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
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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.

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Capture Financial Service Consumers with the Power of Digital

Capture Financial Service Consumers with the Power of Digital
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Today’s consumers are digital-forward when approaching their personal finances, and brands need to keep up. Learn how multicultural and youth segments are driving online adoption in financial services, and what your brands can do to win their attention, consumption, and loyalty.

Fill out the form to view a clip from our webinar, Capture Financial Service Consumers with the Power of Digital.

Transitioning financial products and services online is an industry imperative. Online services have three powerful advantages over brick-and-mortar:

  1. Online brands can offer better services to more people at lower cost
  2. Online brands can better understand the specific needs and preferences of individual consumers
  3. Online brands can leverage the digital innovations transforming the financial services industry

Succeeding in the digital arena requires not only providing products and services geared towards these three advantages, but also communicating these advantages to consumers. To do this right, financial institutions need to understand the attitudes, preferences, and behaviors of the diverse consumer segments underpinning online adoption in the first place.

In late 2019, we spoke with our membership to understand their most pressing questions about complex digital services in the financial services space. Based on these discussions and our own institutional knowledge, in January 2020 we conducted a nationally representative survey with 2,176 respondents. We over-sampled for household incomes over $50,000/year, to analyze with precision the preferences of relatively affluent consumers. We also over-sampled for Hispanic consumers, across acculturation levels.

What we see from the market is that consumers grapple with three significant barriers when they approach financial services online: data security, institutional trust, and financial literacy. By digging deeper into how these challenges affect consumers across generational and multicultural segments, we identified five actions brands can take to help consumers overcome these challenges.

The 5 Actions to Drive Digital Service Utilization in the Financial Services Industry:

  1. Combat Worry by Educating Consumers on Steps They Can Take to Protect Themselves
  2. Win Consumer Attention by Clarifying the Ways You Help Them Fight Identity Theft
  3. Build Trust by Emphasizing Real-World and Virtual Interactions with Relatable Advisers
  4. Use Language Capabilities to Appeal to Multicultural Consumers Interested in Multi-generational Financial Planning
  5. Offer a Learning Ecosystem Consumers Will Want to Use

Our insights help drive some of the world’s top brands. Talk to us about the benefits of our methodologies.

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The First Deep-Dive into Consumer Behavior in the Time of COVID-19

The First Deep-Dive into Consumer Behavior in the Time of COVID-19
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We are now more than a month into the new normal of the COVID pandemic. Buying patterns have been massively disrupted, millions have lost their jobs with panic buying affecting many categories while others have nearly collapsed.

When it comes to multicultural segments in particular, a few things stand out.  First, culture is a significant determinant of human behavior in this crisis and therefore understanding cultural variation is critical.  Who is stocking up more or less?  Who is listening to influencers more than news and vice versa?  These are questions brands need answers to.

Second, the growth rate of the multicultural population and expenditure in good times is important, but in bad times, that growth rate is critical.  From our scenario modeling, we have seen there is virtually no chance of brand growth in a downturn without successfully activating multicultural consumers.

And finally, multicultural influence on the general population only increases every day.  For brands, that means that building trust and cultural relevance with these segments creates cross-over effects that drive demand across all segments, especially younger white segments.

To successfully address the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities, brands need to understand how culture is intersecting with the current climate to alter attitudes, behaviors, and receptivity to support and outreach.

With this end in mind, Collage Group fielded a study during the last week of March to provide members insights into the attitudes and behaviors of different cultural groups—racial, ethnic, and generational segments—during this time of crisis and uncertainty.   We covered attitudes, COVID mitigation behaviors, employment and finances, buying patterns, time spend, general behaviors and expected future behaviors.

Read below for four top findings from the research. 

