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Pulse Check on Multicultural Health Care Consumers

Pulse Check on Multicultural Health Care Consumers
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Multicultural and generationally diverse Americans express unique health-related values, preferences, and desires.

These include valuing health insurance for different reasons, preferring specific types of benefits over others, desiring health care providers that understand and respect their culture and background, and leaning on different resources when experiencing health issues and seeking support.

Health care organizations—payers, providers, and related companies—need to understand the many ways multicultural and generationally diverse consumers differ in order to successfully capture their attention through marketing, provide products and services that ensure they will remain “brand” loyal, and manage their care in a way that leads to optimal health outcomes. Our research provides insight into diverse health care consumers from five angles:

1. How do consumers choose a health insurance plan?

2. How well do consumers understand their health insurance plans?

3. How do consumers select a health care provider?

4. How do consumers make medical decisions?

5. How do consumers engage in health outside the clinic setting?

Below are two key insights and action steps to aid your strategy to engage with and win-over multicultural health care consumers:

1. Populations that may have immigrated more recently – Unacculturated Hispanic and Asian Americans – are the least likely to understand their insurance plans. Double down on providing resources for segments who may have language barriers or a general lack of understanding of the U.S. health care system.

2. While most people prefer to communicate with their health insurer by phone, multicultural and younger consumers are most likely to utilize digital channels. Make sure live CSR’s are available to assist over the phone with plan-specific questions, and continue to market your digital channels, focusing on their value and ease of use, to realize the efficiency they offer.

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External Resources for Antiracist Education and Action

External Resources for Antiracist Education and Action
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To genuinely reflect and connect with multicultural consumers, brands need to lead by example and take meaningful action. It is no longer enough, or even acceptable, to simply communicate support and solidarity with communities of color without following through with concrete action.

But how do you get there?

We at Collage decided to roll up our sleeves and do what we know best – research. For this project we decided not only to run our own study on consumer perceptions of racism and responses to current events, but also to identify the best resources available to educate ourselves and provide valuable learnings for our membership. As part of our effort to help break the cycle of systemic racism, we compiled a collection of useful resources as a starting point for your own efforts.

The sources we found address three main areas: (1) the personal experiences of racism of America, (2) the role of systemic racism, and (3) what you can do in terms of activations and potential CSR partnerships. Collectively, these resources provide context and guidance on what you need to do as a brand to truly make an impact on combating racism.

1. Learn about racism at a personal level

Educate yourself through listening, reading, and watching things that will help you better understand the lived experience for Black people in America. NPR’s Code Switch offers a curated list of books, films, and podcasts for self-education. Here are some other great resources:

  1. PBS’s “Say It Out Loud” is a video series covering topics including Black pride, terminology, history, and pop culture.
  2. The National Museum of African American History and Culture provides guidance on how to begin talking about racism by exploring different topics like bias, being Anti-Racist, and supporting your community.
  3. Pew’s Social Trend Research on race in America helps shed some light into perceptions of and personal experiences with racism across ethnic segments.

2. Understand the history and impact of systemic racism

Our present moment has brought increased scrutiny on the role policing and the criminal justice system has played in perpetuating racism against Black Americans. The organization Mapping Police Violence  offers up to date data on police killings across the United States with a focus on these racial disparities. We at Collage came together to watch and discuss Ava Duvernay’s documentary 13th, which helps connect the dots between slavery, Jim Crow, and mass incarceration in America.

But there is much else we must address beyond criminal justice reform. Economic inequality should also be top of mind, as we see Blacks and Hispanics disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis. In a recent article by CNBC, Mellody Hobson, the -President and Co-CEO of Ariel Investments, and Ken Frazier, the Chairman and CEO of Merck, agree that leadership, job, and financially literacy programs can help rectify the economic imbalance we see today. Here are two additional helpful resources:

  1. The Urban Institute, research and policy organization, offers a collection of data and stories on structural racism.
  2. Brookings dives into the history and statistics behind the racial wealth gap, pointing out exactly how large and persistent it is. McKinsey extends this conversation with powerful insights identifying the unmet financial needs of Black individuals and families.
  3. In his article ‘The Difference Between First-Degree Racism and Third-Degree Racism’ John Rice explains different levels of structural racism. His organization, Management Leadership for Tomorrow, offers career support to youth from underrepresented communities (including Hispanic, Black, and Native American communities).

