Diwali 2021: What Should My Brand Do?

Diwali 2021: What Should My Brand Do?

It’s not too late to activate! With two thirds of Indian Americans celebrating Diwali, brands will want to make their mark on this important holiday. Keep reading to learn what Asian consumers expect from brands like yours on this festival of lights.

Diwali is one of the major festivals celebrated among Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and many Buddhists. The holiday lasts five days, and it coincides with the Hindu New Year according to their lunisolar calendar. Though it falls on November 4 this year, Diwali has some similarities to other winter and New Year’s celebrations, and comes with distinct cultural traditions.

Read on for key facts about the holiday, insights on how Asian American consumers celebrate, and ideas for how your brand can get involved.

What is Diwali?

Diwali honors the conclusion of the Ramayana, a key Hindu text and one of two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India. It celebrates the triumphant return of Prince Rama after a 14-year exile, the rescue of his wife Sita, and his coronation as king. Rejoicing in Rama’s victories, Diwali celebrants honor light itself amidst the darkness of coming winter.  And for many Asian Americans, Diwali is an explicitly religious holiday, with the Goddess Lakshmi – symbolizing wealth and purity – a key focus.

Traditions of Diwali​

    • Candles and firecrackers are popular in Diwali celebrations, with diya oil lamps one of the more traditional means of proving light in the darkness
    • Rangoli is an art form common in Diwali preparations, where colored sand, flower petals, rocks, and powdered stone are arranged in colorful, patterned designs on a flat surface
    • Sweet foods are a traditional component of Diwali celebrations, with many preparing malpua pancakes, laddu balls, and other fare to eat and share
    • Puja is a worship ritual common among Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains. On Diwali, offerings of light, flowers, sustenance, or song accompany these rituals, largely directed towards the Goddess Lakshmi

Among Indian Americans, having special food and drink is the most common way to celebrate Diwali. Eating and gifting sweets is therefore a key component of American Diwali, but many other customs – including fireworks, clothing, decorations, and religious ceremonies – are also popular.

Key Consumer Insights

According to Collage Group’s 2021 Holidays and Occasions study, 13% of the Asian American population celebrates Diwali, with 67% of Indian Americans making up the bulk of celebrants. Diwali therefore has a niche, but dedicated market.

Which means many brands may be wondering if they have permission to play.

Among Indian Americans, brands largely have a green light to focus on education. Most Indian Americans say brands should use their Diwali activations to explain what the holiday is and why it’s important, given that half of Americans – and 42% of Asian Americans – are not familiar with the festival at all. And Many Indian Americans also support brands sharing stories of people observing the holiday, as well as showing others what they can do to help celebrate.

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Travel & Hospitality: Five Key Insights for Engaging Multicultural Consumer Preferences

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Travel & Hospitality: Five Key Insights for Engaging Multicultural Consumer Preferences

As a second pandemic summer comes to an end, many Americans are planning their holiday travel amidst consistent and lasting changes to their preferences and expectations of the travel and hospitality industries. For marketing and consumer insights professionals in travel and hospitality, understanding these shifts in diverse consumer behavior is vital to improving short- and long-term brand engagement strategies.

Collage Group’s latest Passion Points research unveils how American consumers across racial and ethnic segments engage with travel, and which segments care most deeply about this important aspect of American life. Passion Points are the activities and areas of life people are deeply interested in. They are the “things” that people prioritize when spending their time, money, and attention. And they are concrete expressions of culture.

Brands apply Passion Points to both extend reach and deepen connection with America’s multicultural consumers. These activations can vary, from authentic creative and brand positioning to partnerships and sponsorships. In all cases, Passion Point research provides critical insight for understanding which activations will be most successful.

Download an excerpt of our research for travel-related attitudes and behaviors marketers and insights leaders can use to connect with diverse America. And read below for five key insights for engaging multicultural consumer travel preferences.

Fill out the form to view a sample from our research on consumer attitudes and behaviors around Travel & Hospitality.

