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External Resources for Antiracist Education and Action

External Resources for Antiracist Education and Action
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To genuinely reflect and connect with multicultural consumers, brands need to lead by example and take meaningful action. It is no longer enough, or even acceptable, to simply communicate support and solidarity with communities of color without following through with concrete action.

But how do you get there?

We at Collage decided to roll up our sleeves and do what we know best – research. For this project we decided not only to run our own study on consumer perceptions of racism and responses to current events, but also to identify the best resources available to educate ourselves and provide valuable learnings for our membership. As part of our effort to help break the cycle of systemic racism, we compiled a collection of useful resources as a starting point for your own efforts.

The sources we found address three main areas: (1) the personal experiences of racism of America, (2) the role of systemic racism, and (3) what you can do in terms of activations and potential CSR partnerships. Collectively, these resources provide context and guidance on what you need to do as a brand to truly make an impact on combating racism.

1. Learn about racism at a personal level

Educate yourself through listening, reading, and watching things that will help you better understand the lived experience for Black people in America. NPR’s Code Switch offers a curated list of books, films, and podcasts for self-education. Here are some other great resources:

  1. PBS’s “Say It Out Loud” is a video series covering topics including Black pride, terminology, history, and pop culture.
  2. The National Museum of African American History and Culture provides guidance on how to begin talking about racism by exploring different topics like bias, being Anti-Racist, and supporting your community.
  3. Pew’s Social Trend Research on race in America helps shed some light into perceptions of and personal experiences with racism across ethnic segments.

2. Understand the history and impact of systemic racism

Our present moment has brought increased scrutiny on the role policing and the criminal justice system has played in perpetuating racism against Black Americans. The organization Mapping Police Violence  offers up to date data on police killings across the United States with a focus on these racial disparities. We at Collage came together to watch and discuss Ava Duvernay’s documentary 13th, which helps connect the dots between slavery, Jim Crow, and mass incarceration in America.

But there is much else we must address beyond criminal justice reform. Economic inequality should also be top of mind, as we see Blacks and Hispanics disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis. In a recent article by CNBC, Mellody Hobson, the -President and Co-CEO of Ariel Investments, and Ken Frazier, the Chairman and CEO of Merck, agree that leadership, job, and financially literacy programs can help rectify the economic imbalance we see today. Here are two additional helpful resources:

  1. The Urban Institute, research and policy organization, offers a collection of data and stories on structural racism.
  2. Brookings dives into the history and statistics behind the racial wealth gap, pointing out exactly how large and persistent it is. McKinsey extends this conversation with powerful insights identifying the unmet financial needs of Black individuals and families.
  3. In his article ‘The Difference Between First-Degree Racism and Third-Degree Racism’ John Rice explains different levels of structural racism. His organization, Management Leadership for Tomorrow, offers career support to youth from underrepresented communities (including Hispanic, Black, and Native American communities).

3. Take action

Now that you have some context, start thinking about what actions you can take as a brand and as a company. Keep in mind the importance of transparency and aligning your actions with your communications. Vox points out how some brands have received major backlash for putting out empty statements of solidarity. It is important to lead by example, so when it comes to taking action, think about what you need to do internally and how you can extend a helping hand locally and nationwide. Below are some examples of how companies can act:

    1. Internally: CNN Business highlights five concrete structural efforts companies can undertake to promote racial justice.
    2. Internally: Pull up for Change is a campaign that pushes brands to be more transparent about their internal diversity by asking them to release such information as their number of total black employees and their the demographics of leadership positions.
    3. Externally: Ben and Jerry’s has long been an unapologetic ally to the Black community. This post serves as an example of best-in-class activation and features some of their social justice partners.
    4. Externally: P&G’s #LetsTalkBias initiative includes short films “The Look” and “The Talk”, along with conversation guides to help drive change through community dialogue.

We sincerely hope you can dedicate time to digest these materials. Whether by yourself, within your teams at work, or even with your families and social spheres, we also hope these resources foster new conversations and willingness to leverage the tools at your disposal in the struggle against racism.

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How Multicultural Consumers Want Brands to Support Change: Consumer Response to Racism & Current Events

How Multicultural Consumers Want Brands to Support Change: Consumer Response to Racism & Current Events
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Entering the conversation on race can be an intimidating step for your brand, but in this day and age, it’s imperative. Our latest research on current events helps you unpack this topic and provides the guidance you need to take action. Fill out the form to download a sample of the study.

“Unprecedented times:” a label the world has become well-acquainted with since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. But over the past several weeks, public outcry over heinous deaths in the Black community has given new meaning to this phrase. From George Floyd, to Breonna Taylor, to Ahmaud Arbery, and more – Black lives lost at the hands of an inherently racist system have awakened America to the reality of its dark past and broken present.

