The Melting Pot
The United States has always been a "melting pot" where people worldwide have come to settle in and call "home." And while much of society has embraced the introduction to new cultures and the diversity it brings, advertising and marketing are just beginning to catch up. Unlike decades past, people today tend to retain their culture of origin, bringing with them differences in appearance, traditions, and so on.
Until recently, the marketing and advertising traditional model for American society was Caucasian, living in middle to upperclass neighborhoods with white-collar jobs. Only recently have the winds shifted, and we're finally seeing the tip of diversity and inclusion. Word is getting out that to grow a successful brand today, marketers must embrace those differences to ensure their campaigns represent realistic audiences.
In the last three or four years, national events, including race, religion, and other social issues, have gained greater attention, applying added pressure to recognize and elevate diversity. Some have been very slow in growth, while others have exploded. And here's the part to pay attention: if a brand is not keeping up with these changes, they miss out on great opportunities to grow new audiences and awareness.
Research has shown that specific ethnic consumers are more likely to support a brand that recognizes diversity. Latin+ and African-Americans scored exceptionally high on this. Age is yet another essential component to be considered. For example, Millennials are much more likely to engage with brands that recognize diversity and inclusion.
The size of your business is much less a factor than the campaigns you run, the audience you seek, and the people you hire. As I mentioned earlier, the typical American doesn't fall into a one-size-fits-all, so your marketing team must cast a wider net. One of the best ways to do this is to hire a team with different cultural backgrounds who look and think differently. Bring in varying ages, sizes, and sexual orientations to further your reach. By creating a mix of representations, you can better see your audience as it truly is.
To secure continued growth in today’s market, a brand must prioritize diversity and representation now. It will require ongoing improvements to show your cultural competence because consumers look at a brand's approach to a changing model. They expect authentic efforts to rewrite our advertising and marketing to match our current melting pot of social cultures.
As always, drop us a line and let us know your comments, successes or observations.
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