3. Take action

Now that you have some context, start thinking about what actions you can take as a brand and as a company. Keep in mind the importance of transparency and aligning your actions with your communications. Vox points out how some brands have received major backlash for putting out empty statements of solidarity. It is important to lead by example, so when it comes to taking action, think about what you need to do internally and how you can extend a helping hand locally and nationwide. Below are some examples of how companies can act:

    1. Internally: CNN Business highlights five concrete structural efforts companies can undertake to promote racial justice.
    2. Internally: Pull up for Change is a campaign that pushes brands to be more transparent about their internal diversity by asking them to release such information as their number of total black employees and their the demographics of leadership positions.
    3. Externally: Ben and Jerry’s has long been an unapologetic ally to the Black community. This post serves as an example of best-in-class activation and features some of their social justice partners.
    4. Externally: P&G’s #LetsTalkBias initiative includes short films “The Look” and “The Talk”, along with conversation guides to help drive change through community dialogue.

We sincerely hope you can dedicate time to digest these materials. Whether by yourself, within your teams at work, or even with your families and social spheres, we also hope these resources foster new conversations and willingness to leverage the tools at your disposal in the struggle against racism.

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How Multicultural Consumers Want Brands to Support Change: Consumer Response to Racism & Current Events

How Multicultural Consumers Want Brands to Support Change: Consumer Response to Racism & Current Events
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Entering the conversation on race can be an intimidating step for your brand, but in this day and age, it’s imperative. Our latest research on current events helps you unpack this topic and provides the guidance you need to take action. Fill out the form to download a sample of the study.

“Unprecedented times:” a label the world has become well-acquainted with since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. But over the past several weeks, public outcry over heinous deaths in the Black community has given new meaning to this phrase. From George Floyd, to Breonna Taylor, to Ahmaud Arbery, and more – Black lives lost at the hands of an inherently racist system have awakened America to the reality of its dark past and broken present.

To help brands understand how Americans are responding to current events and what they can do to support the drive for racial equality, we conducted a survey-based study in June 2020. Below are a few high-level insights and implications from this research. An excerpt of the study is available for download to the right.

Four things you need to know about consumers’ views on racism and related brand actions

  1. Most Americans, but especially Black and Gen Z Americans, recognize the seriousness and pervasiveness of racism in the country

The majority of each segment considers racism to be a very serious problem with Hispanic and Black Americans over-indexing. Additionally, multicultural Americans and Gen Z across segments are more likely to recognize that race impacts how people experience life in the U.S. This is evidence these segments are more in tune with the existence of implicit and systemic racism in the country.

  1. Most Americans recognize the need for significant change to address systemic racism.

Hispanic and Black Americans are more likely than White and Asian Americans to think significant change is needed to achieve racial equality across core institutions like criminal justice, politics, education, health care, and financial systems. These segments are also more likely to think diverse areas of life such as the news, beauty standards, and sports leagues need to change significantly to better reflect the needs, wants, and preferences of non-White Americans.

  1. There is now more risk in remaining silent than taking a stand.

Most consumers expect and demand that brands take a stand. In fact, more than half of all Americans, and roughly two-thirds of Black Americans, think that companies that do not take a stand against racial inequality are part of the problem. Multicultural and Gen Z consumers are more likely to purchase products from companies that make statements about and donate money to causes and organizations they care about.

  1. This time is different: You must take concrete steps beyond statements of support.

Young consumer segments that tend to skew multicultural have well-tuned bullsh*t detectors. They see right through empty promises and virtue-signaling remarks. Brands need to back up their statements of support with concrete actions that show they are serious about driving change.

For more tips on how to be a positive agent of change and details on consumer attitudes and behaviors related to racial justice and current events, download an excerpt of the study above. Contact us for more details.

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How Great Brands Confront Racism and Injustice: Panel Discussion With Leaders from Coca-Cola, Google Pixel & Walt Disney Company

How Great Brands Confront Racism and Injustice: Panel Discussion With Leaders from Coca-Cola, Google Pixel & Walt Disney Company
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Augmented by early findings from our research into racism in America, our virtual panel discussion with leaders from Coca-Cola, Google Pixel and Walt Disney Company provided powerful new insights into the actions brands need to take now. Replay the entire discussion below.
 