To help brands understand how Americans are responding to current events and what they can do to support the drive for racial equality, we conducted a survey-based study in June 2020. Below are a few high-level insights and implications from this research. An excerpt of the study is available for download to the right.

Four things you need to know about consumers’ views on racism and related brand actions

  1. Most Americans, but especially Black and Gen Z Americans, recognize the seriousness and pervasiveness of racism in the country

The majority of each segment considers racism to be a very serious problem with Hispanic and Black Americans over-indexing. Additionally, multicultural Americans and Gen Z across segments are more likely to recognize that race impacts how people experience life in the U.S. This is evidence these segments are more in tune with the existence of implicit and systemic racism in the country.

  1. Most Americans recognize the need for significant change to address systemic racism.

Hispanic and Black Americans are more likely than White and Asian Americans to think significant change is needed to achieve racial equality across core institutions like criminal justice, politics, education, health care, and financial systems. These segments are also more likely to think diverse areas of life such as the news, beauty standards, and sports leagues need to change significantly to better reflect the needs, wants, and preferences of non-White Americans.

  1. There is now more risk in remaining silent than taking a stand.

Most consumers expect and demand that brands take a stand. In fact, more than half of all Americans, and roughly two-thirds of Black Americans, think that companies that do not take a stand against racial inequality are part of the problem. Multicultural and Gen Z consumers are more likely to purchase products from companies that make statements about and donate money to causes and organizations they care about.

  1. This time is different: You must take concrete steps beyond statements of support.

Young consumer segments that tend to skew multicultural have well-tuned bullsh*t detectors. They see right through empty promises and virtue-signaling remarks. Brands need to back up their statements of support with concrete actions that show they are serious about driving change.

For more tips on how to be a positive agent of change and details on consumer attitudes and behaviors related to racial justice and current events, download an excerpt of the study above. Contact us for more details.

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How Great Brands Confront Racism and Injustice: Panel Discussion With Leaders from Coca-Cola, Google Pixel & Walt Disney Company

How Great Brands Confront Racism and Injustice: Panel Discussion With Leaders from Coca-Cola, Google Pixel & Walt Disney Company
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Augmented by early findings from our research into racism in America, our virtual panel discussion with leaders from Coca-Cola, Google Pixel and Walt Disney Company provided powerful new insights into the actions brands need to take now. Replay the entire discussion below.
 

The week of Juneteenth 2020, Collage Group was honored to host a virtual panel discussion with Daneyni Sanguinetti from Coca-Cola, Natasha Aarons from Google Pixel and Brian Walker from Walt Disney Company on the topic of how great brands are confronting racism and injustice. Our sessions was scheduled on short notice after public outrage in the wake of the killings of black individuals and the video footage of white privilege at its worst in Central Park.  We have witnessed an extraordinarily generative moment prompting citizens of all backgrounds across the country to protest for social justice, an end to police violence, and to initiate real meaningful steps toward reducing institutional racism.

As part of our session, we shared early findings from our just-fielded survey of over 2361 consumers on racism and social justice in America.  Full results of this initiative will be published in several weeks, but we provided an excerpt to set discussion with our invited guests.  Wound that the vast majority are feeling “sad,” “frustrated,” and “angry” in response to the recent events, but we also found that 20% of consumers felt “hopeful.”  Indeed, similar positive emotions are significantly stronger among the multicultural community, with Black consumers in particular feeling “motivated” and “empowered” to a degree unmatched by other consumers.

We also asked consumers to report on how big a problem racism is on a scale of 1 to 10  where 1 equates to “not a problem at all” and 10 to “a very serious problem.”  No surprise that the Black community overindexes in response to this questions with 85% scoring it in the range between 8-10, but even a solid majority of White consumers report scores in this range.  Indeed more individuals across every single intersection of race, ethnicity and generation responded with a 10, than with any other score.

The good news is that brands taking a stand are most likely to gain. We asked consumers how they would respond to brands making statements “supporting causes and organizations I care about”, and to brands “donating money to causes and organizations I care about.” The answer: the highest percentage of consumers report they are “more likely to purchase products,” with an around one in ten reporting they would react negatively.

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Four Questions to Ask Your Team About America’s Multicultural Consumers

Four Questions to Ask Your Team About America’s Multicultural Consumers
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We are at a tipping point.

American communities are advocating for change in large numbers and with resounding energy. Is your brand ready to take on the change needed to support America’s multicultural consumers? As you evaluate and prepare to take on this challenge, we suggest you ask your team these four questions:

1. Do we understand the multicultural population in America?

The U.S. demographic landscape has transformed; 129 million multicultural consumers now represent 40% of the population. A deep dive into research and insights on multicultural consumers can help you understand and capture the voice and passions of key growth segments: Black, Hispanic, and Asian.
2. How is our brand perceived among multicultural America, specifically the most influential generations?

