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.

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LGBTQ+ & Gender Program Launch: Spotlight on Women

LGBTQ+ & Gender Program Launch: Spotlight on Women

The LGBTQ+ & Gender consumer research program is the latest offering from Collage Group. Watch a replay of the webinar and view the data from our most recent study on women consumers.

Watch a replay of the webinar.

Beginning in 2021, we will be exploring consumer trends across the LGBTQ+ community and deepening our insight into gender with a dedicated focus on women consumers, while covering transgender, non-binary and other segments where applicable.  

As always, our research reflects a total market perspective, meaning that we will compare these segments to non-LGTBQ+ and men where applicable and relevant. In this special webinar presentation available to members and non-members alike, we reviewed our recent research on multicultural moms, as an indication of the content we will be generating on Women. 

Women are largely responsible for purchasing consumer staples, drive over 80% of consumer purchasing in general, effectively amounting to $7 trillion in expenditure, according to some estimates.

We have already generated ~150 pages of content covering insights on women as consumers for nine major industries, as well as unique cuts of data on social and political change, the importance of identity for women, and their expectations of brands. We have generated a similar amount of content for the LGBTQ+ community. 

In this presentation we highlight one analysis from our recent analysis of moms. 

We highlighted the power of our cultural traits modeling to “double click” into demographics to get a deeper understanding of cultural drivers.  Consider first this overarching comparison between women and men, noting that women are notably different in a few areas: higher on anxiety, lower on Exceptionalism and lower on adventurousness.

But before concluding gender identity is the driver, lets double click into Millennial and Gen X, comparing Moms and Non-Moms. 

Immediately we see that age must be factor as Millennial and Gen X women are notably higher on Exceptionalism than all women in general, whether Moms or Non-Moms

And motherhood must also be a factor as Millennial and Gen X Non-Moms are much lower on Compliance than their peers who are moms, and also all women in general.

Finally, we note that Hispanicity has significant effect on the profile as well.

Hispanic Moms are notablely lower in Anxiety and higher in Rootedness than any of other segments shown, including Hispanic Non-Moms.  This sequence of insights enables marketer to transcend stereotyping to identifying the meaningful variations and what might be driving them.

These charts provide a clear example of the power of our methods for measuring cultural variation, providing marketers with insights into ways that build authentic connection through culture.

In the coming months we will be publishing new findings on the Passion Points and Cultural Traits of this community.

Members of Collage Group’s LGBTQ+ & Gender program gain access to:

• Ten or more NEW reports released throughout 2021 (1 – 2 times/month).

• Research and insights covered by our comprehensive Essentials of LGBTQ+ Consumers and Essentials of Women Consumers, comprising demographics and expenditure, cultural traits, passion points and media habits.

Our research will provide useful answers to brand questions, including:

Which ad themes and strategies resonate among these segments and why?

How do I engage the modern American woman?

What are the primary passion points for LGBTQ+ and women consumers?

How do LGBTQ+ and women consumers engage across consumer industries?

What are the latest socio-political trends among these segments?

How are Americans across gender and sexuality using social media and streaming platforms?

What are the latest health and wellness trends for women and LGBTQ+ consumers?

What has been the impact of COVID on consumer attitudes within these segments?

Learn more about Collage Group's multicultural, generational and LGBTQ+ research by filling out the form below.

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Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Ads: Subaru

Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Ads: Subaru

CultureRate:Ad and CultureRate:Brand are major initiatives that provide a research solution to brands’ mounting need for comprehensive, ongoing analysis of the cultural fluency of branding and advertising.

Download an excerpt of the study.

In this CultureRate:Ad study we had the opportunity to test a recent ad by Subaru called “Girls’ Trip,” released in September 2020.

In this video, a granddaughter and her grandmother hit the road in their Subaru  for  a “girls’ trip.” They enjoy the journey together and have fun along the way by dancing in the car and stopping for milkshakes. Grandma even gets the number from a cute guy at the gas station for her granddaughter. Once they arrive back home, the video shows Grandma’s “old school” Subaru parked in the driveway, a nod to the brand’s reliability. Grandma remarks with pride how her granddaughter has taken after her by getting her own (newer) Subaru.

This ad struck a joyful, relatable, and authentic tone, making it a hit with consumers.