The week of Juneteenth 2020, Collage Group was honored to host a virtual panel discussion with Daneyni Sanguinetti from Coca-Cola, Natasha Aarons from Google Pixel and Brian Walker from Walt Disney Company on the topic of how great brands are confronting racism and injustice. Our sessions was scheduled on short notice after public outrage in the wake of the killings of black individuals and the video footage of white privilege at its worst in Central Park.  We have witnessed an extraordinarily generative moment prompting citizens of all backgrounds across the country to protest for social justice, an end to police violence, and to initiate real meaningful steps toward reducing institutional racism.

As part of our session, we shared early findings from our just-fielded survey of over 2361 consumers on racism and social justice in America.  Full results of this initiative will be published in several weeks, but we provided an excerpt to set discussion with our invited guests.  Wound that the vast majority are feeling “sad,” “frustrated,” and “angry” in response to the recent events, but we also found that 20% of consumers felt “hopeful.”  Indeed, similar positive emotions are significantly stronger among the multicultural community, with Black consumers in particular feeling “motivated” and “empowered” to a degree unmatched by other consumers.

We also asked consumers to report on how big a problem racism is on a scale of 1 to 10  where 1 equates to “not a problem at all” and 10 to “a very serious problem.”  No surprise that the Black community overindexes in response to this questions with 85% scoring it in the range between 8-10, but even a solid majority of White consumers report scores in this range.  Indeed more individuals across every single intersection of race, ethnicity and generation responded with a 10, than with any other score.

The good news is that brands taking a stand are most likely to gain. We asked consumers how they would respond to brands making statements “supporting causes and organizations I care about”, and to brands “donating money to causes and organizations I care about.” The answer: the highest percentage of consumers report they are “more likely to purchase products,” with an around one in ten reporting they would react negatively.

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Four Questions to Ask Your Team About America’s Multicultural Consumers

Four Questions to Ask Your Team About America’s Multicultural Consumers
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We are at a tipping point.

American communities are advocating for change in large numbers and with resounding energy. Is your brand ready to take on the change needed to support America’s multicultural consumers? As you evaluate and prepare to take on this challenge, we suggest you ask your team these four questions:

1. Do we understand the multicultural population in America?

The U.S. demographic landscape has transformed; 129 million multicultural consumers now represent 40% of the population. A deep dive into research and insights on multicultural consumers can help you understand and capture the voice and passions of key growth segments: Black, Hispanic, and Asian.
2. How is our brand perceived among multicultural America, specifically the most influential generations?

An intrinsically diverse youth segment (ages 18-39) has emerged in the U.S. These Gen Z and Millennial consumers, referred to as the New Wave, are highly invested in their beliefs and passions, and orient toward inclusion and diversity not seen in older generations. Evaluating how well your brand(s) and advertising resonate is critical to growth.

3. Do we know how to succeed with multicultural and New Wave consumers?

Powerful traits like exceptionalism and anxiety influence how consumer segments perceive and engage with brands. Improving your understanding of these traits among multicultural consumers can help you recognize, anticipate and influence consumer decision-making in your category. From there, you can develop a framework and a plan to effectively build deep, authentic connections.

4. Are we successfully embedding Cultural Fluency throughout your organization?

Educate your team on your framework so there is an organization-wide understanding. You will need alignment on the language and tone necessary to be relevant and authentic, the themes and stories that resonate with multicultural communities, and the next steps for continued innovation and activation.

Collage Group was founded more than 10 years ago with the mission to help companies develop the cultural fluency required to understand and serve diverse America.

We currently partner with more than 200 brands across 15 industries, including Coca-Cola, Clorox, Disney, Heineken, Hulu, Google, McDonalds, Nestle, Proctor & Gamble, U.S. Bank and many more.

Please contact us to find out more about how we can support you on your journey to Cultural Fluency.

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We Are At A Tipping Point

We Are At A Tipping Point
CEO and co-founder David Wellisch on the protests engulfing the nation and what we at Collage are doing to help our members address the challenge.
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This week, Collage Group staff came together to discuss the protests against the police brutality, systematic racism, and racial injustice plaguing our nation.