An intrinsically diverse youth segment (ages 18-39) has emerged in the U.S. These Gen Z and Millennial consumers, referred to as the New Wave, are highly invested in their beliefs and passions, and orient toward inclusion and diversity not seen in older generations. Evaluating how well your brand(s) and advertising resonate is critical to growth.

3. Do we know how to succeed with multicultural and New Wave consumers?

Powerful traits like exceptionalism and anxiety influence how consumer segments perceive and engage with brands. Improving your understanding of these traits among multicultural consumers can help you recognize, anticipate and influence consumer decision-making in your category. From there, you can develop a framework and a plan to effectively build deep, authentic connections.

4. Are we successfully embedding Cultural Fluency throughout your organization?

Educate your team on your framework so there is an organization-wide understanding. You will need alignment on the language and tone necessary to be relevant and authentic, the themes and stories that resonate with multicultural communities, and the next steps for continued innovation and activation.

Collage Group was founded more than 10 years ago with the mission to help companies develop the cultural fluency required to understand and serve diverse America.

We currently partner with more than 200 brands across 15 industries, including Coca-Cola, Clorox, Disney, Heineken, Hulu, Google, McDonalds, Nestle, Proctor & Gamble, U.S. Bank and many more.

Please contact us to find out more about how we can support you on your journey to Cultural Fluency.

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Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Brands: Home Care

Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Brands: Home Care
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Collage Group just launched new syndicated research streams ranking ads and brands on cultural fluency. Download the content and watch the webinar on alcoholic beverage brands for key insights.

AdRate and BrandRate are major new initiatives that provide a solution to our members’ mounting need for a comprehensive, ongoing analysis of the cultural fluency of branding and advertising. 

This is especially for the “New Wave” of younger Americans who regardless of race or ethnicity are highly responsive to multicultural themes, representation and stories.

AdRate and BrandRate are part of a larger initiative to place every member’s brands and ads at the center of what we do. In the last two weeks, we begin our 2020 BrandRate initiative with the release of rankings in alcoholic beverages.

 

Our rating system is built on two years of research into how best to measure cultural fluency. Our 2020 initiative is the first step toward realizing a vision of a comprehensive and transparent database that reveals what works and what doesn’t. AdRate is based on over 120,000 responses to approximately 150 ads in 8 categories, with deep multicultural, Millennial and Gen Z oversample. We piloted BrandRate with four investigations testing over 100 brands with 6000 consumer responses.

For each investigation we are testing ads and brands with approximately 450-500 consumers between 18-39 (21-39 for alcoholic beverages) equally divided across three levels of Hispanic acculturation, Black, Asian and White. Except for personal care and beauty categories, the sample is equally divided across gender. We also capture respondents’ cultural attribute profile and other demographics factors. This can enabled detailed assessment and lookalike identification of high frequency, high affinity or culturally similar consumers.

We hope that access to this database will motivate more inclusive advertising to drive up Cultural Fluency across every category.  It’s time to raise the bar for everyone.

In that spirit, we offer all members a free detailed mini-report on one ad and one brand for each membership subscription (Latinum and GenYZ). Members may obtain additional reports on any ad or brand 2 and 3 credits respectively, or add additional ad and brands (and obtain reports) for the same fee.

We also offer members the opportunity to commission detailed custom analyses of our data or commission engagements to using our rating methodology. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of becoming a Collage Group Member.

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Four Things You Need to Know About Asian American Marketing

Four Things You Need to Know about Asian-American Consumers
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Download a free sample of the research.

1. Almost two-thirds of Asian Americans are foreign-born, and roughly 80% speak a language other than English at home.

 

But this doesn’t mean you have to use targeted language-specific advertising to reach the segment. After all, more than 74% of each major Asian sub-group (Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino, Korean, Japanese) is either bilingual or English dominant.

 

2. Roughly half of all Asian Americans cite China or India as their country of origin.

 

And these two groups were responsible for 71% of the Asian segment’s population growth between 2012 and 2017—1.8 million people!

 

3. Marriage is extremely important for Asian Americans.

 

They are the most likely to be married and the least likely to be divorced.  Among origin groups, Indian Asians are the most likely to be married, while Asian women are the most likely of any group to be in an interracial marriage.

 

4. While Asian Americans take pride in their Asian ethnicity, they tend to identify more by their country of origin.

 

This is likely tied to the segment’s desire to maintain a strong connection with their cultural heritage, something many Asians—roughly 48%—fear future generations may lose.

 

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The Changing Digital Habits of Multicultural Consumers

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With multicultural consumers comprising an increasing share of younger generations, grasping the intersection between multicultural and digital becomes fundamentally important to marketers.

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