All Articles Tagged "black consumers"
Are things changing in the advertising world? Just last year many complained of the lack of advertising targeting the African-American community. Now comes news that two new major campaigns have hired black women as spokespeople, reports Target Market News.
Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas has been tapped by McDonald’s to promote its newest menu addition — the egg-white breakfast sandwich, an addition that aims to counter some of the healthy eating complaints the company has come up against. Rather than being featured in ads, Douglas will promote the new breakfast item at the restaurant chain’s events. (Total aside, Gabby’s on TODAY this morning talking about her new book and getting back to the gym.)
By utilizing Douglas, McDonald’s also hopes to increase spending by blacks at the chain. According to The Buying Power of Black America, of the $22.4 billion all black households spent eating out in 2011, more than 11% ($2.6 billion) was spent on breakfast meals. This was an increase of 9% from 2010.
And home furnishings giant Simmons Bedding Company has hired Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American female astronaut, to be part of a major forthcoming ad campaign. We recently spoke with Jemison at SXSW about leading the 100 Year Starship project , which will focus on sending and sustaining humans in interstellar space travel within the next 100 years.
Jemison may seem like an odd choice for a mattress company, but the campaign will mark the first national television advertising endeavor for a line of bedding, the Comforpedic line from Beautyrest, a “memory foam” bed for “those in the know,” Target Market News says.
According to Target Market News, it is a smart move for the company to use Jemison. Once again quoting the Buying Power of Black America report, black homes spent $4.6 billion on furniture in 2011, with $846 million spent on mattresses and box springs.
When it comes to using cell phones, consumers are doing a lot more than just talking. In its latest Cell Phone Activities 2012 survey, the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that 85 percent of US adults own a cell phone.
Taking a picture and texting, of course, were the two most popular non-talking features of cell phones, with 82 percent and 80 percent of all cell phone owners participating, respectively.
Breaking down the activities of cell phone users based on race and ethnicity, 79 percent of black adults said they take pictures with their phones and 80 percent said they text. Additionally, black adults are more likely to record videos and download apps on their phones compared to whites and Hispanics.
According to Pew, 52 percent of blacks, 40 percent of whites, and 47 percent of Hispanics record videos with their cell phones, while 50 percent of blacks, 40 percent of whites, and 44 percent of Hispanics download apps.
For other activities, including accessing the Internet and checking email, Hispanics lead the way, with whites lagging behind. Blacks fall somewhere in the middle, with 60 percent accessing the Internet and 51 percent checking email on their phones.
For mobile banking, a newer activity on cell phones, 26 percent of whites, 34 percent of blacks, and 35 percent of Hispanics take advantage. This activity is more popular with 18- to-29 year olds, of which 45 percent said they use their phones for mobile banking.
What activities do you do on your cell phones? Does this Pew data ring true in your life?
The National Newspaper Publishers Association (aka Black Press of America) and Nielsen have released a new report, “African-American Consumers: Still Vital, Still Growing 2012 Report,” finding that black consumers turn to black media outlets to find items of relevance to them. This may seem like a no-brainer, but the report also found that advertising in black media only represents a small portion of the amount spent on advertising as a whole. So there are great opportunities for companies to reach out to this market in places that they’re turning to for information.
“Marketers underestimate the opportunities missed by overlooking Black consumers’ frustration of not having products that meet their needs in their neighborhoods,” NNPA chairman Cloves Campbell says in this story on Politic365. “And companies that don’t advertise using Black media risk having African-Americans perceive them as being dismissive of issues that matter to Black consumers.”
The report found that an overwhelming majority, 91 percent, of blacks think black media is relevant to them. Another big majority, 81 percent, think products advertised in black media are relevant to them. And brand name items represent 82 percent of the purchased in black homes.
However, 2011 advertising in black media outlets was $2.1 billion. In the same year, $120 billion was spent on general mass media advertising. The report predicts that black buying power will total $1.1 trillion in 2015.
The study also highlights the importance of social media and online engagement to the black community. And notes that black consumers, especially older ones, tend to make more shopping trips, spending less than the broader population during each trip.
“As is true among non-Black households, the younger generation of Black households offset fewer overall shopping trips with higher per-trip spending than their older counterparts. But, in all instances, Black households spend less per trip than non-Black households,” the Nielsen blog writes. The black population is 14 percent younger than the broader population with a media age of 32 years old.
