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Understanding Hispanic Consumer Preferences for Food & Dining

Understanding Hispanic Consumer Preferences for Food & Dining
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Is your brand effectively appealing to the culinary and dining preferences and passions of Hispanic consumers? Food plays an important role in cultural identity among Hispanics. It combines historic flavors with current trends, creating a source of cultural pride and connection.

In our webinar, Hispanic Passions for Food & Dining, we highlight key findings on Hispanic American food preferences and passions, calling out six key insights:

  1. Food is the #1 passion point for Hispanic consumers.
  2. Two in five consumers are strict healthy eaters.
  3. Hispanics are more skeptical of packaged foods, especially frozen foods.
  4. When it comes to prepared or fast food, Hispanics prefer convenience over fresh, but stick with authenticity.
  5. Hispanic Americans are more likely to choose less sugary options.
  6. Hispanics, like Asians, place high value on authentic cooking.

Fill out the form to learn more in the webinar replay.

We had a lot of great questions from webinar attendees and called upon our food experts to provide a deeper explanation. Director of Product and Content Bryan Miller and Senior Analyst Connor Wahrman weigh in below.

What do you think makes food a top passion point for Hispanic consumers?

Bryan: Some of our newest research further confirms that many Hispanics in the U.S. tend to be experience-seeking. Food is an area where we see this appear frequently. Further, for many Hispanics, food is a way to connect with culture and heritage. This does vary a bit by acculturation; a more detailed breakdown is available in our member platform. Importantly, most segments see food as a top passion point, except younger segments. For example, in Gen Z consumers we’ve seen more functional in eating habits/preferences.

Are Hispanic consumers interested in food delivery services: UberEats, Instacart, Amazon Fresh, etc.? Do they see these services as more convenient? Less fresh?

Connor: Our research shows that Hispanic consumers are most likely to integrate technology into their shopping. They use mobile devices to aid in in-store shopping and are most interested in curbside pickup services and secure drop-off locations.

Do you have suggestions on how to position my brand to leverage experiential eating, particularly during the pandemic?

Bryan: Try highlighting new and interesting ways that your product can be used… Think about sharing recipes online and/or promoted through social media. People are at home, online more, and cooking more; give them an excuse to try something new with your products.

Connor: Also, consider shifting the focus from “exciting eating” to “authentic cooking” experiences. Work to identify ways to make authentic, fresh food more accessible to consumers through DIY opportunities. For example, do for food/cooking what Netflix is doing with “watch parties.”

With the current economic system, how are Hispanic food purchasing behaviors/preferences impacted?

Connor: Hispanic consumers are most price-sensitive when it comes to food products compared to other segments, so they are most willing to sacrifice quality and brand loyalty considerations as economic conditions continue to stagnate/decline.

What are the key differences by generation? Is there anything that stands out for Gen Z, specifically?

Bryan: In general, we see Gen Z (especially younger Gen Z) tending to be more functional eaters. We suspect this is an age effect and that the attitudes will shift as they age. Shifts will likely stem from beginning to cook more, having more choice about what they eat (right now parents may be choosing), and having more disposable income.

Fill out the form above to access the webinar replay and contact us with additional questions, or for more information about our syndicated online research and custom capabilities.

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 Coronavirus Crisis Research Initiative

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The Coronavirus Crisis Research Initiative
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The coronavirus crisis is changing everything in ways we never expected. Read more below to understand our research and review custom options for obtaining detailed reporting and proprietary insights.

The coronavirus crisis has now emerged as a once-a-century transformation in the global economy, with radical impacts on trade-flows, consumer behavior, and spending across every industry. Collage Group members are now in the throes of intensive investigation into consumer response across every category.

Two factors reinforce why this initiative is so important.


Cultural differences impact consumer behavior even more a time of crisis.

Cultural backgrounds significantly influence the neuroloigical “defaults” in human behavior, especially when it comes to health.  Consider the progress of COVID-19 in South Korea vs Italy, both democracies in which multigenerational households are common.  The differences could not be starker. Indeed, the difference in outcomes could not explained without recourse to an understanding of differences in culture.

The multicultural contribution to growth increases in an economic downturn.

