Five Essential Things To Know About Gen Z Consumers in 2021

Five Essential Things To Know About Gen Z Consumers in 2021

Want to better connect with Gen Z? Read on for 5 takeaways and a presentation centered on enhancing your brand's ability to authentically connect with the Gen Z generational cohort.

Collage Group’s Essentials of Gen Z consumers presentation explores three areas of our consumer fundamentals research for the generational: demographics and economic opportunity, identity related marketing expectations, and Cultural Traits. Read below for several takeaways and then fill out the form to download an excerpt of the study.

1. Gen Z (aged 8-24yrs old in 2021) are more diverse than older generations. In fact, Gen Z is on the doorstep of becoming a majority minority cohort; 49% of the generation are people of color. Gen Z’s intrinsic diversity equates to greater expectations for inclusive marketing practices.

2. Gen Z is also significantly more likely to identify as LGBTQ+ than older generations. The difference between older Millennials (31-39 yrs. old) and older Gen Z (18-23yrs old), alone, is sharp: almost twice as many older Gen Z Americans identify as LGBTQ+ than their Millennial counterparts.

3. New Wave generations – Gen Z and Millennials—are more likely to say they go out of their way to support inclusive brands. Gen Z were also the only generation that included looking for brands that support LGBTQ+ and racial justice in their top five priorities.

4. Gen Z is uniquely open about their sexuality. This is even significantly different from Millennials. 20% Gen Z claim their sexuality as a primary means of self-identification. That’s a stark break from previous generations, where sexual identity is more of a taboo subject.

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Five Things You Need To Know About Hispanic Consumers in 2021

Five Things To Know About Hispanic Consumers in 2021

Interested in deeper engagements with Hispanic Americans? Read on for 5 takeaways and download our presentation on enhancing your brand's ability to authentically connect with this high-growth consumer segment.

Collage Group’s Essentials of Hispanic Consumers presentation explores three areas of our consumer fundamentals research for the Hispanic segment: demographics and economic opportunity, identity-related marketing expectations, and Cultural Traits. Read below for several takeaways, watch a replay of our recent Insights Association presentation and download an excerpt to go deeper.

1. The Hispanic segment is fast growing and economically powerful. It is expected to almost double over the next 40 years, growing from 60 million to 111 million people.

2. Despite comprising just 18% of the population, Hispanic Americans were responsible for 26% of real expenditure growth between 2009 and 2019.

3. Ethnicity is an important component of most Hispanic Americans’ identity, but this does vary by acculturation.

4. One way identity reveals its importance in the segment is the extent to which Hispanic consumers say they want to support brands that support Hispanic people.

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Reach Cultural Fluency Through LGBTQ+ Cultural Traits

Reach Cultural Fluency Through LGBTQ+ Cultural Traits

The LGBTQ+ community is growing, skews young, and has tremendous buying power in the U.S. (estimated at $1 trillion).

How should your brand engage with a consumer segment that’s Social Minded? Fill out the form to see how we define Cultural Traits, and, what actions you can take to reach this rapidly growing audience. 

 This key consumer segment includes at least 12 million American adults, a number likely to grow rapidly as American culture becomes more accepting of diverse sexual and gender identities. To capture the growth and influence of these consumers, brands and marketers must deepen their understanding of the LGBTQ+ consumer segment.

Across the last several years, Collage Group has been developing powerful new tools to help brands become more Culturally Fluent.  Our Cultural Traits are central to this effort. These data-driven tools provide measures of cultural variation that reveal insights into the similarities and differences across consumer segments.  Collage Group members use these tools to build more efficient general market campaigns, as well as more effective dedicated activations. 

Cultural Traits are divided into two complementary methodologies:

• Cultural Attributes: Provides a broad and powerful cultural profile of target segments and individual consumers.

• Group Traits: Offers a detailed and nuanced look at cultural variation by “zooming in” on the way that cultural attributes are expressed within each segment.

You can learn more about the Cultural Traits for the LGBTQ+ segment, as well as in-market examples of brands activating on these insights by filling out the form above.

