The 2020 Census: Three Things You Need to Know

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The 2020 Census: Three Things You Need to Know

The 2020 census data has arrived! And it shows that America is much more racially and ethnically diverse than we thought. Keep reading to learn more about this and other key insights.

Unless you’ve been taking a break from media for the past few days, you’ve probably heard the news: 2020 census data has arrived. And there’s a lot of interesting and potentially confusing information you need to understand. Below are three takeaways we think everyone should know.

1. The 10-year U.S. growth rate is at a 90-year low.

The U.S. population only grew 7.4% between 2010 and 2020. As Bill Frey of the Brookings Institute notes, this is the lowest 10 year growth rate since the 1930s. One component of lower overall growth is a decline in the Hispanic segment’s growth. This dropped to 23% this past decade, down a full 20 percentage points from the 2000-2010 rate of 43%.  The other driver of the decline—a shrinking white population.

2. The Non-Hispanic White population shrunk for the first time since the 10-year census started being conducted in 1790.

The Non-Hispanic White population lost about 5 million people in the 2010s, almost 2.6% of the segment’s 2010 population. This is primarily due to the aging of this population, as well as the increasing number of young Americans now identifying as multiracial. And that brings us to our third takeaway…

3. America is much more racially and ethnically diverse than we thought in 2010.

The big finding supporting this hypothesis is that the multiracial population jumped 276% over the past decade—from 9 million in 2010 to 33.8 million in 2020. Does this mean that there are 25 million more multiracial individuals living in the U.S. in 2020 than there were in 2010? No, and the reason why is that the way the 2020 census asked certain questions allows us to better understand America’s racial and ethnic makeup—both today and retrospectively. For example, the Hispanic/Latino origin question revised the nationalities it listed as example options to both reflect the largest populations in the U.S. and provide better geographic diversity. It also removed the word “origin” from the fourth option’s instructions. These two changes increase the likelihood that people will correctly identify as Hispanic or Latino.

The 2020 Census also made extensive changes to its race question. For instance, example origins were given for the White and Black or African American options, the word “Negro” was removed from the Black or African American option, and the Asian countries of origin were ordered to reflect U.S. population sizes. Finally, the 2020 Census changed its coding practices, allowing researchers to capture more information from individual responses.

The practical upshot here is that we get a better picture of how people self-identify in terms of race and ethnicity. And this is how we have come to understand that America is actually much more diverse than we thought it was 10 years ago. The revised questions most likely account for a significant portion of the changes we see in the 2020 racial and ethnic population counts. Another consequence, though, of the revised questions is that comparisons between 2010 and 2020 race and ethnicity counts are not “one-to-one” and require considerable caveats.

A final point to keep in mind—the 2020 Census only includes a limited number of variables on Americans.

Collage Group primarily utilizes the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) data for its demographic tabulations, as the ACS includes a much larger number of annually-updated variables. The next release of ACS data is slated for December 2021. We’ll be updating our demographic content as soon as this far more detailed data drops.

The 2020 census further clarifies that America is steadily growing towards greater cultural diversity. And this trend presents significant challenges – and opportunities – for brands and companies. Brands that deeply understand multicultural Americans will be well-positioned to connect with consumers across diverse segments. They will become culturally fluent organizations. But brands that fail to invest now in understanding and connecting with multicultural America will find themselves playing an increasingly challenging game of “catch up” and “I’m sorry” as they inevitably hit bumps in the road towards an increasingly multicultural America.

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Key Consumer Insights on Black History Month

Key Consumer Insights on Black History Month

Learn how American consumers prepare for and celebrate Black History Month.

Holidays and occasions are focal points for many Americans. These events afford people the opportunity to express their cultural traditions and individual preferences through decorations, food and beverage, entertainment, and activities.

Fill out the form to view a sample from our research on consumer attitudes and behaviors around Black History Month.

Heritage months are also important for brands and organizations as they present an opportunity to deepen connection with consumer segments. Black History Month is one occasion brands need to understand to fully capture diverse America’s attention. Collage Group helps marketers and insights leaders connect around this occasion by providing insights that clarify the similarities and differences in how American consumers across diverse segments prepare for and experience Black History Month. These insights allow for more efficient and effective activations that capture greater mind and market share.

America’s leading brands leverage Collage Group’s research on Black Consumers to authentically engage and connect with their audience. Explore more tools that help you connect with this segment. 

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Essentials of Millennial Consumers

Essentials of Millennial Consumers

Want to better connect with Millennials? Read on for five things your brand needs to know to authentically connect with the Millennial generational cohort.

Collage Group’s Essentials of Millennial consumers explores three areas of our consumer fundamentals research: demographics, identity, and Cultural Traits. Read below for several key insights and then download the sample research deck to dive deeper into our Millennial Cultural Traits.

1. It is clear: Younger American generations are more diverse than older generations.

The country is projected to reach Majority Minority status (where the white population dips below 50%) in about 30 years, but that demographic shift is being driven by young Americans now. Gen Xers saw the biggest increase in diversity from older generations, but Millennials saw even larger levels of diversity. Millennial’s intrinsic diversity means also that they have higher expectations for brands to go beyond simple inclusive representation in their marketing efforts to demonstrate true cultural nuance and understanding.