Multicultural consumers will continue to drive the majority of spending growth through this crisis.  Indeed, the multicultural contribution to growth has historically increased when the economy shrinks.  Indeed, all our projections indicate the contribution can only increase in the future. As you can see from the chart below extracted from our Big Shift research, multicultural response is even more important at this time than in periods of economic strength.

We cover four components in our coronavirus crisis research:

1. Deep Dive Syndicated and Omnibus Survey

Our main survey goes deep into culture factors that are critical to differences in consumer behavior.   We incorporate cultural attitudes that impact health and response to risks to health, such as social proximity conventions, multigenerational contact, fatalism, compliance with authority and other factors.  The difference between the Italian and Korean situation cited above is probably due to these factors in no small part

We will look at a variety of questions including:

    • How does consumer reaction to the coronavirus vary across race, ethnicity, and generation, gender?
    • How do cultural factors such as social proximity, risk aversion and multigenerational interaction impact behavior and motivations across demographics segments?
    • How are consumers across all segments altering purchasing behavior across and within categories, including stockpiling?
    • How are consumers viewing the future, where will they spend when the crisis passes and what will be the long-term effects on behavior?

2. Tracking Survey

Our tracker goes beyond top-line reporting.  We will look at levels of concern in multiple areas (financial, health, etc) as well as with government and media response. We will also track behavior adoption change which can be used by brands to encourage consumers to “do the right thing” and which may be predictive

3. Revised Spend Projections and Brand Response

We will updating our Annual Population and Expenditure analysis. We will look at a variety of questions including:

    • How are population and spending projections likely to be altered across race, ethnicity, generation, and gender?
    • How will these projections alter the outcomes by category?
    • What are emerging examples of effective marketing during the Coronavirus crisis?

4. Custom Solutions

Questions we are currently address on behalf of members  include:

    • How are consumer behaviors changing with respect to my specific category, brand and consumer segments?
    • How are my marketing efforts being perceived by consumers?
    • How is my size of prize changing?

We’d love to hear from you! Talk to us about the benefits of Collage Group’s methodologies.

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How Multicultural and Youth Consumers are Reshaping the Video Game Industry

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How Multicultural and Youth Consumers are Reshaping the Video Game Industry
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The stunning growth of video games and virtual reality within the entertainment industry is attributable to two core segments: youth and multicultural consumers. Brands need to understand how to leverage this passion point to activate these key segments as gamer culture continues to blend with the mainstream.

By 2023, U.S. revenue from video games, eSports, and virtual reality entertainment will exceed that of either traditional cinema or over-the-top (OTT) video streaming. A massive portion of this spend will be due to multicultural consumers, the segment responsible for 94 percent of growth in video game expenditures between 2010 and 2017. But it’s not just multicultural America—81 percent of U.S. consumers play video games!

Here’s what this opportunity means for marketing strategies:

1. Representations of video games and gaming culture are increasingly important in advertisements portraying multicultural and youth segments.

2. Gaming-focused social media platforms, like Twitch and Mixer, offer new channels to communicate with a growing share of your target consumers

3. Gaming conventions and eSports tournaments, such as E3 and PAX, provide new opportunities to demonstrate a shared passion for this growing source of entertainment.

4. Gaming influencers can speak authentically and directly with tens of millions of online followers across both mainstream and gaming-specific media channels

Games and gaming devices present unlimited potential for branded content, in-game activations, advertising, and marketing innovation

As gaming rapidly becomes a mainstream form of entertainment media, it’s becoming increasingly important for brands to understand consumers as gamers—their video game related attitudes, preferences, and behaviors.

The first thing brands need to know is that video games present multiple opportunities to connect with and activate consumers. Much like OTT streaming, there’s an ever-growing list of titles and genres of games available across a variety of devices. And like traditional sports, individuals will sometimes play video games by themselves, and sometimes watch others play. And even when consumers aren’t engaging with video games directly, they follow gaming influencers, share gaming memes, and attend gaming conventions.

Brands also need to understand how to activate consumers through video games. From real-world influencer partnerships and eSports sponsorships to in-game branded content and “avatar activations,” getting video game marketing right requires knowing where your brand has permission to play, and which consumers you are likely to reach.