This report was timed to release during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual conference. We also wrote about the roundtable discussing the link between small business ownership and the wealth gap, which took place during this conference.
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When Adidas unveiled its plans for a new sneaker featuring shackles claiming they were “a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles,” many in the African American community stopped and read the announcement in shock. Then there were the questions: what was Adidas thinking? And who would actually buy a pair of $350 sneakers with snap-on shackles that were so reminiscent of those placed on slaves or inmates? Black leaders and activists were outraged, and shortly after its announcement, Adidas abandoned the shoe design and apologized. But still the questions remain: what was Adidas thinking? And how did the idea even go so far as to reach the public?
As a Washington Post article points out, Adidas, and any company that hopes to be social responsible, should ask themselves a few questions before marketing a product that could potentially outrage your consumers. To avoid these socially awkward mistakes when considering a new product or service, take the time to ask these questions:
Does the new project reflect the core values your company wants to project? For Adidas, a shackle doesn’t reflect any specific mission in its goal to sale shoes. When the company realized that it had created public outrage, it quickly withdrew its plan and apologized.
Do you fully appreciate the needs, sensitivities and background of your target audiences? In the Adidas case, the African American community has strongly supported and bought Adidas apparel throughout the years, and the creation of a shackled shoe was not the most sensitive of shoe design concepts.
What impact are you having on particular groups or society at large? Short-term profit alone will not lead to a successful business. To create long-term success, business professionals must be aware of the social implications of their actions. Otherwise it will impact their reputation among consumers.
Lastly, are you creating good will or destroying it? Good will consists of customer satisfaction, marketing, community relations and advertising. Building it can take several years, but destroying it can take place with one quick mistake.
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As many of us already know, even in a predominately black community, it can be hard to find the beauty products that cater to people of color. But what retailers fail to realize is when they ignore the needs of consumers in a minority community, they’re also hurting their bottom line.
Ad Age blogger Pepper Miller Miller points out that the growth of natural hair care products have created the multi-million dollar brands Miss Jessie’s and Mixed Chicks and have inspired the launch of several other products for kinky hair that lead the new standards for the $9 billion black hair-care business.
Despite the large numbers, retailers continue to miss the mark with the lack of diversity they put up on their shelves. Instead these products find their place in neighborhood beauty supply stores.
Miller says that the difficulties associated with finding products for women of color are the result of mainstream “planogramming.” This is a method used by retailers to stock the same cosmetics, hair and skin care products in every community. Unfortunately it falls short in stocking the desired products in black communities. Hair care for women of color is often relegated to the tiny and segregated ethnic section. Generally the section is never large enough to accommodate the demand. Instead, frustrated minority shoppers are left staring at the image of the smiling blond models in the front of the beauty section and an endless supply of cosmetics in the wrong shade.
As an explanation for this missed opportunity, retailers declare it’s too difficult to stock products using ethnic planograms and that they do not have the budget to give ethnic products national ad campaigns. They also claim that small, community beauty supply stores that sell these products at low prices make it difficult for them to compete in this market.
Miller points out that these are poor excuses from retailers. She even filed a complaint about the retailer in her community’s lack of selection. Their response? An extra foot in the ethnic section.
(Epoch Times) — African-Americans not only embrace advertising messages but find these messages useful in making purchase decisions. They are the least likely of all consumers to find advertising messages a waste of time. With spending projected to reach $1.2 trillion by 2013, African-Americans are not only a viable consumer group but are growing in affluence. Salaries for African-Americans grew 1.5 times faster than all U.S. households; according to the U.S. census. This consumer group has made many brands popular and set many trends in music, fashion, and the like.
By Brittany Hutson
It’s peculiar how the buying power of the African American market is reported to reach $1 trillion this year, according to market research publisher Packaged Facts; yet the market remains largely untapped by advertisers. With such a consumer market ready to spend so much on goods and services, why are companies missing out?
Melvin Wilson, a digital marketing executive with the multicultural ad agency UniWorld Group, who has clients such as Time Warner Cable and CVS, says a lot of advertisers miss opportunities to own relationships with the African American market. “Marketers will take segments that aren’t necessarily split by race, like mothers, and they’ll try to own that segment and protect it from other competitors,” he says. “I really haven’t seen any marketer take that stance towards African Americans.”