2. Due to shifts in society, including financial constraints, Millennials have delayed many life milestones. When it comes to marriage, Millennials have waited much longer than older generations to tie the knot.

 Compared to older Boomers, Millennials are now getting married nearly eight years later in life. Millennial women who marry are doing so around 28 years old (compared to Boomer women at just 21 years old) and Millennial men tend to be nearly 31 years old (compared to Boomer men at 23 years old) when they walk down the aisle.

3. Millennials are more likely than all other generations to say that their racial/ethnic identities feel more important today than ever.

This is even higher than the more diverse Gen Z generation. Gen X Americans share this sentiment with Millennials making this issue less about old vs. young and more about generational context. Boomers may not be reflecting on race in the same way as other generations due to their limited internal diversity. Gen Z may be more focused on intersections of race, sexuality, age, and class bypassing more generic demographic categories like race. Millennials and Gen X are more diverse than Boomers and have experienced a major shifting in how society views and engages with race and ethnicity. The result is a generation more focused on their own racial/ethnic identities.

 Millennials score the highest of all generations in the Cultural Attributes of Adventurousness and Exceptionalism. Millennials also part ways with Gen Z by scoring significantly higher in Independence. Millennials’ Cultural Attributes highlight a generation that values new experiences, sees their worldview as unique, and are more likely than Gen Z to act independently from those around them.

5. Brands can better connect with Millennials by leveraging the cohort’s Group Traits.

Four key Group Traits for better engaging with Millennials include: Ambition, Go-with-the-Flow, Cosmopolitan, and Tuned-in. These traits can be used to create more authentic advertising, connect across cohorts through shared traits, and identify opportunities to better position your brand.

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Consumer Holidays Trends: Thanksgiving 2021

Consumer Holidays Trends: Thanksgiving 2021

How will Americans prepare for and celebrate Thanksgiving this year?

In a not-so-post-pandemic era, it’s essential for brands to keep an eye on the behaviors and attitudes surrounding special occasions. Insights from Collage Group’s Holidays & Occasions research enables you to communicate with your audience authentically and effectively. Fill out the form below to download a sample of the study. 

The mass majority of Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. In our most recent round of surveys fielded in May 2021, respondents gave us fascinating insights around the following topics: 

• What traditional and non-traditional foods get included in Thanksgiving celebrations

• How certain segments react to stress during the holidays 

• Which segment is most likely to have a “friendsgiving”

Collage Group helps marketers and insights leaders connect around this occasion by providing insights that clarify the similarities and differences in how American consumers across diverse segments prepare for and experience Thanksgiving. These insights allow for more efficient and effective activations that capture greater mind and market share.

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What Brands Need To Know About Hispanic Heritage Month 2021

What Brands Need To Know About Hispanic Heritage Month 2021

Learn how American consumers prepare for and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

Holidays and occasions are focal points for many Americans. These events afford people the opportunity to express their cultural traditions and individual preferences through decorations, food and beverage, entertainment, and activities.

Heritage months are also important for brands and organizations as they present an opportunity to deepen connection with consumer segments. Hispanic Heritage Month is one occasion brands need to understand to fully capture diverse America’s attention.

Collage Group helps marketers and insights leaders connect around this occasion by providing insights that clarify the similarities and differences in how American consumers across diverse segments prepare for and experience Hispanic Heritage Month. These insights allow for more efficient and effective activations that capture greater mind and market share.

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Case Study By Industry | Automotive

Case Study By Industry | Automotive
Divisional U.S. Revenue: $800 Million
Global Corporate Revenue: $100 Billion

Insight in Action: Leveraging Cultural and Emotional Factors to Engage Black Consumers

Learn how the world’s leading brands are applying Collage Group’s cultural insights to drive enhancements in advertising that improve cultural resonance.

Challenge

The SUV division of a major global automotive OEM was struggling to activate higher-income Black consumers. The Director of Insights wanted category-specific attitude and purchase behavior data to weave a consumer-centric story and inform the creative brief for their ad agency.

Solution

Using Collage Group’s proprietary cultural intelligence platform, the automaker infused the creative brief with key insights on the Cultural Traits of the Black segment that linked to category specific behaviors and details. The Director developed a powerful brief that grounded high-value product attributes in “the why” of underlying cultural and emotional factors, enabling the agency to produce Culturally Fluent content.

TYING KEY OBJECTIVES TO INSIGHTS

Collage Group’s cultural intelligence proved critical to improving the brand’s advertising. Collage data and tools enabled the Director to ground category insights in an understanding of the cultural traits of the target consumer. Specific steps included:

Category-level detail is a useful, practical starting point for engaging key demographics.

OBJECTIVE

Anchor strategy on Black consumer preferences for specific vehicle features.

COLLAGE RESOURCES, DATA & TOOLS

Category Essentials-Automotive provided a range of useful insights into attitudes and product trade-offs, revealing unique preferences for engine performance, styling, entertainment features, GPS, and WiFi.

