultureRate:Brand & Ad

Assess the Cultural Fluency of your brand and ads and explore how you stack up vs. your competitors. Members of our consumer research platforms have access to a dedicated report on a brand and ad.

New Launches in 2022

Also rolling out in 2022 are the launch of a new program and add-on module. More details on timing and content of these releases are coming soon.

Parents & Kids

In 2022, Collage Group will continue to expand our research into new territories. This includes a new research program exploring cultural variations in the attitudes and behaviors of parents and kids.

Medical Conditions

This add-on module for members who have a current demographic subscription will cover health care-related attitudes and behaviors of consumers with various medical diagnoses. The conditions and intersections covered will be released in February, but will likely include conditions such as chronic pain, depression, diabetes and more across race and ethnicity.  

Collage Group members have access to more than 10 years of consumer insights in over 300 studies with new data unveiled 3-to-4 times a month. As a member, you also get to the full reports recently released, including: Holidays & Occasions, Passion Points, Cultural Traits, Digital & Media and Category Essentials. Contact us to learn more about membership. 

Get In Touch.

There's a world of just for you

collage-transparent-white-156px

Most Americans (58%) Want Businesses to Engage in Social and Political Issues

,
Most Americans (58%) Want Businesses to Engage in Social and Political Issues

One in Four Gen Z Consumers Will Stop Buying from Brands That Do Not Take a Stance on an Important Issue

November 10th, 2021
Mollie Turner – Senior Director of Marketing

Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on email
Email

American consumers are experiencing a second year of unprecedented change, giving 2020 solid competition for an emerging set of challenges for U.S. businesses. Political polarization, COVID-19, race relations, immigration, LGBTQ+ rights and climate change have been top of mind for consumers this year–leading to shifts in consumer expectations of businesses.

“Most Americans want brands to engage in social and political issues,” says David Wellisch, Collage Group CEO and Co-Founder. “The numbers are even more striking when we look by specific issues. For example, 85% of Americans want brands to play a role in ending the COVID-19 pandemic and alleviating its impact. And, then there’s the stick—we see younger Americans, bicultural Hispanics, and Black Americans are much more willing to penalize brands for non-action on issues they see as important.”

These are just a few of the many datapoints on shifts in American consumer behaviors since 2020 available in Collage Group’s America Now: How We Have Changed Since 2020 report. Research led by Chief Product Officer David Evans, Senior Director of Product & Content Bryan Miller, PhD, and Director of Product & Content Jack Mackinnon, unveils changes to diverse consumer attitudes at a key juncture in American history. The results come from a survey fielded in September 2021 of 3,785 Americans, representing Americans across race, ethnicity, generation, sexuality and gender.

Fill out the form to view a recording and download a sample from our research presentation, Multicultural America Now.

Multicultural America Now

Key insights illuminated in the research include:

  1. Most Americans (58%) Want Brands to Engage in Social and Political Issues
      • Stopping COVID-19, improving race relations and halting climate change are the top three social and political issues consumers want brands to support.
      • The majority (85%) of Americans want brands to play a role in ending the COVID-19 pandemic and alleviating its impact.
      • The majority (59%) of Americans believe corporations bear the responsibility of fighting climate change – not individuals.
      • The majority (55%) of consumers across all generations acknowledge the urgency of taking action on climate change.
  2. Race and Ethnicity is the #1 Way Multicultural Americans Self-Identify, Regardless of Race, Ethnicity, Gender, or Sexuality­
      • Race and Hispanic ethnicity are the most common self-descriptors for multicultural Americans, ranking higher than personality, age/life stage, country of origin, being American, sexuality, gender and more.
      • Multicultural Americans report an increased interest in buying from brands that support people of their racial and ethnic background—an ~11% increase on average in 2021 comes on top of a 2020 baseline of ~52% of consumers.
  3. Empathetic Gen Z Support Black and LGBTQ+ Americans Much More Than Older Generations (+15%)
      • The majority of Gen Z consumers wants brands to support women (56%) and Black Americans (55%).
      • Inaction is risky for brands with younger consumers, as 26% of Gen Z would stop using or buying a brand if it did not take a stance on an important issue.
  4. COVID-19 Worries Remain for Two-Thirds of Americans, and Their Concern Is Tied Primarily to Economic Factors (64%)
      • Nearly two-thirds of Americans are still concerned about COVID-19, with Asian Americans feeling the most concern at 72%, up 4% since 2020.
      • Most Americans (64%) are concerned they may not have enough money to keep up with monthly expenses; Hispanic Americans are the most concerned with 3 in 4 (74%) citing the concern.
  5. Many Multicultural Americans Have Reprioritized What Matters Most to Them vs. One Year Ago
      • Multicultural Americans say being happy and healthy (41%), saving money (33%) and supporting family and community (27%) are now their top priorities.
      • The majority (54%) of Hispanic Americans say being healthy and happy is much more important to them today than it was one year ago.