This ad was also one of the highest-performing auto ads of the set, ranking within the top two for each racial/ethnic consumer segment. The ad resonated with three out of four consumer segments – Hispanic, Black, and White. This means that the ad had an A-CFQ (Ad Cultural Fluency Quotient) score of 75 or higher for each of those segments. Even more, the A-CFQ score was just on the cusp of the resonance threshold for the Asian consumer segment.

According to consumers, the top performing features of this ad were its characters and story.

The two women in the ad had a close, heartwarming bond. They look and act authentically and viewers responded positively. Plus, their relationship helps convey the brand’s tagline: “Love is what makes Subaru, Subaru.”

The ad’s heartwarming tone resulted in high rates of positive emotions across segments, like happiness, excitement, and pride. In particular, Subaru’s ad outperforms most auto ads in evoking happiness. 56% of viewers said the Subaru’s ad made them feel happy, compared to the automotive ad norm of just 34%.

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Insights for Authentic Black Representation: Panel Discussion

Insights for Authentic Black Representation: Panel Discussion

Collage Group hosted a panel discussion on authentic representation of Black consumers in marketing. Attended by over 200 professionals, our panel of five leaders in Insights, Marketing and Diversity & Inclusion provided extraordinary insight into the opportunity for brands to better serve this pivotal segment.

Watch a recording of our webinar, “Insights for Authentic Black Representationby filling out the form below.

This webinar includes a panel discussion with diversity, insights, marketing and research leaders from CVS Health, McCormick & Company, U.S. Bank, TVOne and Diageo about Black identity and authentic representation in marketing.

At the start of Black History Month in 2021, Collage Group hosted a panel discussion with diversity, marketing and research leaders from CVS Health, McCormick & Company, U.S. Bank, TVOne and Diageo for a conversation about Black identity and authentic representation in marketing. We are confident this discussion will help brands amplify and support Black voices and accelerate your journey to Cultural Fluency.

The session began with a presentation from Collage Vice President of Client Services Zekeera Belton and Collage Chief Product Officer David Evans, who presented recent research into the mindset of Black Americans today and what brands need to know.  Zekeera then facilitated discussion on the importance of authentic Black representation, the risk that misrepresentation can shine a negative light on the community, and the need to show Black Americans without reliance on stale stereotypes that now pose major risks for brands.  They discussed what brands are learning in this pivotal hour of American history and how brands should better serve Black consumers.

Panelists included leaders from America’s top brands, right.

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Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Ads: Dunkin’

Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Quick Service Restaurant Ads: Dunkin'

In this CultureRate:Ad study we had the opportunity to test a recent ad by Dunkin’ called “Welcome to Dunkin’” and released in September 2020. In this video, the national coffee chain reveals how their brand offers consumers a sense of normalcy—and happiness—amidst the pandemic. Dunkin’ conveys a comforting message to their customers: “Even when everything feels like it’s changing, there are some things that’ll always stay the same. We’ll keep making the coffee, and you keep running.”

The ad isn’t just cheerful and relatable, it’s also a hit with multicultural consumers. This was one of the highest-performing QSR ads of the set, ranking within the top two for each racial/ethnic consumer segment. Dunkin’s ad joins an elite group of ads that resonate with all four consumer segments – Hispanic, Black, Asian, and White – with an A-CFQ (Ad-Cultural Fluency Quotient) score of 75 or higher for each group.

It’s not often that we see this kind of balance among ad features. This indicates that all of the elements of the ad play into each other nicely, creating an appealing sense of harmony.  Achieving cohesion among ad elements is an important step in guarding against viewer confusion, an emotional response that can harm an ad’s performance.

Why does Dunkin's ad perform so well among multicultural consumers?

Dunkin’s “Welcome to Dunkin’” ad builds emotional resonance by leaning into COVID-themes, like showing employees in masks and customers enjoying their coffee by themselves in the car. But they keep it lighthearted by using upbeat music, bright colors, and happy gestures like smiling, dancing, waving, and high-fiving.

The ad’s playful tone resulted in high rates of positive emotions across segments, like happiness, excitement, and pride.

CultureRate:Ad and CultureRate:Brand are major initiatives that provide a research solution to members’ mounting need for comprehensive, ongoing analysis of the cultural fluency of branding and advertising. If you’d like to explore how Collage Group can help your brand with competitive analysis, ad testing or brand testing, fill out the form below.