To provide Collage Group members with an introduction to video games and the consumers who enjoy them, in July 2019 we conducted a nationally representative survey of 1097 respondents, oversampling Gen Z, Millennial, Black, Asian, and Hispanic consumers across acculturation levels for precision within these segments.

Strategic takeaways from our research include:

  1. Gen Z gamers are more likely to watch casual streaming than eSports. Partner with the online/social media streamers delivering casual entertainment to this emerging consumer segment.
  2. Hispanic gamers are most likely to make gaming part of their social lives. Prioritize multiplayer and “party” games, as well as activations at gaming conventions, to reach Hispanic consumers.
  3. Younger gamers are more comfortable with branded content in their games. Think outside of the box! Look out for the opportunities virtual worlds present to show off your brand’s personality.

Understanding how multicultural and youth consumers approach entertainment media is essential for marketing to these already powerful and ever-growing segments.  If you are interested in having an initial conversation with our consulting team about methods to deal with this topic, please contact us directly.

Explore the Archive

What Brands Need To Know About the LGBTQ+ Community

The LGBTQ+ community in America is young, fast-growing, and diverse. And it should be part of every brand’s growth strategy! Dive into our research for strategic insights on what makes this group unique and how you can connect with them to drive brand growth.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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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Read More »

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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Safeguard Your Brand Against Ad-wary Online Streaming Viewers

Safeguard Your Brand Against Ad-wary Online Streaming Viewers
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To effectively capture consumer attention, marketers must understand the ever-changing media landscape. Leverage these insights to optimize your ads for the modern TV consumer.

Don’t Miss The Next Webinar

Appeal to Gen Z and Millennial Passions

March 12, 2020

As internet speed and viewing options continue to increase, more consumers are opting for online over-the-top (OTT) streaming services. One result of this is that viewers are consuming media in more contexts: on the-go, at home, alone, with company, and at all hours of the day. These different contexts directly affect how, where, and whether viewers see ads. Smart brands see this shift in how viewers consume media as an opportunity to tailor their marketing campaigns to optimize viewer impact.

The first step in this process is to recognize and activate on the crucial role cultural background plays when it comes to online streaming. We’ve identified six places where culture shows up that brands can leverage: content, consumer behavior, devices, advertising, language, and price.

One of the key ways that consumers are looking to customize their experienceespecially Hispanic and Black viewers—is by opting out of ads, even if this requires payment! Given consumer interest and the increasingly available option for consumers to opt out of ads, brands need to understand what sort of advertising consumers find engaging and are willing to watch.

So, what type of ads do people prefer?

  • – Across groups, people most appreciate ads that are “fresh.” This is crucial to stay relevant and capture attention in an over-stimulating, information-heavy world

  • – In terms of ad content, Hispanic consumers like when advertisements mirror the tone of what they’re currently watching so that it feels more like a seamless experience
  •  
  • – Multicultural viewers across the board are especially likely to enjoy ads that feature their favorite actors from the shows they’re watching

In addition to the content of the ads themselves, we see from the data below that almost half of all consumers, especially Black and Hispanic viewers, simply want the option to choose which ads they watch. Consumers have control over so many other aspects of their media-streaming experience that now active ad choice is becoming a desire and even an expectation.

Not only do consumers want to choose the ads they watch, they also have strong preferences around how they experience ads. When choosing their optimal ad breaks, most consumers prefer fewer but longer breaks so that their viewing is interrupted less often.

Within those longer breaks, Black and White consumers lean towards fewer and longer ad spots which indicates a desire for deeper narratives. On the other hand, Asian and Bicultural Hispanic viewers more heavily favor a host of shorter ads that take place consecutively during longer breaks. This may reflect a preference for fresh, eye-catching visuals over ad plot development.

The outlier here is Unacculturated Hispanic viewers, who prefer many short ads that happen during shorter, more frequent breaks. This group’s strikingly different preference merits a targeted advertising approach to keep them engaged.

Executional Strategies

In order to excel in this competitive advertising space, brands need to take notice of consumer demands and rise to the occasion! The following executional strategies illustrate emerging ad trends in digital media that align with consumer interests.