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How to Create Culturally Fluent Ads: Five Lessons

How to Create Culturally Fluent Ads: Five Lessons

Using our CultureRate database, we analyzed over 100 ads gathered across the last 12 months to identify key lessons from “Culturally Fluent” ads that were best across all segments of the “New Wave” of younger Americans between 18-39.

Fill out the form to watch a replay of the webinar.

Brands Are Challenged by Rising Cultural Diversity and Polarization.

Research and insights leaders face enormous pressure to translate the rapid cultural transformation underway in the U.S. marketplace into clear action steps for brands.

In 2020, we experienced a tipping point when the inexorable movement toward a majority-minority population combined with sudden shifts in consumer values driven by COVID-19 and the emergence of the social justice movement. “Cultural Fluency” is emerging as a new mandate: the ability to use culture to connect effectively and authentically within and across segments. As a consequence, brands are being held to a higher standard.  In research from Session 2 of our virtual Roundtable in late 2020, we found that the number one “values” factor multiculturals want to see from brands is that the brand supports people of their race or ethnicity.

How CultureRate:Ad Reveals Powerful New Insights.

To address these issues, we launched CultureRate in 2018, a brand and creative evaluation methodology that is now providing our members with powerful new insights in to brand and ad performance across cultural groups.

Unlike anything on the market today, CultureRate brings together both ad and brand evaluations using a rigorous methodology that helps brands navigate the rapidly shifting consumer landscape before them by identifying what works and what doesn’t across diverse segments.

In addition, the methodology is integrated within Collage Group’s Cultural Traits system, a rigorously proven method for measuring cultural variation, that enables marketing professions to link how using cultural insights into specific segments improve ad and brand effectiveness. An example of how Cultural Trait analysis works when applied to Black consumers can be found here. and how we link Traits analysis and ad performance is detailed in Session 3 materials from our 2020 Roundtable and shown below.

Unrivaled Rigor and Database Depth.

At its core, the methodology is built on the observation that conventional ad testing poses challenges with legacy norms and sample bias that can exacerbate the cultural disconnect between legacy consumers and the consumers brands need to grow.

CultureRate:Ad complements conventional creative evaluation approaches by incorporating a deep understanding of the cultural and emotional influences that inform how consumers from diverse backgrounds process ads.

The methodology introduces two important new metrics: the Ad Cultural Fluency Quotient (A-CFQ) and Backlash, both of which are supported with an exhaustive range of diagnostic metrics. A-CFQ is Collage Group’s proprietary KPI that uses four factors to optimally predict high brand favorability and purchase intent. Backlash metrics take conventional brand favorability a step further by quantifying the degree to which an ad can “flip” perception from positive to negative or vice versa. Combining A-CFQ and Backlash metrics for target segments reveal the dynamics that make ads successful.

As a Collage Group member, you are entitled to one free evaluation of a brand and of an ad of your choice, an example of which is attached. Members frequently combine CultureRate:Ad and Brand analyses to track how changes in advertising performance impact brand performance over time.

Top Lessons for More Inclusive Advertising.

Referencing a database of more than 250 ads and close to 300,000 consumer responses collected since 2018, this presentation investigates the characteristics of the most inclusive ads from 2020, specifically for the population of 18-40-year-old Americans. This younger segment, which we have dubbed the “New Wave,” is notably important because it is the first segment in American history to grow up in culturally and intrinsically diverse environment. They are defining the future of values and respect for diversity that will make or break brands in the next years.

This approach is key to helping marketing break the “trade-off” between investing in effective campaigns for specific multicultural segments, like Hispanic and Black consumers, that risk limited appeal, and effective campaigns for the “general market” that risk being generic and forgettable.

By applying A-CFQ and Backlash filters, we identified a top performing group of 16 ads to review in detail shown below.

We find the sweet spot in nuance, storyline and representation that links cultural perspectives and deepens cultural resonance in general marketing campaigns while making dedicated marketing more effective. We derive five action steps into what advertisers can do to better incorporate cultural insight into creative briefs. These include:

1. Obey the Basics: Stay Attuned to Your “Right to Play” to Avoid Confusion and Boredom

2. Create Texture with Realistic Vignettes of Multicultural Segments

3. Show Firmness and Values About What’s Happening Now

4. Authentically Show the “Human Truth” of Connection to Resonate with All Segments

5. Activate on the “Cultural Truths” of Specific Segments to Drive Deeper Resonance

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Four Group Traits That Best Characterize Asian American Consumers

Four Cultural Traits That Best Characterize Asian American Consumers

Collage Group's latest consumer report on Asian Cultural Traits provides powerful new insights into this critically important demographic. Fill out the form to download an excerpt specific to the expertise-seeking cultural trait.