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Four Group Traits That Best Characterize Black Consumers

Four Group Traits That Best Characterize Black Consumers

Our newly updated Black Cultural Traits provides powerful new insights into America’s largest generation and one of its most diverse.

Watch a recording of our webinar, “Insights for Authentic Black Representationby filling out the form below.

This webinar includes a panel discussion with diversity, insights, marketing and research leaders from CVS Health, McCormick & Company, U.S. Bank, TVOne and Diageo about Black identity and authentic representation in marketing.

The Black segment continues to grow steadily, both in absolute numbers and as a share of the total U.S. population.

By 2060, Collage projects Black consumers to represent 55 million consumers, or 14 percent of the total U.S. population. To capture the growth and influence of these consumers, brands and marketers must deepen their understanding of the Black consumer segment.  Originally, released in the Fall of 2020, this page now includes the webinar replay presented January 27, 2021.​

Fill out the form to download an excerpt from the study.

Which Group Traits best characterize Black Consumers?

The four Group Traits which best characterize the Black segment are Perseverance, Ambition, Realness, and Self-Expression.

1. Perseverance

People sharing the Group Trait of Perseverance are deeply motivated to carry on in their personal pursuits despite whatever struggles and setbacks they face.

These individuals are less likely to give up what they put their minds to and more likely to take obstacles as motivation to work even harder.

Black resilience, determination, and tenacity stem from a history of adversity and oppression. Black Americans are acutely aware of the challenges they face, and they know that achieving their own success often requires more hard work than it does for others. Individual drive and hope for a better tomorrow motivate Black Americans to overcome the barriers they face in pursuit of their goals.

It is important to remember, though, that this spirit of perseverance is forward-looking and closely linked to the segment’s Optimism. As the data below shows, a large majority of Black consumers are confident that their lives will continue to get better and that things will work out for them in the end. Black consumer substantially over-index on these sentiments compared to their non-Black counterparts.

2. Ambition

People sharing the Group Trait of Ambition are driven to succeed and to focus on the necessary steps to achieve their goals.

These individuals are sensitive to barriers to success and attuned to the way that today’s choices can impact future goals.

Nobody knows what the future holds, but Black Americans already have a plan for it. They’re hyper-focused on their own futures and have record-breaking and history-making in sight, for both themselves and their communities. Giving back to the community and paying it forward so that future generations can reach for even greater heights is itself a powerful goal of many Black consumers.

Black consumers have high standards for their own individual accomplishments. They’re the most likely segment to say they’re “always trying to be the best and make it to the top.” The segment is also much more likely to say they will do important things in life than the White segment.

3. Realness

People sharing the Group Trait of Realness emphasize being true to themselves over any attempt to “put on a mask” in the presence of others.

These individuals are more likely to “live their truth, even if this means sacrificing relationships with those who may not accept them.

Black consumers are self-assured and take pride in themselves. From Black bodies to Black lived experience, Black Americans emphasize the importance of individuals living their truth and embracing the maxim “if you can’t be anyone but yourself, you might as well be the best possible version.”

Put simply, Black consumers are less likely to “filter” themselves based on expectations of how other people might react. One implication of this Group Trait is the expectation for content which reflects Black lived experiences as they truly are. Black consumers want to see representations of people who not only look like them, but also go through experiences which they can relate to. There is great demand for authentic and nuanced portrayals of Black life, and much power in getting those portrayals right.

4. Self-Expression

People sharing the Group Trait of Self-Expression have talent and creative potential they can’t wait to share with the world.

These individuals know they have something special to offer and are more likely to take whatever opportunities they can find to broadcast their craft and artistry.

Black Americans know what makes them special and want to share it with the world. From high fashion and artistic excellence to everyday expertise and influence, Black voices have undeniable power. And Black consumers know that their uniqueness leads to opportunities for excellence and exceptionalism.

The importance of Self-expression in the Black segment positions these consumers as major drivers of influence. In addition to the high value they place on sharing their talents, Black Americans are also more likely than other segments to see themselves as valuable sources of expertise and recommendation with opinions others need to hear. And they often seek out opportunities for spreading their voices and influencing others.

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LGBTQ+ & Gender Program Launch: LGBTQ+ Spotlight

LGBTQ+ & Gender Program Launch: LGBTQ+ Spotlight

The LGBTQ+ & Gender consumer research program is the latest offering from Collage Group. Read below to access the presentation materials and webinar replay hosted on January 21, 2021.

