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Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Brands: Personal Care

Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Personal Brands: Fenty Beauty
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Which beauty brands appeal to multicultural consumers?

Our most recent BrandRate study shows how young multicultural segments rank Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty, which accumulated nearly $570 million in revenue within 15 months of launching in late 2017. Now worth $17 billion, Fenty Beauty reigns as one of the most gender and skin-tone inclusive makeup brands on the market.

Did Fenty Beauty receive a high B-CFQ ranking among multicultural consumers?

The table below shows the percent of each segment that agrees with each of the six components (Relevance and Trust, for example) of our Brand Cultural Fluency Quotient (B-CFQ). We see trends both across segment lines (rows) and across specific components (columns). Acculturated, bicultural, and Black consumers over-index on five of the six components, while White consumers under-index on four of six components.

Fill out the form for instant access to the report.

Brands that receive a high-ranking B-CFQ scorecard are considered to be culturally fluent, and are more likely than other brands to sustain continuous market growth. Low-ranking B-CFQ scorecards reveal new opportunities for brands to strengthen resonance with young multicultural consumers.

If you’re interested in measuring the cultural fluency of your brand, please fill out the contact form below. 

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The Top 7 Most Culturally Fluent Brands of 2020

The Top 7 Most Culturally Fluent Brands of 2020
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American consumers are experiencing a cultural transformation of unprecedented scope and scale. The pressure is on to rethink marketing with a focus on authentic connections that tap into culture, identity and emotion. This rapidly evolving landscape requires a new approach to assessing and building brands, centered on what we refer to as Cultural Fluency.

Fill out the form to instantly access a recording of the webinar from August 5th, 2020.

What makes a brand culturally fluent?

Cultural fluency is the ability to use culture to efficiently and effectively connect across consumer segments. Culturally fluent brands:

    1. Are culturally resonant across multiple segments: Hispanic (acculturated, unacculturated and bicultural), Black, Asian and White.
    2. Deliver authentic cultural expressions.
    3. Make culture a core component of their strategic approach.

Acculturated Hispanic: More likely to use English across language contexts, and to identify as American over Hispanic

Bicultural Hispanic: More likely to use a mix of English and Spanish across language contexts, and to identify as both American and Hispanic

Unacculturated Hispanic: More likely to use Spanish across language contexts, and to identify as Hispanic over American

Based on more than 10 years of research into multicultural America, Collage Group has developed a unique way to measure the cultural fluency of brands through our proprietary BrandRate metric. We begin by ranking brands on our Brand Cultural Fluency Quotient (B-CFQ), and then decomposing the metric to explore how key features drive B-CFQ. The metric assesses cultural resonance along six dimensions selected from a process of pilot studies where we tested more than 20 measures.

Since our launch of BrandRate this spring during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve surveyed more than 10,000 consumers to evaluate about 300 brands. Our demographic focus is on the New Wave, 18-to-39-year-old consumers across all race and ethnicities. This segment of consumers includes Millennials and older Gen Zs who were the first generation to be diverse, and whose experiences led them to expect diversity in their friendships, daily interactions, education, media and marketing.

During the past four months, we’ve evaluated brands across more than seven industries including: alcoholic beverage, food, home care, personal care, automotive, retail, quick service restaurants (QSR), and select apparel, financial services and technology “reference” brands. More will be added across the rest of the year.

To help marketers and brand managers set aspirations, we’re pleased to share our first snapshot, including the top seven most culturally fluent brands, as well as two additional brands. 

Two powerful observations from this initial analysis:

    1. Six of the seven to brands have built strong reputations with one or more multicultural groups, whose resonance with the brand exceeds that of the white consumer.
    2. None of the brands have low scores in any one component score across demographics that is overcome by high scores in another, a characteristic more common in lower ranked brands.

Our rankings thus far reveal where top brands derive their strengths and offer evidence for the success of recent campaigns and strategies. Our members are now using BrandRate data on their own brands to identify learning gaps they can close with insights from existing syndicated research or from commissioning custom research projects. 