Key takeaways

    1. Most people recognize the seriousness of the disease and don’t need to be scared into action.
    2. Avoid alarmist messaging. Remain fact-based and compassionate. Messaging should recognize that people are doing what they can, but can do even more to ensure success.
    3. Hispanic consumers are overwhelmingly feeling the economic impact. And Millennials—a group that has already experienced significant economic hardships due to student loans and the Great Recession—are bracing for more disappointment.
    4. Tell consumers how your brand will support them during these hard times. Offer coupons, extended free trials, etc.  Let them know that you know they’re struggling. This is the time to build connections and trust that can last for years.
    5. Black consumers are more likely than other groups to have bought more food, beverages, personal goods and household goods since the start of the pandemic.
    6. Understand which segments are changing behavior; who to target right now is as important as how to market.
    7. Everyone is spending more time on social media and streaming platforms, but this amplifies the differences in information people receive.  Note that younger consumers, especially younger multicultural consumers use different channels for getting information, relying more on influencers than the news.
    8. Build a culturally fluent channel strategy.  More than ever, brands need to show up in the places where segments retreat into their preferred media bubbles.

Please contact us to learn how our COVID pandemic research can benefit your brand.

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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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Optimize Digital Services in the Health Care Space

Optimize Digital Services in the Health Care Space
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Health care costs are high and rising. And many health care companies are leaning on digital services to reduce costs while improving customer satisfaction. To fully realize these benefits, companies need to understand the relevant attitudes and preferences of both multicultural and generational consumers.

Enjoy a complimentary sample of this study by filling out the form.

The cost of health care is a top concern, not only for patients, but for providers, insurers, and vendors too. As a result, organizations and companies working in the health care space are constantly pressed to produce better outcomes on tightening budgets. Tighter margins and the need for change is giving rise to technological innovations that reduce costs.

We’re already seeing digital service innovations take hold in this space: online and mobile platforms to manage health care and insurance plans, virtual visits, and apps and wearable tech to monitor health. These services offer clear efficiencies that translate into hard dollars for health care companies including

  1. Reduced administrative staff
  2. Improved consumer satisfaction
  3. Opportunity to leverage collected data

The cost of health care is a top concern, not only for patients, but for providers, insurers, and vendors too. As a result, organizations and companies working in the health care space are constantly pressed to produce better outcomes on tightening budgets. Tighter margins and the need for change is giving rise to technological innovations that reduce costs.

We’re already seeing digital service innovations take hold in this space: online and mobile platforms to manage health care and insurance plans, virtual visits, and apps and wearable tech to monitor health. These services offer clear efficiencies that translate into hard dollars for health care companies including

  1. Reduced administrative staff
  2. Improved consumer satisfaction
  3. Opportunity to leverage collected data

But to fully realize these efficiencies, organizations need to drive mass utilization of their digital services. This is where marketing and branding have a huge role to play—driving digital service utilization among consumers.  And to do this right, companies need to understand the attitudes, preferences, and behaviors of diverse consumer segments to know how to capture their attention and drive utilization.

In late 2019, we spoke with our membership to understand their most pressing questions about complex digital services in the health care space. We heard the same three questions asked time and again, across health care vendors, providers, and insurers:

  1. Why don’t people use their health insurer’s digital platforms?
  2. What do people want from their digital platform?
  3. What are the emerging trends in health care digital services?

To answer these questions from both the multicultural and generational lens, we conducted a nationally representative survey this January with 2,442 respondents. We over-sampled consumers of older age groups so that we could analyze data with added precision for the Boomer+ generation. We also over-sampled the Hispanic segment across acculturation levels.

Strategic takeaways from our research include:

  1. The top reason consumers don’t use their health insurer’s website or app is that they think it’s unnecessary. They’re used to communicating in other ways, like over the phone. Clearly show them how using digital services will make their lives easier.
  2. People most want to learn about health care topics from online sources. Engage consumers with captivating online media that’s informative and connects them with your services.
  3. Younger and multicultural consumers are the most interested in virtual visits, but they’re also among the most skeptical of the quality of care. Put virtual offerings front and center, and make sure to convey the standards that ensure a high-quality visit.

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