Beginning in 2021, we will be exploring consumer trends across the LGBTQ+ community and deepening our insight into gender with a dedicated focus on women consumers, while covering transgender, non-binary and other segments where applicable. 

As always, our research reflects a total market perspective, meaning that we will compare these segments to non-LGTBQ+ and men where applicable and relevant.

In this special webinar presentation available to members and non-members alike, we reviewed our recent research on the LGBTQ+ segment, a market estimated at $1 Trillion, or more.  We presented how we will be researching this crucial segment whose influence vastly exceeds its proportion in the population.  We have already generated ~150 pages of content covering LGBTQ+ insights for nine major industries, as well as unique cuts of data on social and political change, the importance of LGBTQ+ identity and the expectations of brands.

In this presentation we highlighted one analysis from our recent analysis of LGBTQ+ consumers with a focus on cultural attributes and Exceptionalism, based on our dataset of 14,000 American consumers.  

We revealed the link between Exceptionalism and the greater interest in the LGBTQ+ community in novelty, and self expression.  We also touched on the notably lower level of Rootedness in this population.

In the coming months we will be publishing new findings on the Passion Points and Cultural Traits of this community.   Stay tuned for the launch of gender research with an initial focus on Women consumers.

Members of Collage Group’s LGBTQ+ & Gender program gain access to:

•  Ten or more NEW reports released throughout 2021 (1 – 2 times/month).

•  Research and insights covered by our comprehensive Essentials of LGBTQ+ Consumers and Essentials of Women Consumers, comprising demographics and expenditure, cultural traits, passion points and media habits

Our research will provide useful answers to brand questions, including:

•  Which ad themes and strategies resonate among these segments and why?

•  How do I engage the modern American woman?

•  What are the primary passion points for LGBTQ+ and women consumers?

•  How do LGBTQ+ and women consumers engage across consumer industries?

•  What are the latest socio-political trends among these segments?

•  How are Americans across gender and sexuality using social media and streaming platforms?

•  What are the latest health and wellness trends for women and LGBTQ+ consumers?

•  What has been the impact of COVID on consumer attitudes within these segments?

Fill out the form below to learn how we can help your brand achieve Cultural Fluency.

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Four Group Traits That Best Characterize Millennial Consumers

Four Traits That Best Characterize Millennial Consumers

Our newly updated Millennial Cultural Traits provides powerful new insights into America’s largest generation and one of its most diverse.

One in five Americans are Millennials, the generation born from 1980 through 1996.

As of 2021, this segment is now ages 24-41, with the entire generation of working age, and many now entering parenthood. To capture the growing influence and expenditures of this consumer segment, brands and marketers must deepen their understanding of Millennials.

Which Group Traits best characterize Millennials?

The four Group Traits which best characterize the Millennial segment are AmbitionGo-with-the-Flow, Cosmopolitan, and Tuned-in.

1. Ambition

People sharing the Group Trait of Ambition are driven to succeed, and to focus on the necessary steps towards achieving their goals.

These individuals are most attuned to the future impacts of their daily choices, especially when they know what might make or break their grand aspirations.

Millennials are a generation that’s been dealt a heavy hand. They’ve now lived through not one, but two economic recessions. Many came of age in a poor job market in the late 2000s, stunting their career. And on top of it all, they face rising costs such as tuition, healthcare, and housing. These circumstances have necessitated a “sink or swim” attitude, and Millennials responded by acting towards securing a better future for themselves. They’re the most educated generation to date, they’re borderline “workaholic,” and they take their side hustles seriously – all in pursuit of security.

Although Hispanic Americans firmly believe in keeping and cultivating their cultural heritage, they have had to adapt culturally as immigrants and minorities. As a result, duality is their reality—they seamlessly navigate both worlds with a cultural fluidity that is easy and authentic.

Millennials are always on the grind, so it’s important to offer them ways to be more efficient – to get even more accomplished with less time or effort.

Position your brand as a resource to help them overcome obstacles and achieve success. Celebrate Millennials’ intense dedication, something they probably don’t hear enough amidst the “lazy” and “entitled” stereotypes. And finally, remind them it’s okay to take a break, practice self-care, and treat themselves.

2. Go-with-the-Flow

People sharing the Group Trait of Go-with-the-Flow feel a resilience and contentment towards life.