Wilson adds that companies underestimate the power of the Black consumer. “They should be worried about how we’re going to influence other folks into buying stuff,” he says. “There’s a market for premium headphones because Dr. Dre decided to make one. Now there’s kids [of all races] walking around with $379 headphones on.” We collaborated with Wilson to develop a list of seven companies who’ve been successful in their efforts to attract the Black consumer.
(AdAge.com) — Mention the word “urban” and marketers see a young black man with headphones, fresh sneakers and a slick cellphone, bobbing his head to a hip-hop soundtrack down a graffiti’d city street. That’s the hackneyed image of the African-American consumer portrayed in many campaigns. Marketers that assume “urban” represents the entire African-American population are missing out on other key consumer segments. Segments such as the black single mother, the black gay or lesbian, and the black lower-income earner have been overlooked by marketers and lumped together under the misleading “urban” umbrella. “There is no monolithic blackness,” said Lynne d Johnson, a senior VP at the Advertising Research Foundation. But “if you are not the Ebony or Essence reader, you are underrepresented. There are other segments within the African-American demographic that are not those or hip-hop.”
By Steven Barboza
Black females are a commanding force in the U.S. economy. Yet for all their economic prowess, their needs and preferences remain a mystery in boardrooms and brand strategy sessions. For lack of knowing what moves these super-consumers, many marketers resort to a one-message-fits-all-consumers approach that’s often unsuitable for black females.
“Most advertisers just don’t get us,” said Sarah Lattimer, president and CEO of Lattimer Communications, an advertising agency specializing in the African American female market. “They don’t understand us. They don’t know how to sell to us, how to talk to us. They don’t know what makes us make the decisions to purchase or not to purchase their products.”
The vast majority of African-American consumer spending is done by females. Some marketers say 85 cents of every $1 spent by blacks last year was spent at the influence of black females. Others estimate black female buying power at upwards of $565 billion last year alone. Either way, the buying habits of this group of consumers could well decide the fortunes of many of the world’s largest corporations.
And yet, many companies, unsure of how to target the market, are stumbling in their efforts to reach black women. In effect, a large number of the nation’s 22 million black females are ineffectively served – and corporations are leaving untold billions of dollars in potential profits on the table.
“I’ll never forget it: one black woman told me that no matter how much Pantene she uses, she will never be able to fling her hair around like the [white] women in those TV commercials,” said Lattimer, relaying the frustration of a participant in a national study of black female consumers.
Lattimer added, “There are certain industries that do a terrible job – automotive, financial services, health care, travel. I don’t think they think [black females] have money or that we’re traveling.”
The Lattimer Communciations study found that 86% of black females believe advertisers need to do a better job understanding and marketing to them.
The buying power of the nation’s 40 million African-Americans, some 13% of the U.S. population, was $910 billion last year, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. Their economic muscle is mightier than the gross domestic product of Russia or India.
Despite feeling slighted by marketers, African-American females – who comprise 55% of the black population, compared to 52% females in the overall U.S. population – are much more influential than the general female population in consumer transactions. In fact, black females make the lion’s share of buying decisions among African-Americans.
“Black women make 85% of the brand purchasing decisions of black consumers,” said Miriam Muléy, CEO of the 85% Niche, a marketing consulting firm that focuses on women and women of color as key consumers. The general population of females make 62% of brand-buying decisions, according to other researchers.
Muléy cited RL Polk and Yankelovich studies pointing out that black women account for 58% of all new cars and trucks purchased by African Americans, compared to 44% of women in the general population; that black women spend $57 billion on food items per year, and that black females spend 30% more than the general market on personal/beauty products. Facial skin-care products have grown to an estimated $20 billion category worldwide.
A Yankelovich study conducted for a women’s marketing conference found that 59% of women feel misunderstood by food marketers, 66% by health care providers, 74% by automotive marketers, and 84% by investment marketers.
Being misunderstood only leads to being underserved. It’s tough for women to find jeans that hug their curves properly, or for women to get financial advice without feeling patronized, researchers note. This is especially sad, considering U.S. females spend $5 trillion a year.
As a global economic force, women move world markets. They spend $20 trillion a year, and represent the world’s largest market opportunity, one that is more than twice the size of China and India combined, according to Michael J. Silverstein, senior partner in the Boston Consulting Group’s Chicago office and co-author of “Women Want More,” a book about the female economy.