The Top 7 Most Culturally Fluent Brands of 2020:

    1. Lysol: No other brand has brand trust scores higher than 90% across three multicultural segments, and it’s no surprise that they are a brand leader amidst the current pandemic. Lysol was one of the first brands to be approved for use in protecting against the spread of COVID-19. The brand specifically ranks highly among Black and both unacculturated and acculturated Hispanic consumers.
    2. Clorox: Another brand uniquely positioned in the pandemic environment, Clorox is performing well above other brands when it comes to shared values. The brand is specifically appealing to bicultural and unacculturated Hispanic consumers and is well-positioned for sustained growth.
    3. Google: While performance is near-uniform across racial and ethnic segments, one area they have hit the mark is on Shared Values with Black consumers. This is likely a win from their “Black Girl Magic” campaign celebrating the influence of Black women and girls that began in Spring 2019.
    4. Amazon: Amazon over-indexes on all six dimensions within the Bicultural Hispanic community. The CEO of Amazon’s competitor, Target, offers interesting insight into their experience of losing share among Hispanics, which is that Amazon better supports a rise in cocooning within this segment.
    5. Hershey’s: The iconic American brand ranks highly in all six dimensions among unacculturated Hispanic consumers, specifically in sparking positive memories. During the past five years, Hershey’s has heavily invested in Mexico as part of the company’s growth plan – a likely reason for resonance among this audience.
    6. Dove: While the brand scores are relatively even across the board, Dove receives notably high ratings among bicultural Hispanics. Contributing to this ranking are the recent campaigns inspiring Hispanic women to celebrate their own definition of beauty.
    7. Tide: Performs high among Asian consumers across all six dimensions. On suspect this is related to the “Loads of Hope” campaign, where the brand offers free laundry services. During COVID-19, the campaign has offered free laundry services for first responders; Asian Americans represent 17% of doctors in the U.S.

When considering your multicultural marketing strategy, you may be asking yourself, “Is there a particular demographic that can take my brand to the next level? A segment that could be a standout for brand loyalty and advocacy?”

The answer: Strength with one or more multicultural demographics is more typical of high performing brands than strength with White consumers. Indeed, our research has shown that tailoring marketing to Black and Hispanic consumers has significant crossover effects to White and Asian consumers.

We look forward to continuing our research and providing actionable insights for brands based on our B-CFQ findings. Our BrandRate meta-analysis planned for release this fall will take these findings to the next level, and we look forward to sharing them with you. Watch the webinar replay at the form above and contact us for more details.

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Collage Group Puts Brands and Ads at the Center of Membership in 2020

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Collage Group 2020: Putting Brands & Ads at the Center of Membership
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Three factors are leading us to change our research model to put your category, brands and ads at the center of everything we do.

Learn more about our 2020 research agenda and how our syndicated research platform can help you save money and time.

Factor 1. Every Brand Now Faces Three Moments of Truth with Multicultural America

When it comes to high likelihood that your next consumer is multicultural, ask yourself these questions. 

Do you really understand this consumer?  Do you understand her category-specific motivations, behaviors and needs?  And finally, are you activating with culturally fluent brand equities that drive cross-over appeal?

Factor 2: The Rise of the “New Wave,” The First Generation That is Intrinsically Diverse

We recognize that the evolving population dynamic in America has now firmly placed multicultural at the center of all marketing. It’s not just that Multicultural is big, it’s that Multicultural influences all other demographics.

This is especially true for the generation of Americans between 18-39, which we call the “New Wave.”  This generation is the first to grow up in what we call an intrinsically diverse environment.  While far more diverse, the New Wave share an orientation toward inclusion and diversity not seen in older generations.

And they are now rapidly increasing their spend.

Factor 3: The Cultural Fluency Imperative

Our mission is to help our members increase Cultural Fluency, not just better target specific ethnic segments.  Cultural Fluency is the ability to use culture to connect effectively and efficiently across segments.

We have therefore now invested heavily to offer three new research initiatives that place category, brands, and ads at the center of everything we do.