The first is a direction towards non-disruptive advertising formats that don’t distract the viewer from the content they’re enjoying. The underlying motivation here is to improve the advertising experience for viewers. Recent developments in this area include “pause ads” and “binge ads.”

  • Pause ads are advertisements that appear on the viewer’s screen when they pause what they’re watching. This non-intrusive approach takes advantage of the time when viewers aren’t actively watching their show and are least likely to mind seeing an ad
  • Binge ads are those that are targeted specifically to viewers who binge, or marathon, their content. When a viewer exhibits binge-watching behavior, streaming platforms can reward their high engagement with ad-free episodes “sponsored” by a brand

Binge ads work well across the market by playing into consumer behavior trends that already exist. As you might expect, binge watching is popular for pretty much everyone. More than two-thirds of each segment—except for Asian consumers—tune in for long spans at a time and will likely appreciate these relevant binge ads.

Secondly, a push towards interactive user experiences is bringing innovations like choice-based ads and shoppable ads.

  • – Choice-based ads permit viewers to choose which ads they want to see from a brand. This option gives viewers the flexibility to tailor their advertising experience to what’s most relevant for them

  • – Shoppable ads
     allow viewers to learn more about brands and streamline the process of buying products featured in advertisements. This includes scannable QR codes or information sent directly to a mobile number or email associated with the viewer’s account

As you can see, there are many distinct nuances in media preferences and behaviors across cultural segments. Knowing your audience will help you meet them where they’re at. When you’re strategizing for your next media advertising campaign, keep these key takeaways in mind:

      1. Consumers most prefer ads that are “fresh.” Incorporate of-the-moment trends into your advertising to capture the attention of viewers across the board
      2. Most viewers want fewer but longer ad breaks. Aim for a “sweet spot” of medium-length ads to appeal to the general audience, or take a targeted approach for specific segments by altering ad length to fit their preferences
      3. Take advantage of innovative advertising formats emerging in OTT media. Consumers are eager to experience things in a new way, and many of these new formats will improve their overall viewing experience, like binge ads

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Understanding Hispanic Consumer Preferences for Food & Dining

Is your brand effectively appealing to the culinary and dining preferences and passions of Hispanic consumers? Food plays an important role in cultural identity among Hispanics. It combines historic flavors with current trends, creating a source of cultural pride and connection.

Amplify Word-of-Mouth Impact in the New Wave

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Amplify Word-of-Mouth Impact in the New Wave
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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.
 
As part of our 2019 Roundtable research, we took a deep dive to understand what drives word-of-mouth influence in the New Wave, the young, diverse segment of Americans aged 18 to 39. We found that New Wavers are much more likely to rely on word-of-mouth when seeking out new products than their older counterparts. And it’s become an expectation and necessary step on the path-to-purchase for many of these young, diverse consumers.
 

Learn about our 2020 research agenda and how access to our syndicated research platform can help your brand connect with the New Wave.

The New Wave is also more likely to engage in word-of-mouth—both online and offline! This is good news for brands—it means you don’t have to work as hard to get these people sharing. The challenge, of course, is making sure that when they share it’s about your brand, and that sentiment is positive.

Our 2019 Roundtable research provides two steps to keep you top-of-mind and at the center of discussion.

  1. The first step is to quantify influence so you can identify the most influential segments in the new wave. We employ two methods to help you quantify influence and identify segments to target. The first uses factor analysis to identify the segments most likely to exhibit attitudes and behaviors related to word-of-mouth.  The second uses an ego-based social network analysis to understand how far influence is likely to spread given the makeup of each segment’s social networks.

  2. The second step is to activate the New wave to share. We provide two tactics to help you amplify word of mouth in the most influential New Wave segments and three tactics to drive word-of-mouth across all New Wavers.

Download the attached PowerPoint deck for insights and executional examples to help you harness the influence power of the New Wave.

If you are interested in joining peer-to-peer calls with non-competitive members to share insights and discuss strategies to manage this issue, exploring custom qualitative or quantitative research for your brand or category, or having an initial conversation with our consulting team about methods to deal with this topic, please fill out the form below. 

Read more about the new wave

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.