The Asian American segment is the fastest-growing racial/ethnic segment in the United States today. By 2060, Collage Group projects the Asian segment will almost double in size to 36 million people—roughly 9% of the total U.S. population. To capture this growth, brands and marketers must deepen their understanding of the Asian consumer segment.

Which Cultural Traits best characterize Asian Consumers?

The four Group Traits that best characterize the Asian segment are Cultural Duality, Conventionality, Reservedness, and Expertise-Seeking.

1. Cultural Duality

Cultural Duality captures the feeling of being both “American” and simultaneously identifying with another culture or heritage.

Individuals exhibiting this Group Trait constantly find new ways to both keep old traditions alive and redefine American culture in their own image. Both Asian and Hispanic Americans strongly exhibit this group trait.

While Asian Americans strongly believe in upholding the traditions of their countries of origin, they also feel a connection with American culture. This embrace of multiple aspects of their backgrounds leads to cultural fluidity – the ability to seamlessly navigate multiple cultural spheres – and a unique Asian American identity.

For Asian Americans, Cultural Duality is more than a feeling, it’s an active commitment to continue their traditions. Through food, holidays, religion, family connection, and more, Asian Americans are significantly more likely than non-Asians to report they still actively practice the traditions of their family’s heritage.

2. Conventionality

People sharing the Group Trait of Conventionality tend to aspire to tried-and-true lifestyles and ideas of what people should be doing in their general situations.

Concepts like “living the American Dream” will likely hold more sway with these individuals than anything positioned as part of an “alternative lifestyle.”

Asian Americans desire and pursue conventional lives marked by advanced education, stable jobs, marriage, and children. While this desire is weaker in younger Asian Americans, it continues to set the segment apart and manifest as an interest in traditional forms of success. The drive for conventionality comes from the desires to make one’s family proud and fit in with others.

Asians are significantly more likely than non-Asians to agree with the statement, “the way I live my life is mainly in line with what’s normal and expected for most people.” Asian Americans are also significantly less likely than other segments to report wanting to live unconventionally. This doesn’t mean they don’t aspire to success, but rather that they aspire to traditional successes like higher education and home ownership.

3. Reservedness

People exhibiting the Group Trait of Reservedness tend to be more private, and less likely to express what makes them unique, special, or otherwise interesting.

This does not mean they have nothing to say or lead boring lives; rather, they are simply content keeping these things to themselves.

Asian Americans are less likely than other segments to share their inner selves, including their thoughts, opinions, and feelings. This attitude stems from the emphasis on humility and self-effacement common in collectivist societies. However, younger Asian Americans, especially those raised in the United States, are embracing the outgoing and gregarious character often associated with Americans.

The instinct to go with the flow and keep thoughts to themselves can be linked to the collectivist tendencies of many Asian cultures. Asian Americans’ collectivism, which values the good of the many over the individual, sometimes manifests in a reluctance to say or do potentially inflammatory things with the goal to preserve peace in a situation.

4. Expertise-Seeking

People sharing this Group Trait look to experts – or sources of expertise – for advice.

Whether from certified professionals or the people they know who are more experienced on a subject, these individuals are more likely to seek out external sources of information before making important decisions.

Asian Americans, across country of origin, are focused on making sound decisions to ensure promising futures. This includes openness to both input from actual experts (physicians, financial advisors, etc.), as well as input from peers on topics of interest. Members of the segment often seek peer input to stay abreast of the latest trends.

Similar to the previous Group Trait of Reservedness, the collectivist attitudes of Asian Americans influence their tendency to trust experts. Collectivism requires self-effacement and humility, which results in the belief that you alone do not know what’s best and that you should seek advice before making big or small decisions.

Learn how we can help your brand win with Asian consumers.

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