These individuals are more likely to express a “ce’est la vie” attitude towards their personal situations, accepting that their fates are largely out of their own hands.

Millennials are keenly aware of the twists and turns of life. While many grew up during the booming 80s and 90s, they’ve now experienced several decades of rapid and dramatic change including the 9/11 attacks, the Great Recession of 2008, and the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing recession of 2020. Facing uncertainty is a defining factor of their lifetimes. These young Americans have learned to go with the flow of life and expect the unexpected. They’re resilient and take what life throws at them, while remaining staunchly optimistic.

At the core of it all, Millennials want empathy, so show sensitivity to their unique struggles.

Take a realistic tone when appealing to them. Encourage hope without discounting the realities of the world. And don’t be afraid to use humor to diffuse the tension – to them, this shows that you understand what they’re going through.

3. Cosmopolitan

People sharing the Group Trait of Cosmopolitan value spending time with people of diverse backgrounds and walks of life.

These individuals are more likely to seek out opportunities to engage with people from different cultural backgrounds than their own.

Millennials are an inherently diverse generation that craves novelty and wide-reaching experiences. Many Millennials seek to understand their own diverse heritage as a way to find meaning in a world that has proven unpredictable. And they welcome cultural and personal diversity in their social circles, hobbies, and activities as a way to experience the world in its full complexity.

There’s never been a better time to lean into diversity, and when you do, Millennials will be here for it!

Millennials are often known as the “experiences” generation, and much of what’s driving their thirst for adventure is a desire to experience other cultures. Whether through food, music, history, or more, give Millennials a reason to step outside the box of their everyday lives. Position your products as a way to learn about and experience other cultures.

4. Tuned-In

People sharing the Group Trait of Tuned-In want to keep up with the current cultural moment, especially when it comes to entertainment.

These individuals are more likely to seek out and participate in the latest of trends and popular culture, and to have little shame in going along with “mainstream” tastes.

Millennials—like previous generations their age—desire to be in-the-know when it comes to trends and pop culture. But unlike previous generations, Millennials grew up through the transition of unparalleled technological innovations, inciting a sense of “FOMO” (fear of missing out) and a need to keep up with their changing world. Along the way, technology offered them greater access to culture, trends, and news, spawning deep interests across a variety of topics.

Brands have ample opportunity to play in this space.

This can be as simple as building hype around brand or product news, even if it’s small, to give Millennials something to be excited about. Stay up to date on the pop culture trends Millennials are into so you can connect with them on topics they’re passionate about. And finally, repackage your content in multiple formats, like shows, podcasts, memes, and social media posts to reach Millennials through the multitude of channels they use to stay in-the-know.

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Four Group Traits that Best Characterize Hispanic Consumers

Four Group Traits that Best Characterize Hispanic Consumers

The Hispanic segment accounts for most of U.S. population growth over the past decade, primarily driven by U.S.-born Acculturated and Bicultural Hispanics.

By 2060, Collage projects Hispanic consumers to represent 28 percent of the total U.S. population. To capture this growth, brands and marketers must deepen their understanding of the Hispanic 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. 

The four Group Traits that best characterize the Hispanic segment are Cultural Duality, Optimism, Warmth, and Tuned-In.

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.

Although Hispanic Americans firmly believe in keeping and cultivating their cultural heritage, they have had to adapt culturally as immigrants and minorities. As a result, duality is their reality—they seamlessly navigate both worlds with a cultural fluidity that is easy and authentic.

2. Optimism

Optimism refers to the proclivity to see one’s future as full of opportunity and promise.

Rather than worrying about the possibility of things going wrong, individuals exhibiting this Group Trait are confident that, in the long run, their problems will work themselves out and their lives will continue to improve.

Despite adversity and current anti-Hispanic sentiment, Hispanic Americans are still optimistic and hopeful about their future in the U.S., as a population and on an individual level. They challenge themselves to achieve success and trust that hard work will get them there.

3. Warmth

Warmth conveys one’s desire to prioritize having personal and “human” relationships with those around them. Individuals exhibiting this Group Trait want others to be as comfortable as possible in their presence, regardless of how long they’ve known one another or the specifics of their interactions.

Hispanic Americans place high value on creating warm, friendly, informal relationships with everyone they know and meet. The focus on informality doesn’t negate the existence of hierarchical roles or deference to authority—rather, it allows a bond of mutual respect, understanding, and trust to form. While this trait is slightly stronger in older Hispanics, younger Hispanics will likely embrace it as they age.

