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Gen Z Passion Points

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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.

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

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Natalie Griffith
Director, Product & Content

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

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Authentically Engage Multicultural America Now

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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 Product 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our investors echo our excitement:

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

- Deepak Sindwani, Managing Partner at Wavecrest

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

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

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

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David Wellisch

David Wellisch
CEO and Co-Founder

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

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Engaging Women Small Business Owners

Engaging Women Small Business Owners

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

June 16, 2022
Jenny Wolski – Analyst

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

Key Insight #1

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

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

Implication:

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

Key Insight #2

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

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

Implication:

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

Key Insight #3

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

Implication:

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

Key Insight #4

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

Implication:

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

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

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Jenny Wolski

Jenny Wolski
Analyst

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

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How Great Brands are Supporting the LGBTQ+ Community

How Great Brands are Supporting the LGBTQ+ Community

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

June 7, 2022
Jill Rosenfeld – Senior Analyst

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Other Recent LGBTQ+ Research Articles & Insights from Collage Group

Jill Rosenfeld

Jill Rosenfeld
Analyst

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

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Essentials of LGBTQ+ Consumers

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

May 26, 2022
Jill Rosenfeld – Senior Analyst

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

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

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

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

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

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

Key Finding #1: Demographics & Segment Context

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

Context:

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

Action Step:

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

Key Finding #2: Identity

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

Context:

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

Action Step:

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

Key Finding #3: LGBTQ+ Group Traits

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

Action Step:

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

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

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Other Recent LGBTQ+ Research Articles & Insights from Collage Group

Jill Rosenfeld

Jill Rosenfeld
Analyst

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

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Insights for Authentic LGBTQ+ Representation in Media

Insights for Authentic LGBTQ+ Representation in Media
The LGBTQ+ segment is large and growing. An important part of connecting with the segment is understanding LGBTQ+ consumers’ preferences around advertising and media content. Read on for more information on how your brand can build a stronger connection with LGBTQ+ people through your advertising.

As the LGBTQ+ community grows in both size and visibility, LGBTQ+ people consider their sexuality to be more important to their identity than ever before. As a result, the segment expects more authentic representation in advertising and media.

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

Advertising

Including LGBTQ+ representation in advertising and showing support for the LGBTQ+ community matters to these consumers. LGBTQ+ Americans are more likely to buy from brands that show support for LGBTQ+ people (60%) and feature LGBTQ+ people in their advertising (45%). LGBTQ+ consumers want to be seen as everyday consumers, just like everyone else, which is why it’s important for brands to normalize LGBTQ+ representation across all of their advertising campaigns, not just those for Pride Month.

Brands can also show support by addressing LGBTQ+ pain points specific to your product or service area, which can then be turned into an advertising campaign. An example of a brand excecuting this is Mastercard in their “True Card” ad campaign. In the ad, Mastercard details how True Name credit and debit cards help members of the LGBTQ+ community, particularly transgender and non-binary people, by allowing them to have financial products with their self-identified chosen first name.

Getting Involved

LGBTQ+-focused advertising campaigns should also be accompanied by social and political action. LGBTQ+ Americans, especially those who are younger, believe companies have an obligation to help make political and social change. Almost half of young LGBTQ+ respondents agreed that brands and companies should focus on social and political issues even if they don’t directly relate to their products or services. Overall, most LGBTQ+ respondents prefer brands to get involved by educating consumers about LGBTQ+ rights and discrimination. However, young LGBTQ+ people would also like to see brands hire more LGBTQ+ individuals in leadership positions and donate to LGBTQ+ causes.

Media

LGBTQ+ Americans are largely unimpressed with the current state of representation in movies and TV.  Almost half of the segment says most LGBTQ+ stories in films and TV are inauthentic and stereotypical.

Representation

LGBTQ+ Americans want to see more LGBTQ+ performers and LGBTQ+ creatives involved in the creative direction of LGBTQ+ stories, not only because representation is important but because it’s needed to create authentic stories.  LGBTQ+ people were most interested in seeing a more diverse range of LGBTQ+ people in entertainment media. This is especially important to those who are underrepresented today, like transgender and non-binary people. A quarter of LGBTQ+ Americans say they would like to see more stories of diverse groups of LGBTQ+ people, and this grows to 30% of transgender and non-binary people.

LGBTQ+ Americans Want Happy Stories

According to the data, almost half of the community feels that LGBTQ+ stories in entertainment focus too much on the hardships of the LGBTQ+ experience. Many LGBTQ+ people told us they want to see more content featuring LGBTQ+ people living happy lives that does not include homophobia.

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

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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

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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.

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David Evans
Chief Product Officer

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

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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.

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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.

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