“Engaging authentically with an increasingly diverse America can be hard, and missteps are easy,” says David Wellisch. “But our research illustrates that not engaging is not an option, especially during challenging times. This is consumer expectation.”

Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on email
Email

Other Recent Gen Z Research Articles & Insights from Collage Group

Mollie Turner

Mollie Turner
Senior Director of Marketing

Mollie Turner is the Senior Director of Marketing at Collage Group where she leads growth, engagement and brand initiatives. She is a seasoned marketing and communications executive, with 20 years of experience spanning B2B, non-profit and agency roles across various industries.

Get In Touch.

There's a world of just for you

collage-transparent-white-156px

Friendsgiving 2021: How Should My Brand Celebrate?

Friendsgiving 2021: How Should My Brand Celebrate?

It’s not too late to activate! With over 30% of Americans (and 40% of Gen Z and Millennials) celebrating “Friendsgiving,” brands will want to make their mark on this growing tradition. Keep reading to learn what consumers expect from brands like yours this Friendsgiving.

“Friendsgiving” is a holiday tradition adjacent to Thanksgiving. It’s an opportunity for friends to gather with friends in addition to, or instead of, with family. While Friendsgiving may sound like the latest fad or a “cutesy” holiday, it’s a legitimate way younger generations celebrate—and it’s likely to stick around.

Read on for key facts about the holiday, insights on how younger American consumers celebrate the Thanksgiving season, and ideas for how your brand can get involved.

What is ​Friendsgiving?

Friendsgiving is an informal bonus holiday that started gaining traction in 2013. The origin is unclear, but the term caught on via social media and it’s surged in popularity with younger Americans in recent years. Nowadays, Friendsgiving is a seasonal staple with about four in ten Gen Z and Millennials celebrating.

Holiday Stress Chart

Friendsgiving celebrations often take place sometime before Thanksgiving, as a precursor to the big day. But for many young adults who live far away from home and family, Friendsgiving acts as a substitute to the more formal family feast. It’s also a reflection of shifting family dynamics. Young adults today are delaying marriage and parenthood at greater rates than previous generations. This factors into their emphasis on friends, neighbors, and coworkers as a “chosen” family.

Moreover, almost half of Gen Z and Millennials cite amily as a source of stress around holidays. It’s no wonder, then, that many turn to their friends for comfort and joy.

Friendsgiving Celebrations

Since Friendsgiving is such a new way to celebrate Thanksgiving, it isn’t confined to the well-established traditions of Turkey Day. Rather, it’s open to interpretation—which may be just what individualistic younger generations find appealing about it. Many Friendsgiving celebrants incorporate a mix of classic Thanksgiving elements and personal flair. This means that brands have ample room to play in connecting with younger generations for Friendsgiving.

One way that Gen Z and Millennials are evolving Thanksgiving-season celebrations is by including non-traditional foods. Two-thirds of younger Americans do this, likely driven by the generations’ inherent diversity as well as their desire for novelty. Friendsgiving, free of socially imposed “rules,” offers the perfect opportunity to try out new and exciting flavors, experiment with recipes, or to share one’s culture through food.

Graph illustrating groups that have more than Thanksgiving dishes

Brand Activation

Two brands that have developed an excellent Friendsgiving campaign that appeals to Gen Z and Millennials are Amazon and S.Pellegrino. These brands partnered together in 2020 to create a virtual, shoppable “Guide to Friendsgiving.” The online storefront features videos and recipes by Kristen Kish, an LGBTQ+ Korean-American culinary expert and Top Chef championIn this pandemic-friendly activation, Kish connects with her friends via video chat to recreate their favorite recipes with a twist. From the site, shoppers can download recipes and purchase ingredients to be delivered by Amazon Fresh.

Get In Touch.

There's a world of just for you

collage-transparent-white-156px

Diwali 2021: What Should My Brand Do?

Diwali 2021: What Should My Brand Do?

It’s not too late to activate! With two thirds of Indian Americans celebrating Diwali, brands will want to make their mark on this important holiday. Keep reading to learn what Asian consumers expect from brands like yours on this festival of lights.

Diwali is one of the major festivals celebrated among Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and many Buddhists. The holiday lasts five days, and it coincides with the Hindu New Year according to their lunisolar calendar. Though it falls on November 4 this year, Diwali has some similarities to other winter and New Year’s celebrations, and comes with distinct cultural traditions.

