Posts

Guard Against Recession with Cultural Insights

, , ,
Guard Against Recession with Cultural Insights

Collage Group recently launched an urgent initiative into consumer attitudes and behaviors related to current events and the present economic situation. Read on for the main insights you need to know.

August 22, 2022
Jill Rosenfeld – Research Manager

LinkedIn
Twitter
Facebook
Email

With inflation at a 40-year high, job growth increasing the likelihood of interest rate increases, and predictions of recession rampant in the media, Collage Group recently launched an urgent initiative into consumer attitudes and behaviors related to current events and the present economic situation. Our primary objective was to identify how people are currently responding, how they’re likely to react if things get worse, and where and why they’re making tradeoffs.

Fill out the form below to watch the replay and download the presentation for key insights.

Overall, we found that economic concern does differ among the segments. Hispanic and White Americans are the most likely to be very worried about what their personal finances will look like in the near future. These segments also express the greatest concern about the current and future United States economy. On the other hand, Black and Asian Americans are the least likely to say they are very worried about their financial situations six months from now, instead saying they are a little worried, or even not worried at all.

Read on for a few key insights on how different consumer segments are reacting to the current economic landscape, and then download the attached presentation and watch the video to view the full presentation.

Insight #1: Avoid Political Anxieties by Focusing on Consumers’ Practical Problems

Political affiliation was one of the strongest indicators of how survey respondents answered questions about the current United States Economy. Because of today’s highly politicized media landscape, consumers tend to frame messaging about “the economy,” “recession,” and “inflation” in political terms that you as a brand want to avoid.

Don’t play to political anxiety. Instead, focus on solving consumers’ practical problems – like paying their bills, paying down debts, and providing for their families. These concerns are universal and relevant regardless of political party or economic situation.

Insight #2: Consumers’ Economic Concerns Drive Their Everyday Purchasing Behaviors

The path people take on their way to making a purchase necessarily includes concerns about their finances. Current concerns lead to current purchasing choices about what to buy or not buy, and concern for the future drives planning for future spending. This tends to be more directed to bigger purchases that need to be planned and prepared for. Different levels of concern about finances now and in the future lead to different purchasing decisions, which we see playing out today among the different racial and ethnic segments.

Insight #3: Hispanic Consumers Are Most Concerned and Likely to Be Shifting Their Purchasing Now

Hispanic Americans are more likely than others to be making more changes to their purchasing. This behavior comes in part from the reality that Hispanic Americans’ average household incomes skew below the total population and allow for less of a financial cushion in hard times. As we’ve seen in our Hispanic Cultural Traits research, Hispanic Americans are also uniquely resilient, and they understand that shifting their purchasing behaviors is a way to adapt to the changing economic landscape.

This segment is more likely than others to be buying both fewer and cheaper items in nearly all categories, showing their willingness to both cut back and buy cheaper substitutes to make ends meet.

Insight #4: Black Americans’ Optimism Is Keeping Their Purchasing Steady

Despite having lower household incomes than other Americans, Black Americans report less worry about their finances than others, both now and in the future. This optimism is innate to the Black American segment across all areas of their lives. Here, it surfaces in the segment’s financial outlook and subsequent purchasing behaviors.

Black Americans are less likely than others to be buying fewer items across all categories, and these differences are statistically significant for apparel, skincare, and beauty / makeup. The segment is also less likely to be switching to cheaper substitutes than others, especially for groceries and home care products.

Insight #5: Asian Americans Aren’t Worried Yet, But Are Beginning to Plan for the Future

And finally, Asian Americans’ have a more nuanced approach to the current economy. They aren’t as worried as Hispanic Americans or as optimistic as Black Americans. The segment’s higher average income level leads to a feeling of security for now, but they are still preparing in case things get worse in the future. That means that they are keeping buying habits largely the same at the moment but are considering delaying major purchases in the future.

More than half of Asian Americans say they will likely delay a big-ticket purchase if their finances worsen in the next six months. This consumer segment is also significantly more likely than others to plan to find an additional job, delay home purchase or renovation, and reconsider retirement and retirement savings if their economic situation gets worse soon.

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.

LinkedIn
Twitter
Facebook
Email

Other Recent Multicultural Research Articles and Insights from Collage Group

Jill Rosenfeld

Jill Rosenfeld
Research Manager

Jill is a Research Manager on Collage Group’s Cultural Insights team focusing on the LGBTQ+ and Gender membership. She is a graduate of 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.

Get In Touch.

There's a world of Data Insight Opportunity just for you

collage-transparent-white-156px

Slow Improvement Amid Cultural Uncertainty: Updated Economic Forecast and Survey Results on Consumer Finances and Purchasing

Slow Improvement Amid Cultural Uncertainty: Updated Economic Forecast and Survey Results on Consumer Finances and Purchasing
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Given all the uncertainty and stress of COVID, it’s more important than ever for marketers to keep a finger on the pulse of important consumer attitudes and behaviors.

To support this need, we at Collage have been conducting an intermittent tracking survey of how 18 to 39-year-old Americans, a group we call the New Wave, are responding to this extraordinary time.  In our most recent update, we compare the trailing average of four pulse surveys through mid- September to the trailing average through late August.  Read further for excerpts from our full report available exclusively to members.

Consumers Remain Generally Hesitant to Engage in Social Activities But Trending Slightly Positive.

