U.S. Multicultural Consumer Imperative For Global Brands

I recently revisited Interbrand’s and Kantar Millward Brown’s 2018 annual reports listing the top global brands, echoing consensus from New York to Sao Paulo, from London to Shanghai. Back home, it’s evident that millions of multicultural consumers are not being courted by these giants.

Not that there isn’t any strong multicultural marketing out there. In fact, there are some topnotch multicultural strategies and executions seen in the automotive, QSR, telecommunications and retail categories. However, these are exceptions to a mostly pale multicultural marketing landscape.

Let’s assess four key reasons why multicultural marketing will be a business mandate for the future success of global brands in the U.S. market over the next 30 years.

1.       A polynomial and younger demographic model:  According to 2016 U.S. Census Bureau figures, 41% of the country’s population is multicultural and identifies itself as either Hispanic, African American, Asian, Native American or a combination of two or more races. That accounts for approximately 128 million consumers. The multicultural component is statistically projected to be 58% of a total population of 438 million consumers by 2050. This said, it’s clear that population growth will be driven by different cross-cultural segments that will be primarily Generation Z and Generation Alpha consumers.



2.       Retail pacesetters: Over the past five years, there has been conclusive research asserting how multicultural consumers — especially the Hispanic and Asian segments — are driving key food and perishable merchandising trends in the grocery channel. These behaviors are permeating to mass, convenience and club channels, mirroring a sophisticated multichannel shopping behavior influencing general market shoppers.

As center store grocery categories become increasingly visible in ecommerce and in alternative digital platforms, their growth will depend largely on younger multicultural shopper segments who are currently driving both the technology adoption and the omnichannel shopping experience integrating brick-and-mortar and digital retail environments.

3.       The era of culturally relevant digital content generation: At some point in late 2017, digital ad spends surpassed traditional media expenditures, and will continue to grow in the foreseeable future. Multicultural consumers’ embrace of mobile media will continue to fuel the exponential growth of search, social and video generations among increasingly symbiotic audiences based on cultural and lifestyle variables. 

In my opinion, this will fuel an extraordinary reservoir of creativity, which U.S. ad agencies will unequivocally capitalize on, perhaps becoming the pillar of American creative resurgence to parallel the multicultural advertising excellence currently originating in countries like Brazil, South Africa, Australia and the U.K.

 4.       Multicultural entrepreneurial stewardship: The muscle of small and medium-sized businesses has traditionally been, and will remain, the backbone of the country’s economic growth and employment base. What will change in future is how multicultural entrepreneurs take center stage, as Hispanic, African-American or Asian entrepreneurs will account for most of the job creation the economy generates. By the way, a very large percentage of these entrepreneurs will be women. 

Isn’t it time for the world’s leading brands to start looking at the U.S. multicultural consumer as a business imperative?

Disclaimer: The views and opinions presented in this article are only the author’s and are not associated with any corporation, government agency or nongovernmental organization. 

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