Passion Points - Travel

1. Most Americans are Eager to Travel

While many Americans remain concerned about the safety and health of traveling amidst the pandemic, most Americans are eager to travel, with Acculturated Hispanic and Asian Americans leading the pack at 74%.

Most American are Eager to Travel after COVID-19

2. And More than Half of Americans Want to See the World

Despite a preference for traveling domestically, 55% of Americans say they have a strong urge to see the world, with Black and Asian consumers saying they are most interested in traveling abroad.

Many Americans Report a Strong Urge to see the World

3. 1 in 3 Americans Have a Favorite Travel Destination

Many Americans may already know where they want to travel. While one-third of Americans say they have a preferred vacation or travel destination, Black consumers are the least likely – at 23%.

One in three Americans have a favorite travel destination

4. Consumer Preferences for How They Travel Vary Across Race and Ethnicity, and Asian Americans Enjoy Flying the Most

The experience of flying is most enjoyed by Asian Americans (63%), while less than half of Hispanic consumers say they enjoy the experience. However, Hispanic consumers show great variation in their preference for flying across acculturation levels.

Asian Americans most enjoy the experience of flying

5. And a Large Majority of Consumers Enjoy Road Trips

Many Americans may be taking to the roads for holiday travel, as more than 75% say they enjoy road trips. Make sure not to miss the extreme variations across Hispanic acculturation: Unacculturated Hispanics are the least likely to enjoy the road (15%), while acculturated Hispanic consumers prefer this method of travel (78%).

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Cultural Fluency: A Revolutionary New Framework for Winning in Today’s America

Cultural Fluency: A Revolutionary New Framework for Winning in Today’s America

Cultural Fluency represents a powerful new way to significantly increase the ROI on marketing.

Multicultural America will dominate population growth and influence for the foreseeable future

Younger Americans expect brand to embrace diversity and take stands on issues they care about.  The general market will be won by brands that efficiently and effectively appeal to all segments in an authentic way.  Is your brand ready?

The Problem: Brands are Ensnared in a Marketing Trade-Off

Every brand manager struggles with a fundamental trade-off:”  do we go deep on “ethnic” segments and generate deep connection at the expense of no connection to other segments?

Or do we go broad on safer “gen-pop” themes and risk being forgotten as savvier competitors win with stronger messages?  How do we handle the impossible: multiple “ethnic” segments to target, each growing rapidly, but limited marketing dollars.  And what about backlash from our traditional consumers?

We believe this trade-off can be transcended.  Our Cultural Fluency framework enables marketers to move ahead of competitors with savvy insight that combines deep cultural insight for specific segments AND generates broad appeal, revealing a new equilibrium that generates higher ROI on marketing investments.

The Solution: Build Cultural Fluency

Our Cultural Fluency originated in research we began for our 2017 Executive Roundtable series, co-hosted by Google and A+E Networks

Fundamental to our work is a new method to measure cultural variation, enabling us to quantify cultural differences and similarities across race, ethnicity, generations, gender identity and sexual orientation. These measures have given us the ability to exhaustive document the cultural traits of these consumers, and help brands identify ways to extend their reach across and impact within cultural segments.

In addition, we developed a way to measure the cultural fluency of ads and brands, enabling brands to diagnose cultural fluency gaps with these metrics. Our members use these diagnostics to identify where they need to close gaps with insights gleaned from our work in cultural traits.  Budget-conscious brands use these insights to reduce the cost of custom engagements.

The Cultural Fluency Roadmap

Our members use the Cultural Fluency Roadmap to declare a destination, measure their progress and hold themselves accountable to delivering the cultural fluency consumers now expect as price of entry.  Multicultural consumers want to see themselves represented correctly. Younger Americans expect brands to embrace the diversity they have grown up with. Brands cannot afford to miss out on the growth opportunity America faces across all segments, driven by multicultural America and the embrace of diversity.   It’s time for brands to declare Cultural Fluency as a top goal.

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