One key indicator for increasing economic activity is how comfortable people feel engaging in the social activities which drive personal consumption and job creation. The story here is that of little meaningful change: consumer hesitancy to participate in these activities is clear across the board. We’re over six months into a worsening pandemic and unsurprisingly we see that most consumers just aren’t comfortable getting back to life “as it was.” The only substantial difference across multicultural segments is that non-Hispanic white consumers tend to be more comfortable engaging in these social activities, while unacculturated Hispanics tend to be less comfortable overall.

Purchase of Home Care and Personal Care Products May Be Trending Positive.

Despite the greater concern with finances and slightly reduced comfort with public places overall, New Wave consumers report they plan to spend more in a few areas, notably home care, personal care, and beauty. We see some small movements in other categories as well, including food, home care, and beverages, but the real story is lingering overall hesitancy to increase spending on non-essentials.  The increased spread of COVID-19 as we head into the cooler months may be driving the expected increase in home care spending.  As the downloadable presentation shows, personal care and beauty vary considerably by demographic.

Fill out the form below to to learn how your brand can stay ahead of the curve on critical consumer trends.

Fill out the form below to to learn how your brand can stay ahead of the curve on critical consumer trends.

Get In Touch.

There's a world of Data Insight Opportunity just for you

collage-transparent-white-156px

Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Brands: Personal Care

Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Personal Brands: Fenty Beauty
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Which beauty brands appeal to multicultural consumers?

Our most recent CultureRate:Brand 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. 

Get In Touch.

There's a world of Data Insight Opportunity just for you

collage-transparent-white-156px

Category Spend Patterns During COVID-19

Category Spend Patterns During COVID-19
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
These times are uncertain, but you don’t have to be. Act on these category-specific insights to resonate with multicultural consumers during this period of change. The document available for download provides an excerpt focused on Hispanic consumers. Fill out the form to download detailed insight into the top issues prime for brand activation in the near and midterm for all consumers by race and ethnicity.
 

Our latest COVID-19 initiative takes an expansive look at consumer preferences and shopping behaviors during our time of crisis. The analysis uncovers how attitudes and spending patterns are shifting among the major racial and ethnic segments at a general and category-specific level. These insights will help you understand how to connect with consumers right now and in the near future.

You’ll find category-specific decks ready for download on this page, covering alcohol, mobile and electronics, entertainment and media, financial services, food and beverage, home care, and personal care. But before diving in, take note of these key insights…

Four High-Level Findings to Help You Navigate Marketing during the Pandemic:

1. The majority of consumers in each segment are being more mindful of their spending habits, especially Hispanic consumers. This means that the bar is raised for which brands and products make the cut. You’ll need to pay close attention to how behaviors and preferences are changing right now to stay relevant across segments.

2. 4 in 5 Americans expect brands to take positive action in response to the pandemic. This is not the time for your marketing efforts to go dark. Stay relevant by taking action and speaking out in ways consumers find valuable, like educating the public about social distancing, a strong want from multicultural consumers, especially Hispanics.

3. Changes in specific shopping behaviors are more pronounced for multicultural consumers. Hispanic and Black consumers have increased their shopping at both big box stores and drugstores. Take a look in our category-specific decks for a deep dive on changes in buying patterns within each industry.

4. Where consumers are making trade-offs is also noteworthy. Black consumers are notably less likely to cut spending on makeup and cosmetics.  Hispanics by contrast will defend spending in groceries, personal care and home care, but expect to cut spending in that category as well as toys and games, electronics and at home entertainment.

Though these times are uncertain, you can survive and thrive with these insights on how to connect with consumers right now and beyond the pandemic.

Discover More Insights

Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Brands and Ads: Alcoholic Beverages Brands and Personal Care Ads

Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Brands and Ads: Alcoholic Beverages Brands and Personal Care Ads
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Collage Group is ranking ads and brands on our all-new, proprietary cultural fluency metric. Fill out the form to download a sample of the study where you will learn more about our process and find out how top brands rank.

CultureRate:Ad and CultureRate:Brand 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.

CultureRate:Ad and CultureRate:Brand 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 CultureRate:Ad and CultureRate:Brand initiative with the release of rankings in alcoholic beverages and personal care.

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. CultureRate:Ad is based on over 120,000 responses to approximately 150 ads in 8 categories, with deep multicultural, Millennial and Gen Z oversample. We piloted CultureRate:Brand 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 enable 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.

We offer members the opportunity to commission detailed custom analyses of our data or commission engagements to using our rating methodology. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of Collage Group’s membership, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Discover More Insights

Feel Good, Look Good. New Millennial and Gen-Z Beauty Behaviors

,
Consumers are increasingly paying attention to wellness and mindfulness. So how can brands best position themselves to capitalize on these trends? Our latest study takes a look at how wellness influences beauty behaviors for gen-Z and millennials, and what that means for marketers.

Read more

African American Beauty Trends – A Webinar with Google

Have you ever wondered what African American women care about when it comes to beauty and how to speak effectively to this audience?  We recently partnered with Google to co-host a webinar for leading brands and creative agencies to uncover what African American women are doing online to inform their beauty routines and purchases. The companies shared powerful insights and messaging recommendations to help brands connect with this critical segment.

Read more

The Millennial Path to Purchase: Personal Care & Beauty

As part of our Generational Shopper series we present the millennial path to purchase of personal care and beauty. Our findings take you through the shopping journey from catalyst to loyalty. Learn how millennials shop differently both intra- and inter-generationally for these products.

Read more