The consumer’s behavior has changed a lot, right? When it comes to black consumers, this fact is even stronger.
A McKinsey survey found out that Black consumers are willing to pay up to 20% more for the right products and services that meet their necessities.
For brands, it’s an incredible opportunity to increase their efforts to attend to this group. The question is: how can they be prepared to better communicate with black consumers, in order to hit greater results, while also promoting racial equity?
February is the Black History Month in the USA, so there’s no better time to think about black consumers and how we can promote racial equality in our lifes.
Black buying power is growing fast
The fight for racial equality has been achieving great changes for blacks on many issues, including their buying power. As a consequence, brands are hands-on to meet this economic force, as they have never been before.
Black buying power is growing fast—from $910 billion in 2019 to a projected $1.7 trillion in 2030. Yet for a long time, companies have failed to see black consumers as their priority ethnic targets.
But fortunately this scenario is slowly changing.
Let’s take a recent example: this month Target introduced 40 new beauty brands to its lineup, and half of that is from Black-owned or founded companies. The announcement is part of the retailer’s initiative to spend more than $2 billion with Black-owned businesses by 2025.
Some huge companies are taking the initiative to best satisfy this group, alongside giving room to small and large black-owned businesses to grow.
The dissatisfaction roots
Black Americans have been underbanked since the industrial revolution. Many of them face daily challenges that inevitably affect their chances to succeed. But even those who have access to products and services might feel dissatisfied with the lack of understanding of their aesthetic, cultural and economic needs.
Better serving black clients will not just benefit them, but also the brands. The ones who refuse to accept this panorama may miss out the most.
Capturing the attention of this growing economic block can lead to long-term relationships: 68% of the McKinsey survey respondents reported that they’re loyal to brands that best satisfy their necessities.
Bringing value, respecting diversity and designing products for black people’s preferences is a win-win situation. In other words, we could foresee both social and economic benefits.
It’s very important that black people are able to contribute to the economy as workers and consumers, gaining access to resources and their chance to succeed.
Of course their tastes are not a monolith. Each individual has a particular way to interact with brands. However, most black clients seek more inclusive and trustworthy brands, evaluating each stated social mission and credibility among black communities, besides the product quality.
How can I make my brand meet black peoples’ needs?
First things first: don’t do it just for profit. Companies that claim to be inclusive for the world but do not adopt inclusion measures within the workplace are usually unmasked and lose credibility. You need to encourage representation in all departments and initiatives, and this goes far beyond marketing campaigns.
After adopting this mindset, you are able to give a closer attention to your strategies. Here is a list of 5 steps you MUST take to win black consumer’s wallets, credibility and hearts:
1. Employ a representative workforce
Representation goes far beyond putting a black person in a TV commercial or a magazine ad. There are deeper items you should be concerned about.
For instance, what is the percentage of black people in your company? What is the percentage of blacks in senior positions?
You should employ decision makers, leaders, and marketing professionals who understand and can speak to Black consumers’ communities. Be aware that your brand will only deliver services and products optimized for blacks, if there is a black workforce in the house. Representation in a company means full capacity to access a black person’s deepest desires and particularities.
It is harder to think differently when everyone on your team looks the same.
2. Encourage policies for blacks
Ensure that your products are accessible to Black communities. Promote supplier diversity from Black-owned and Black-focused brands. Stakeholders and partners must also be anti-racist and adopt inclusive measures.
An example of these efforts is the Target retail brand initiative. Cassandra Jones, Target’s vice president and general manager of beauty and cosmetics stated: “With the addition of nearly 40 new beauty brands, we are raising the bar on our premier beauty experience, with a strong focus on our commitment to Black-owned or -founded brands”. Among these new brands, twenty of them belong to black entrepreneurs.
It can be a great opportunity for other companies to do so, following the example of a global brand. Support Black-owned brands and give them room for growth.
Engage the company’s leadership to strengthen or create a position on the importance of racial diversity and fighting racism.
3. Offer products and services that meet their tastes and needs
For decades, beauty and personal care brands have served almost exclusively the needs of white consumers.
Black consumers’ show a high willingness to explore new products and services. 81% of Black survey respondents stated that they have the desire to switch brands. This data suggests that dissatisfaction with the current options is widespread.
Promote respect for all people in the planning of products, services and customer service.
Remember that a brand that is not seen is not remembered. Otherwise, an audience that you can’t see, will not remember your brand either.
4. Make blacks become your persona
Every marketing and product strategy is only assertive if it takes into account your persona‘s preferences, tastes, issues and complaints. If your company does not put black people in that position, the outcome is that your brand will be discredited by this audience. They may feel that your offerings are not made for them, but for other ethnicities and groups.
Your marketing campaigns will be assertive if only you understand black customers’ needs, opinions, pain points, and challenges. So, if you want their attention, they should see that you understand their particularities and want to help them.
5. Create valuable content for black leads
It’s widely known that companies that create a large amount of content acquire the best marketing results. An average person consumes 11 pieces of content before making a purchase decision. When it comes to black persona, you should ask some questions:
- What do they look for on the internet?
- Which contents arouse their curiosity?
- What topics catch their attention?
- What are their concerns and interests?
Offer valuable content that will not only attract them to your brand, but also make them feel engaged and delighted. As a consequence, they might become evangelists, and promote your company to others. All in all, they might become real fans of yours.
This guide contains key measures to promote inclusion and satisfaction for black customers and workers. Make sure your company is already taking these initiatives and if not, be the change you want to observe and go for it. The result is a more representative corporate world plus a prosperous and diverse buying power.
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