Mom Knows Best: Understanding the Key Decision-Makers of the Family, with Special Attention to Hispanic Moms

Mom Knows Best: Understanding the Key Decision-Makers of the Family, with Special Attention to Hispanic Moms
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Moms are essential to running their families, as well as driving brand growth. Dive into our research for strategic insights on how you can capture spending from moms across segments, as well as specifically resonate with Hispanic moms.

We all know moms play an important role in the family, but they’re also a crucial consumer group! They overwhelmingly steer their family’s purchases as they research products, do the shopping, and make countless decisions when it comes to budgeting and spending. However, many moms feel misunderstood by the very brands and companies they’re pouring themselves into as consumers. This means that moms merit specific attention.

It’s also important to recognize that not all moms are alike. After all, racial and ethnic background often shape the way mothers raise children and navigate the challenges of motherhood. Hispanic moms are an especially important group to focus on given the Hispanic segment’s current and projected population and spending growth. Brands that capture Hispanic moms today not only win the moms—they’re also taking steps to capture their children’s attention down the road.

To help you better understand who moms are and how they act as consumers, we’ve compiled data from 2019 Collage Group syndicated research initiatives. We’ve broken the data down by moms vs. non-moms, and further by Hispanicity.

We start off by providing Cultural Attribute Profiles for each group. These profiles reveal how each group scores on important characteristics including: anxiety, cultural rootedness, exceptionalism, independence, adventurousness, and compliance. Then, we cover relationships and family dynamics. Afterwards, we take a deep dive on moms’ path to purchase, including social media influence, product reviews, word-of-mouth, and shopping behaviors. Lastly, our study concludes with a section on what holidays and nightlife are like for moms.

Our insights will help you execute campaigns that will win across the board with moms, and also ways that you can take a targeted approach to resonate with Hispanic moms.

Strategic takeaways from our research include:

  1. Moms are heavy social media users. They use it as a tool to gather product information, as well as to share their own experiences. Brands should have a strong social media presence and make product information accessible. This is also an opportunity to tap into the power of mom influencers to bolster brand awareness.
  2. Preserving culture is a point of concern for Hispanic Moms. They want to ensure their children appreciate their roots. Tap into cultural identity and family themes simultaneously. This intersection is where heritage is top-of-mind for Hispanic Moms.
  3. Moms are the primary drivers of planning, organizing, and spending for special occasions. They love celebrating holidays and making them special for their kids. Holiday activations should be targeted at moms. Highlight your product’s ability to support their holiday celebrations.

What Brands Need To Know About the LGBTQ+ Community

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Understanding Hispanic Consumer Preferences for Food & Dining

Is your brand effectively appealing to the culinary and dining preferences and passions of Hispanic consumers? Food plays an important role in cultural identity among Hispanics. It combines historic flavors with current trends, creating a source of cultural pride and connection.

Superbowl LIV Halftime Proves Brands Can Use Hispanic Culture to Win the General Market

Superbowl LIV Halftime Proves Brands Can Use Hispanic Culture to Win the General Market
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Our post-Superbowl survey on the halftime show found that Hispanic, Black, and White consumers in the “New Wave” (ages 18-39) are receptive to Hispanic culture and messaging. This data further supports our claim that brands can win across this segment with a multicultural message.

Learn how these insights can be applied to your brand.

“I don’t know what [NFL commissioner] Goodell was thinking,” confided a colleague after reflecting on the Superbowl LIV halftime extravaganza featuring Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. “Frankly, I’m shocked he signed off on that thing.”

Google “super bowl halftime controversy 2020” and you’ll get over six million results.  It seems a lot of people shared my friend’s view that Roger Goodell’s decision to feature the Latina superstars was suspect. But many more would likely champion the decision based on the massive positive press around JLo’s celebration of Puerto Rico, Shakira’s nod to her middle eastern heritage, and of course the spike in both artists’ record sales and online streams.

But anecdotal evidence only provides limited insight. To really understand what consumers thought about this culturally charged event, brands need data. So, we fielded a survey to 284 Hispanic, Black, and White consumers age 18-39.  We call this segment the “New Wave,” defined by an experience of growing up in an intrinsically diverse America. The findings from this survey and what they mean for brands are below.

First, and most importantly, the New Wave was exceptionally positive about the halftime show. In fact, almost 80% or more of each segment said they enjoyed the show.