CONNECTING THE DOTS

Collage’s deep dive into cultural insights allowed brand leaders to interpret the category-level detail into a broader strategy and application of the insights.

Deep cultural insights allowed brand leaders to interpret category-level detail into a broader strategy and application.

OBJECTIVE

  1. Evaluate the cultural resonance the automotive brand and recent ads with Black consumers.

COLLAGE RESOURCES, DATA & TOOLS

CultureRate Analyses of the brand and recent ads revealed major weakness in brand appeal to Black consumers. These consumers were not attaching to the brand’s legacy appeal to Millennial and Gen X White consumers passionate about the great outdoors.

2. Map the geography of Black experience.

Custom Market Profiler identified the geographies associated with higher-income Black consumers.

These locations inform the selection of scenes more likely to be familiar to the Black segment

3. Immerse in Black cultural experience

Webinars and presentations on Black Cultural Traits helped build empathy toward the segment with the Director’s team including key execs.

The team applied these insights to formulate useful hypotheses about feature preferences.

4. Lean into Passion Points that reveal where how Black culture comes to life. 

Webinars and Presentations on Black Passion Points revealed specific activities including sports, travel and fashion preferences that would inform creative decision-making.

RESULT

Putting Insights Into Action

The Director was able to develop a powerful creative brief.

Instead of relying on a litany of disconnected insights into vehicle feature preferences of Black consumers, she developed a framework for a clean narrative with the following elements:

– Build messaging around Ambition and Self-Expression themes instead of Adventure and Freedom.
– Use sleek cityscapes instead of wild landscapes.
– Associate vehicle use with specific sports, like weight training, instead of outdoor adventure like hiking.
– Reframe “premium craftsmanship” as “style and luxury” to connect with the Self-Expression trait.
– Appropriate Americana in ways that clearly highlight the leadership and contribution of Black people to American history, per the Ambition trait, and to the brand.
– Cast Black Xennials (Gen Y/ Gen X) with multiculturally oriented friend groups, and drop empty nesters.

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Case Study By Industry | FinTech

Case Study By Industry | FinTech
Global Corporate Revenue: $7 Billion

Insight in Action: Improving Online Experiences to Win Hispanic Consumers

Learn how the world’s leading brands are applying Collage Group’s cultural insights to drive enhancements in the online financial experience that improve cultural resonance.

Challenge

Believing Hispanic consumers preferred in-person and in-language tax preparation and advice, an online tax preparation company’s Senior Marketing Manager was eager to deepen the company’s understanding of this rapidly growing consumer segment.

Solution

As part of Collage Group’s Work to manage the complex digital experience in financial services, the Manager provided strong hypotheses to inform the project scope. The Collage Group team synthesized these insights with other member inputs to evaluate the strength of the language hypothesis and place it in the context of new consumer insights on privacy concerns and institutional trust.

As a result of identifying areas of shared value across the data and insights among membership, the Manager was able to combine these insights with other Collage resources to enhance the product experience.

TYING KEY OBJECTIVES TO INSIGHTS

Collage Group provided information and insights critical to improving the consumer journey to better link highly tactical issues specific to tax preparation with broader group traits among Hispanic consumers. 

Collage Group insights improved the online customer experience by linking tax preparation issues to Hispanic group traits.
Category-level detail asked for by the client was a useful, practical starting point for connecting with specific demographics.

OBJECTIVE

More deeply understand Hispanic preferences for in-language and in-person tax advice.

COLLAGE RESOURCES, DATA & TOOLS

Syndicated cultural intelligence research on how to manage the complex digital experience in financial services provided the foundation for member hypothesis testing that could be connected to a larger understanding of Hispanic consumers.

CONNECTING THE DOTS

Collage’s deep dive into cultural insights allows brand leaders to interpret the category-level detail into broader strategy and application of the insights.

OBJECTIVE

Immerse in Hispanic cultural experience

COLLAGE RESOURCES, DATA & TOOLS

Webinars and presentations on Hispanic Cultural Traits revealed how the cultural traits of Warmth and being Tuned-In could serve as a roadmap. This helped enhance the company’s strategy to motivate changes in category-specific preferences in the context of understanding and engaging the overall segment.

RESULT

Putting Insights Into Action

Instead of being satisfied with shallow insights into the Hispanic segment that equated “in-person” and “in-language,” the Manager found that two factors could be leveraged to improve the Hispanic online experience, including: (a) a tendency to trust institutions more than other demographics, and (b) the fear of not making mistakes when preparing taxes in English.

To activate more effectively, the Manager integrated these category specific findings with Collage insights into the Group Traits of Hispanics, particularly the Warmth and being Tuned-In traits.

The Manager realized that Hispanic adoption of an online financial experience would depend on clearly showing that fully bilingual online representatives and audit support could reduce fear of making mistakes. Further, these offerings could be positioned at key phases of the product experience to drive upsell of audit services.

In addition, the Manager recognized that these services needed to be positioned in ways that appealed to the Warmth group trait, which aids in connecting respect for institutional authority with the desire for friendly interaction.

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