The Category Essentials: Insights into How Diverse America Views Your Category

With our sharp understanding of cultural variation at the category level, we can reveal distinctive behaviors, motivations, and usage patterns that arise due to culture.

We will extend the reach of our cultural attributes and group traits methodology to help brands better understand the efficiencies and opportunities that stem from putting culture at the center.

“AdRate and BrandRate:” Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Your Ads and Brands

Our vision is to build a database that measures the Cultural Fluency of both our member’s brands, their advertising and their category peers.

By building a database on the Cultural Fluency of America’s leading brands and ads we hope to motivate more inclusive advertising that drives up Cultural Fluency across every category. Using AdRate and BrandRate to measure performance is a critical first step to Cultural Fluency.

Cultural Fluency Solutions

Finally we recognize that even this new level of detail about your categories, brands and ads will not answer all your questions, nor should it. For this reason, we are upgrading our entire suite of custom engagements to put cultural fluency at the center, to extend the authenticity and impact of all your marketing.

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The Top 7 Most Culturally Fluent Brands of 2020

American consumers are experiencing a cultural transformation of unprecedented scope and scale. The pressure is on to rethink marketing with a focus on authentic connections that tap into culture, identity and emotion. This rapidly evolving landscape requires a new approach to assessing and building brands, centered on what we refer to as Cultural Fluency.

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The Cultural Fluency Imperative: How to Win the “New Wave” of Diverse, Young Consumers

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The Cultural Fluency Imperative: How to Win the “New Wave” of Diverse, Young Consumers
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The 2019 Roundtable Series inaugurated a new chapter in the way we help organizations activate young diverse consumers. Learn about our Cultural Fluency Framework and how applying our three-part approach can help connect your brand equities more reliably to the Group Traits of these consumers.

How should marketers reach younger and more diverse Americans, the generation between 18 and 39 whose spending is set to explode?  To answer this question, we enhanced the Cultural Fluency framework we first introduced in 2017, to better increase the ROI on marketing to a diverse America.

Listen to or download this presentation to learn about:

  1. Our three-part framework for deepening Cultural Fluency for the New Wave.
  2. Details of the New Wave Group Traits, covering the “what, how and where” of marketing to this segment.
  3. Case study examples outlining how a handful of leading brands are activating against these Traits.

Webinar Replay
How to Win America’s New Wave of Multicultural Consumers

The Cultural Fluency Imperative

Indeed, applying a demographic lens alone is not only superficial and impractical, but also ignores the commonalities that bind people together across different cultural experiences.

For that reason, we have developed an exhaustive analytical method for understanding how cultures vary, identifying six cultural attributes that can be used to culturally profile any segment.  This work has formed the foundation of our Essentials of Multicultural and Generational Marketing work.

And for younger Americans in particular, this approach is especially important.  This group has grown up in an environment of intrinsic diversity not experienced by older generations, and which unites their consumption behavior across demographic labels. We call this group the “New Wave” of consumers, those consumers born into an America that was already intrinsically diverse.

According to our research, New Wavers possess six Group Traits as shown in the graphic below.

Understanding “What to Say”

Marketers can use this framework to first understand the core cultural attributes underlying how culture is expressed in the Group Traits of any particular segment.  In this presentation we apply the model to the New Wave.  Please review our Essentials work to see how the model is applied to Multicultural and Generational Segments, or contact your Client Services representative to learn more about applying the framework to your subcategory.

Understanding “How to Say It”

Marketers can use this visual to understand the four elements that impact the cultural fluency of their advertising.  Our AdRate creative assessment methodology takes this one step further by applying machine learning to decipher why different groups respond so differently to advertising.  Learn more about Adrate or contact your Client Services representative to commission your own engagement to evaluate the Cultural Fluency of your advertising and to what extent you are exposed to backlash.

Understanding “Where to Say It”

Knowing what to say and how to say it are necessary but not sufficient to connect with the New Wave: marketers must also “show up and connect” in the places that matter to the New Wave – whether in experiential, traditional media, social media, in-store or via various forms of influence.  In 2019, we investigated word-of-mouth  social networks in multicultural segments. 

Webinar Replay