When asked what they liked most, respondents repeatedly mentioned Latinas and Latin culture, as you see in the quotes below.  If Goodell’s intent was to ensure the NFL’s relevance to the 25 million Hispanic NFL fans who are part of America’s fastest growing demographic, then his decision to celebrate Hispanic culture and its growing influence on America was a no-brainer.

Second, almost 70% of women surveyed thought the halftime show empowered women. 23% of White women felt the show objectified women, while less than half that percentage of Hispanic and Black women felt the same. One caveat: Unacculturated Hispanics were slightly more likely (21%) to think the show objectified women.

Third, over 80% of Hispanics thought the show represented Hispanic culture well. And 60% of these individuals also agreed that it represented American culture well. What’s really interesting is that non-Hispanic segments were even more likely to hold this view. Over 80% of the Black respondents and 62% of the White respondents who thought the show represented Hispanic culture well also thought the show represented American culture well. These data reveal that a majority of people can view something as both strongly Hispanic and strongly American – these are not trade-offs.  And you don’t even have to be Hispanic to hold that view.

Our data indicate that the vast majority of the New Wave—18-39 year old Americans—did not find the show particularly controversial and were thrilled about the inclusion of superstar Latinas. This finding is further evidence that brands looking to take the next big step in marketing, which is to lead with multicultural, will be well-positioned to win with the New Wave. Your brand should follow the evidence and lean into the multicultural space to ensure you capture your share of this segment’s attention and loyalty.

Diverse Representation in Ads Is Not Enough to Win The “New Wave” of Diverse, Young Americans

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Diverse Representation in Ads Is Not Enough to Win The “New Wave” of Diverse, Young Americans
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Across 2019, we analyzed almost 150 ads, gathering almost 100,000 surveys and 20 million datapoints. Using this data, we developed the Cultural Fluency Quotient, a new metric to predict brand favorability and purchase intent, and ran machine learning on the data to derive powerful new insights into what matters for every demographic.  Read on for critical insights into the creative strategy you need to win the New Wave.

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Keys to Culturally Fluent Creative for the New Wave

In a climate of increasing tribalism exacerbated by social media polarization, advertisers must appeal to the most complex mix of demographics in American history while steering clear of unintended backlash.  Every quarter has its walk of shame for one or more brands, most recently Peloton for its widely reviled holiday commercial “The Gift that Gives Back” that tanked the stock by over 10% in early December 2019.

As many members know, we have been building a capability we call AdRate leveraging a database of consumer response to ads. Across the last 18 months, we have been conducting research based on a new way of looking at brand favorability called Groundswell and Backlash, and applied machine learning to reveal powerful insights into how people from different cultural backgrounds process ads.

As the database grows, our ability to derive deeper insights and develop more predictive metrics increases.  For this study we developed the Cultural Fluency Quotient (CFQ), a weighted combination of three factors that best predict post-view brand favorability and purchase intent, which is then indexed for each demographic.  We ranked ads on CFQ for each demographic and ran machine learning on the top and bottom performing ads to derive the factors that best predict both high Cultural Fluency and what to avoid.

One key insight here is to go beyond performance norms.  We therefore also look at how important a norm is to high CFQ.  After all, it makes no sense to focus overly on how well an ad’s visuals perform (for example), if visuals are not a driver of cultural fluency.  For this reason, we use our machine learning results to derive importance scores an dozens of attributes of ads.  We then plot the results on a 2×2, as shown below.  The winning ads do well (horizontal axis) on what matters (vertical axis).

When we run the numbers, the findings are similar for every demographic. The best ads tell a simple story using ONE multicultural perspective, with attention to authentic texture.  These ads avoid the trap of representing every demographic at once, and ensure the viewer is not confused by the relationship between the product and the story.

The top two insights from this analysis imply:

  • It’s Not Just Casting: Creating common ground is not just “representation.”  You see that in the chart below that People & Characters are not as important as Story and Message. Diverse representation is necessary but it’s only price of entry.

  • The Story is Everything: Storytelling is by far the most impactful way to build cultural relevance. No story, no cultural fluency.
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Few ads better exemplify this point than US Banks “Hard Work Works: Flying Home.”