4. Tuned-In

Tuned-In represents a desire to keep up with the current cultural moment, especially when it comes to entertainment. People exhibiting this Group Trait are more likely to seek out and participate in the latest of trends and popular culture, and to have little shame in going along with “mainstream” tastes.

Hispanic Americans are open-minded and adventurous. Their lived experience adapting to cultures and their optimistic attitude culminate in a desire to insert themselves into the mainstream. They want to both understand and contribute to the current moment. And for as much as their environment shapes them, they equally wield influence.

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Four Group Traits That Best Characterize the Gen Z Consumer Segment

Four Group Traits That Best Characterize the Gen Z Consumer Segment

Our Gen Z Cultural Traits research provides powerful new insights into America’s youngest and still-emerging consumer demographic. Read on to discover the four essential traits you need to know about Gen Z consumers.

One in five Americans are members of Gen Z, the generation born from 1997 through 2012. As of 2020, this segment is now ages 8-23, with many now finishing their education and (attempting to) enter the workforce. To capture the growing influence and expenditures of this consumer segment, brands and marketers must deepen their understanding of Gen Z.

Download an excerpt from our presentation, Appeal to Gen Z Cultural Traits:

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.

Which Group Traits best characterize the Gen Z segment?

The four Group Traits which best characterize the Gen Z segment are Pressured, Skeptical, Recognition-Seeking, and Self-Expression.

1. Pressured

People sharing the Group Trait of Pressured tend to feel overwhelmed by their many obligations.

A major source of tension with these individuals is balancing the expectations of achieving external measures of success with the desire to live life the way they truly want to.

Gen Z faces a variety of life-stage pressures which manifest in ways no generation has seen before. Family pressures can be rather intense in the face of households navigating multiple economic disasters in the span of only a decade. Social pressures are more pronounced in the age of social media, where “fitting in” requires constant participation in the editing and filtering of one’s everyday life. And pressures to succeed academically and in the workforce have just recently hit a major roadblock in the combined recession and social distancing of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amidst these pressures, it is important to remind Gen Z consumers that they need to take care of themselves. Despite “self-care” having youthful connotations, America’s youngest consumers are the least likely to prioritize their health – physical, mental, or otherwise. 

2. Skeptical

People sharing the Group Trait of Skeptical lack confidence in their own specific futures and life journeys. Not seeing much to be hopeful for in the world around them, these individuals are more likely to fear the worst and worry about whatever lies ahead.

From Gen Z’s perspective, it makes sense to be worried about the future. From the ever-looming existential threat of climate change to increasing awareness of racism, sexism, wealth inequality, and gun violence, much seems to stand in the way of young consumers living happy and fulfilling lives. Gen Z doesn’t have faith in many traditional institutions as they currently operate, and they are on the lookout for new and innovative solutions.

And Gen Z is very open to brands being part of these solutions. These young consumers are most likely to say that companies and organizations should play an active role in addressing social issues, even if there is no direct relation to their product or category. 

3. Recognition-Seeking

People sharing the Group Trait of Recognition-Seeking are proud of their accomplishments and want to receive external recognition for their good work. These consumers are therefore more receptive to positive reinforcement, through reminders of what they have already accomplished and what they still stand to achieve.

Amidst all of today’s challenges and uncertainties, Gen Z wants to know they are on the right track. Moreover, these young consumers know they will have to distinguish themselves to get ahead in an increasingly competitive and specialized workforce. As a result, Gen Z prizes being perceived as intelligent, interesting, and successful at what they do.

But these young consumers also recognize the essential contributions others have had in their success. In the digital age, there is a growing awareness of reliance on shared platforms for educational, professional, and personal achievement. 

4. Self-Expression

People sharing the Group Trait of Self-Expression have talent and creative potential they can’t wait to share with the world. These individuals know they have something special to offer, and they are therefore more likely to take whatever opportunities they can find to broadcast their craft and artistry.

For Gen Z, Self-Expression is an important means of exploring and refining their individual senses of identity. Gen Z is more likely than any other generation to describe themselves to others based on their hobbies and special interests. Expressing these interests through creative outlets – including social media – is therefore a more personal affair than it might be for older consumers. Brands have ample opportunity, then, to facilitate Gen Z’s exploration and expression of identity.

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