We held an open and honest conversation where our staff and leaders told personal stories echoing the patterns of injustice. Those of us who are Black recounted stories of racism as children, and gave accounts of the tragic and painful experiences that they continue to experience in daily life.  All of us shared in the hopelessness and helplessness felt by Black America.

Our hearts ache over the many recent tragedies, from the lynching of Ahmaud Arbery in Atlanta, to the police shooting of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, and to the murder of George Floyd by a police officer.  

We’re also reminded of the continued patterns of the less obvious manifestations of racism: a call to police from a white woman in Central Park announcing she was being threatened by “an African-American man,” as well as the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people of color.

Enough is enough.

But where do we start to break the cycle? How do we educate, inspire, and enact policies that support equal rights, justice, and humanity? We are starting from the inside.  I want to make sure that all Collagers understand the roots of racism and undertake efforts to lead by example.

The findings from our recent survey begins to illustrate the depth of the challenge ahead.

We asked Americans across racial and ethnic groups if they thought racism was a serious problem in the country today. As the chart below shows, less than 40% of white consumers recognize racism as a concern in this country.

The divergence in views may be driven by personal experience and conceptions of racism.

According to Pew Research Center, many white Americans have never been subject to the covert and implicit forms of racism that many people of color experience. Many may have an outdated understanding of racism that fails to recognize the structural issues that have never really been addressed.  School-to-prison pipelines, food deserts, mortgage discrimination, and redlining are just some of the institutional factors whose legacies have never been confronted by so many, especially older white Americans.

Overcoming structural racism will require intentional action and concerted effort by all stakeholders in American society. We each have a part to play in ensuring all Americans feel free, safe, and supported.

More than 10 years ago, Collage Group was founded to help leading consumer organizations better serve the diverse cultural fabric of America. In that spirit we are offering the following initiatives to support our members.

  1. A new survey diving deep into the attitudes and expectations consumers are reporting now with implications for brands and companies.
  2. Compilation and distillation of authoritative third-party resources on the Black experience of structural racism, provided in the actionable language marketers need.
  3. A virtual Roundtable with some of our member companies across industries who are directly engaged as individuals and professionals in this crisis, to understand how their companies are mobilizing in response.
  4. Continue to evolve our thinking about ways to galvanize the Collage membership to act in concert in a transformative initiative.

We are always a phone call away if you are in need of any other support. In these trying times, social and political voids provide an opportunity for brands, companies and their leadership to step in to encourage the change that ensures all Americans experience the liberty, peace, and justice too few can rely on.

David Wellisch

CEO

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Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Brands: Home Care

Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Brands: Home Care
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Collage Group just launched new syndicated research streams ranking ads and brands on cultural fluency. Download the content and watch the webinar on alcoholic beverage brands for key insights.

AdRate and BrandRate are major new initiatives that provide a solution to our members’ mounting need for a comprehensive, ongoing analysis of the cultural fluency of branding and advertising. 

This is especially for the “New Wave” of younger Americans who regardless of race or ethnicity are highly responsive to multicultural themes, representation and stories.

AdRate and BrandRate are part of a larger initiative to place every member’s brands and ads at the center of what we do. In the last two weeks, we begin our 2020 BrandRate initiative with the release of rankings in alcoholic beverages.

 

Our rating system is built on two years of research into how best to measure cultural fluency. Our 2020 initiative is the first step toward realizing a vision of a comprehensive and transparent database that reveals what works and what doesn’t. AdRate is based on over 120,000 responses to approximately 150 ads in 8 categories, with deep multicultural, Millennial and Gen Z oversample. We piloted BrandRate with four investigations testing over 100 brands with 6000 consumer responses.

For each investigation we are testing ads and brands with approximately 450-500 consumers between 18-39 (21-39 for alcoholic beverages) equally divided across three levels of Hispanic acculturation, Black, Asian and White. Except for personal care and beauty categories, the sample is equally divided across gender. We also capture respondents’ cultural attribute profile and other demographics factors. This can enabled detailed assessment and lookalike identification of high frequency, high affinity or culturally similar consumers.

We hope that access to this database will motivate more inclusive advertising to drive up Cultural Fluency across every category.  It’s time to raise the bar for everyone.