Read on for key facts about the holiday, insights on how Asian American consumers celebrate, and ideas for how your brand can get involved.

What is Diwali?

Diwali honors the conclusion of the Ramayana, a key Hindu text and one of two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India. It celebrates the triumphant return of Prince Rama after a 14-year exile, the rescue of his wife Sita, and his coronation as king. Rejoicing in Rama’s victories, Diwali celebrants honor light itself amidst the darkness of coming winter.  And for many Asian Americans, Diwali is an explicitly religious holiday, with the Goddess Lakshmi – symbolizing wealth and purity – a key focus.

Traditions of Diwali​

    • Candles and firecrackers are popular in Diwali celebrations, with diya oil lamps one of the more traditional means of proving light in the darkness
    • Rangoli is an art form common in Diwali preparations, where colored sand, flower petals, rocks, and powdered stone are arranged in colorful, patterned designs on a flat surface
    • Sweet foods are a traditional component of Diwali celebrations, with many preparing malpua pancakes, laddu balls, and other fare to eat and share
    • Puja is a worship ritual common among Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains. On Diwali, offerings of light, flowers, sustenance, or song accompany these rituals, largely directed towards the Goddess Lakshmi

Among Indian Americans, having special food and drink is the most common way to celebrate Diwali. Eating and gifting sweets is therefore a key component of American Diwali, but many other customs – including fireworks, clothing, decorations, and religious ceremonies – are also popular.

Key Consumer Insights

According to Collage Group’s 2021 Holidays and Occasions study, 13% of the Asian American population celebrates Diwali, with 67% of Indian Americans making up the bulk of celebrants. Diwali therefore has a niche, but dedicated market.

Which means many brands may be wondering if they have permission to play.

Among Indian Americans, brands largely have a green light to focus on education. Most Indian Americans say brands should use their Diwali activations to explain what the holiday is and why it’s important, given that half of Americans – and 42% of Asian Americans – are not familiar with the festival at all. And Many Indian Americans also support brands sharing stories of people observing the holiday, as well as showing others what they can do to help celebrate.

Get In Touch.

There's a world of just for you

collage-transparent-white-156px

Transform Change into Opportunity: 2021 Virtual Members-Only Roundtable

Transform Change into Opportunity: 2021 Virtual Members-Only Roundtable

Explore how America’s diverse consumers have changed since 2020, specifically amidst unprecedented social and economic upheaval

The past 18 months have been a period of unprecedented change in America. The lingering COVID-19 pandemic coupled with social movements both embracing and resisting America’s increasing cultural diversity have created a set of new challenges for brands. These modern dilemmas include changing consumer expectations, deep polarization, and an urgent need to better connect with a diversifying America. Fortunately, these challenges are not insurmountable, and offer new opportunities to better connect with American consumers.

Collage Group is pleased to support more than 200 of America’s leading brands as they work to confront these challenges and transform change into opportunity. On November 3 at our 2021 Members-Only Roundtable, subscribers to our cultural intelligence platform(s) will learn how to leverage our cultural insights and tools to connect with the dynamic American consumer. The 2021 Roundtable will provide attendees with new research and engaging panel discussion focused on leveraging cultural insight to effectively navigate both today and tomorrow’s changing consumer landscape. Learn more in the agenda.

Attendees will learn:

    1. How consumers’ perspectives and behaviors related to COVID-19, racial justice, cultural diversity, and brand action have changed since 2020
    2. Which changes are likely to sustain into the future (and which might not)
    3. How to leverage cultural insights to connect across consumer segments
    4. Which brands and ads are on track to win with consumers and why

Presentations Include:

America Now: How We Have Changed Since 2020

We explore changes to diverse consumer attitudes at this key juncture in American history. Attendees will obtain exclusive insights into diverse consumer perspectives on climate change and polarizing issues, such as racism and the pandemic, compared to 2020. These learnings are key for 2022 planning.

CultureRate: Maximizing ROI from Targeted Multicultural Marketing

Our analysis of hundreds of brands and ads reveals insights into the drivers of brand Cultural Fluency and how to transcend the tradeoff between targeted and general market ads. 

Member Panel

Learn from America’s preeminent brand leaders in a discussion centered on actions internally and in marketing to stay ahead of the rapid changes underway in America. Hear how leaders from Pernod Ricard, McDonald’s and GSK are navigating the evolution of the modern American consumer.

Contact us today to learn more about how you can gain access to Collage Group’s 2021 Roundtable. You won’t want to miss this chance to learn where there is no going back and how you can ensure that your brand effectively marches into the future.

Get In Touch.

There's a world of just for you

collage-transparent-white-156px