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The Coronavirus Crisis Research Initiative

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The Coronavirus Crisis Research Initiative
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The coronavirus crisis is changing everything in ways we never expected. Read more below to understand our research and review custom options for obtaining detailed reporting and proprietary insights.

The coronavirus crisis has now emerged as a once-a-century transformation in the global economy, with radical impacts on trade-flows, consumer behavior, and spending across every industry. Collage Group members are now in the throes of intensive investigation into consumer response across every category.

Two factors reinforce why this initiative is so important.


Cultural differences impact consumer behavior even more a time of crisis.

Cultural backgrounds significantly influence the neuroloigical “defaults” in human behavior, especially when it comes to health.  Consider the progress of COVID-19 in South Korea vs Italy, both democracies in which multigenerational households are common.  The differences could not be starker. Indeed, the difference in outcomes could not explained without recourse to an understanding of differences in culture.

The multicultural contribution to growth increases in an economic downturn.

Multicultural consumers will continue to drive the majority of spending growth through this crisis.  Indeed, the multicultural contribution to growth has historically increased when the economy shrinks.  Indeed, all our projections indicate the contribution can only increase in the future. As you can see from the chart below extracted from our Big Shift research, multicultural response is even more important at this time than in periods of economic strength.

We cover four components in our coronavirus crisis research:

1. Deep Dive Syndicated and Omnibus Survey

Our main survey goes deep into culture factors that are critical to differences in consumer behavior.   We incorporate cultural attitudes that impact health and response to risks to health, such as social proximity conventions, multigenerational contact, fatalism, compliance with authority and other factors.  The difference between the Italian and Korean situation cited above is probably due to these factors in no small part

We will look at a variety of questions including:

    • How does consumer reaction to the coronavirus vary across race, ethnicity, and generation, gender?
    • How do cultural factors such as social proximity, risk aversion and multigenerational interaction impact behavior and motivations across demographics segments?
    • How are consumers across all segments altering purchasing behavior across and within categories, including stockpiling?
    • How are consumers viewing the future, where will they spend when the crisis passes and what will be the long-term effects on behavior?

2. Tracking Survey

Our tracker goes beyond top-line reporting.  We will look at levels of concern in multiple areas (financial, health, etc) as well as with government and media response. We will also track behavior adoption change which can be used by brands to encourage consumers to “do the right thing” and which may be predictive

3. Revised Spend Projections and Brand Response

We will updating our Annual Population and Expenditure analysis. We will look at a variety of questions including:

    • How are population and spending projections likely to be altered across race, ethnicity, generation, and gender?
    • How will these projections alter the outcomes by category?
    • What are emerging examples of effective marketing during the Coronavirus crisis?

4. Custom Solutions

Questions we are currently address on behalf of members  include:

    • How are consumer behaviors changing with respect to my specific category, brand and consumer segments?
    • How are my marketing efforts being perceived by consumers?
    • How is my size of prize changing?

We’d love to hear from you! Talk to us about the benefits of Collage Group’s methodologies.

Dive into More Insights

The Top 7 Most Culturally Fluent Brands of 2020

American consumers are experiencing a cultural transformation of unprecedented scope and scale. The pressure is on to rethink marketing with a focus on authentic connections that tap into culture, identity and emotion. This rapidly evolving landscape requires a new approach to assessing and building brands, centered on what we refer to as Cultural Fluency.

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How Multicultural and Youth Consumers are Reshaping the Video Game Industry

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How Multicultural and Youth Consumers are Reshaping the Video Game Industry
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The stunning growth of video games and virtual reality within the entertainment industry is attributable to two core segments: youth and multicultural consumers. Brands need to understand how to leverage this passion point to activate these key segments as gamer culture continues to blend with the mainstream.

By 2023, U.S. revenue from video games, eSports, and virtual reality entertainment will exceed that of either traditional cinema or over-the-top (OTT) video streaming. A massive portion of this spend will be due to multicultural consumers, the segment responsible for 94 percent of growth in video game expenditures between 2010 and 2017. But it’s not just multicultural America—81 percent of U.S. consumers play video games!

Here’s what this opportunity means for marketing strategies:

1. Representations of video games and gaming culture are increasingly important in advertisements portraying multicultural and youth segments.

2. Gaming-focused social media platforms, like Twitch and Mixer, offer new channels to communicate with a growing share of your target consumers

3. Gaming conventions and eSports tournaments, such as E3 and PAX, provide new opportunities to demonstrate a shared passion for this growing source of entertainment.

4. Gaming influencers can speak authentically and directly with tens of millions of online followers across both mainstream and gaming-specific media channels

Games and gaming devices present unlimited potential for branded content, in-game activations, advertising, and marketing innovation

As gaming rapidly becomes a mainstream form of entertainment media, it’s becoming increasingly important for brands to understand consumers as gamers—their video game related attitudes, preferences, and behaviors.

The first thing brands need to know is that video games present multiple opportunities to connect with and activate consumers. Much like OTT streaming, there’s an ever-growing list of titles and genres of games available across a variety of devices. And like traditional sports, individuals will sometimes play video games by themselves, and sometimes watch others play. And even when consumers aren’t engaging with video games directly, they follow gaming influencers, share gaming memes, and attend gaming conventions.

Brands also need to understand how to activate consumers through video games. From real-world influencer partnerships and eSports sponsorships to in-game branded content and “avatar activations,” getting video game marketing right requires knowing where your brand has permission to play, and which consumers you are likely to reach.


To provide Collage Group members with an introduction to video games and the consumers who enjoy them, in July 2019 we conducted a nationally representative survey of 1097 respondents, oversampling Gen Z, Millennial, Black, Asian, and Hispanic consumers across acculturation levels for precision within these segments.

Strategic takeaways from our research include:

  1. Gen Z gamers are more likely to watch casual streaming than eSports. Partner with the online/social media streamers delivering casual entertainment to this emerging consumer segment.
  2. Hispanic gamers are most likely to make gaming part of their social lives. Prioritize multiplayer and “party” games, as well as activations at gaming conventions, to reach Hispanic consumers.
  3. Younger gamers are more comfortable with branded content in their games. Think outside of the box! Look out for the opportunities virtual worlds present to show off your brand’s personality.

Understanding how multicultural and youth consumers approach entertainment media is essential for marketing to these already powerful and ever-growing segments.  If you are interested in having an initial conversation with our consulting team about methods to deal with this topic, please contact us directly.

Explore the Archive

The Top 7 Most Culturally Fluent Brands of 2020

American consumers are experiencing a cultural transformation of unprecedented scope and scale. The pressure is on to rethink marketing with a focus on authentic connections that tap into culture, identity and emotion. This rapidly evolving landscape requires a new approach to assessing and building brands, centered on what we refer to as Cultural Fluency.

Read More »