In that spirit, we offer all members a free detailed mini-report on one ad and one brand for each membership subscription (Latinum and GenYZ). Members may obtain additional reports on any ad or brand 2 and 3 credits respectively, or add additional ad and brands (and obtain reports) for the same fee.

We also offer members the opportunity to commission detailed custom analyses of our data or commission engagements to using our rating methodology. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of becoming a Collage Group Member.

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New Year, New Multicultural New Year’s Insights

New Year, New Multicultural New Year’s Insights
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The New Year’s holiday offers brands a wide range of opportunities to activate Multicultural Americans. Read the research to deepen understanding of how these diverse consumers celebrate the holiday and how best to activate them. Check out the free, digital version by filling out the form.

As we begin this year’s holiday season, it’s important to keep in mind that opportunities to activate consumers continues right through the New Year! New Year’s Eve provides brands an opportunity to be a part of the party, while New Year’s resolutions are a chance to help consumers meet their newly-stated goals in the months to come. To maximize the value of  New Year’s marketing campaigns, check out our New Year’s multicultural insights deck and the three high-level takeaways below.

  1. New Year’s is celebrated by most Americans across all ethnic groups, though Hispanics are particularly likely to enjoy the festivities. Americans 65 and over are less likely than younger generations to celebrate.

2. 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 during their celebrations, while Black consumers are most likely to drink liquor/spirits.

3. When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, multicultural Americans are much more likely to set goals for their new year. Those resolutions are more likely to be related to relationships and finances than the resolutions of their White peers.

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Amplify Word-of-Mouth Impact in the New Wave

The New Wave—the young, diverse segment of Americans aged 18 to 39—value word-of-mouth and engage it more than older Americans. In this study, we share two steps and five tactics that brands should leverage to drive word-of-mouth in this segment.

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This Is How Multiculturals Do Breakfast & Brunch

This Is How Multiculturals Approach Breakfast & Brunch
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Need to get your brand to the top of the morning? Read along and download the report to learn more about the nuances of what Hispanic, African American, and Asian consumers eat and drink for the most important meal of the day.

Don’t Miss the Next Webinar

Essentials of Hispanic Marketing 
September 11th, 2019
2:00 – 3:00 PM

In The Food and Beverage Revolution, we at Collage learned that convenience and health are the two factors driving breakfast decisions. But we wanted a second helping of insights that could go deeper into what choices multicultural consumers are making with their morning meals, as well as how they’re approaching the increasingly important occasion of brunch. To learn more, we asked a series of questions across two nationally representative samples, each with roughly one thousand respondents and multicultural/youth over-samples. These consumers gave us more than a taste of their breakfast and brunch behaviors.

1. African Americans have the largest gap between the perceived importance of breakfast and its actual consumption

2. Multicultural consumers are most likely to see brunch as an opportunity to “treat themselves”

Can you guess which segments complete each insight? Download a sample of the research to see the answers.

Hispanic, Asian, African American, White consumers eat the widest variety of breakfast foods, weekend or weekday
White, Asian, African American, Hispanic women prefer sweet and cold breakfast foods relative to men, but multicultural women do not

Four Things You Need to Know About Asian American Marketing

Four Things You Need to Know about Asian-American Consumers
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Download a free sample of the research.

1. Almost two-thirds of Asian Americans are foreign-born, and roughly 80% speak a language other than English at home.

 

But this doesn’t mean you have to use targeted language-specific advertising to reach the segment. After all, more than 74% of each major Asian sub-group (Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino, Korean, Japanese) is either bilingual or English dominant.

 

2. Roughly half of all Asian Americans cite China or India as their country of origin.

 

And these two groups were responsible for 71% of the Asian segment’s population growth between 2012 and 2017—1.8 million people!

 

3. Marriage is extremely important for Asian Americans.

 

They are the most likely to be married and the least likely to be divorced.  Among origin groups, Indian Asians are the most likely to be married, while Asian women are the most likely of any group to be in an interracial marriage.

 

4. While Asian Americans take pride in their Asian ethnicity, they tend to identify more by their country of origin.

 

This is likely tied to the segment’s desire to maintain a strong connection with their cultural heritage, something many Asians—roughly 48%—fear future generations may lose.

 

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