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Collage Group Puts Brands and Ads at the Center of Membership in 2020

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Collage Group 2020: Putting Brands & Ads at the Center of Membership
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Three factors are leading us to change our research model to put your category, brands and ads at the center of everything we do.

Learn more about our 2020 research agenda and how our syndicated research platform can help you save money and time.

Factor 1. Every Brand Now Faces Three Moments of Truth with Multicultural America

When it comes to high likelihood that your next consumer is multicultural, ask yourself these questions. 

Do you really understand this consumer?  Do you understand her category-specific motivations, behaviors and needs?  And finally, are you activating with culturally fluent brand equities that drive cross-over appeal?

Factor 2: The Rise of the “New Wave,” The First Generation That is Intrinsically Diverse

We recognize that the evolving population dynamic in America has now firmly placed multicultural at the center of all marketing. It’s not just that Multicultural is big, it’s that Multicultural influences all other demographics.

This is especially true for the generation of Americans between 18-39, which we call the “New Wave.”  This generation is the first to grow up in what we call an intrinsically diverse environment.  While far more diverse, the New Wave share an orientation toward inclusion and diversity not seen in older generations.

And they are now rapidly increasing their spend.

Factor 3: The Cultural Fluency Imperative

Our mission is to help our members increase Cultural Fluency, not just better target specific ethnic segments.  Cultural Fluency is the ability to use culture to connect effectively and efficiently across segments.

We have therefore now invested heavily to offer three new research initiatives that place category, brands, and ads at the center of everything we do.

The Category Essentials: Insights into How Diverse America Views Your Category

With our sharp understanding of cultural variation at the category level, we can reveal distinctive behaviors, motivations, and usage patterns that arise due to culture.

We will extend the reach of our cultural attributes and group traits methodology to help brands better understand the efficiencies and opportunities that stem from putting culture at the center.

“AdRate and BrandRate:” Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Your Ads and Brands

Our vision is to build a database that measures the Cultural Fluency of both our member’s brands, their advertising and their category peers.

By building a database on the Cultural Fluency of America’s leading brands and ads we hope to motivate more inclusive advertising that drives up Cultural Fluency across every category. Using AdRate and BrandRate to measure performance is a critical first step to Cultural Fluency.

Cultural Fluency Solutions

Finally we recognize that even this new level of detail about your categories, brands and ads will not answer all your questions, nor should it. For this reason, we are upgrading our entire suite of custom engagements to put cultural fluency at the center, to extend the authenticity and impact of all your marketing.

Related Content

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 »

Amplify Word-of-Mouth Impact in the New Wave

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Amplify Word-of-Mouth Impact in the New Wave
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The New Wave—the young, diverse segment of Americans aged 18 to 39—value word-of-mouth and engage it more than older Americans. In this study, we share two steps and five tactics that brands should leverage to drive word-of-mouth in this segment.
 
As part of our 2019 Roundtable research, we took a deep dive to understand what drives word-of-mouth influence in the New Wave, the young, diverse segment of Americans aged 18 to 39. We found that New Wavers are much more likely to rely on word-of-mouth when seeking out new products than their older counterparts. And it’s become an expectation and necessary step on the path-to-purchase for many of these young, diverse consumers.
 

Learn about our 2020 research agenda and how access to our syndicated research platform can help your brand connect with the New Wave.

The New Wave is also more likely to engage in word-of-mouth—both online and offline! This is good news for brands—it means you don’t have to work as hard to get these people sharing. The challenge, of course, is making sure that when they share it’s about your brand, and that sentiment is positive.

Our 2019 Roundtable research provides two steps to keep you top-of-mind and at the center of discussion.

  1. The first step is to quantify influence so you can identify the most influential segments in the new wave. We employ two methods to help you quantify influence and identify segments to target. The first uses factor analysis to identify the segments most likely to exhibit attitudes and behaviors related to word-of-mouth.  The second uses an ego-based social network analysis to understand how far influence is likely to spread given the makeup of each segment’s social networks.

  2. The second step is to activate the New wave to share. We provide two tactics to help you amplify word of mouth in the most influential New Wave segments and three tactics to drive word-of-mouth across all New Wavers.

Download the attached PowerPoint deck for insights and executional examples to help you harness the influence power of the New Wave.

If you are interested in joining peer-to-peer calls with non-competitive members to share insights and discuss strategies to manage this issue, exploring custom qualitative or quantitative research for your brand or category, or having an initial conversation with our consulting team about methods to deal with this topic, please fill out the form below. 

Read more about the new wave

Amplify Word-of-Mouth Impact in the New Wave

The New Wave—the young, diverse segment of Americans aged 18 to 39—value word-of-mouth and engage it more than older Americans. In this study, we share two steps and five tactics that brands should leverage to drive word-of-mouth in this segment.

Superbowl LIV Halftime Proves Brands Can Use Hispanic Culture to Win the General Market

Superbowl LIV Halftime Proves Brands Can Use Hispanic Culture to Win the General Market
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Our post-Superbowl survey on the halftime show found that Hispanic, Black, and White consumers in the “New Wave” (ages 18-39) are receptive to Hispanic culture and messaging. This data further supports our claim that brands can win across this segment with a multicultural message.

Learn how these insights can be applied to your brand.

“I don’t know what [NFL commissioner] Goodell was thinking,” confided a colleague after reflecting on the Superbowl LIV halftime extravaganza featuring Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. “Frankly, I’m shocked he signed off on that thing.”

Google “super bowl halftime controversy 2020” and you’ll get over six million results.  It seems a lot of people shared my friend’s view that Roger Goodell’s decision to feature the Latina superstars was suspect. But many more would likely champion the decision based on the massive positive press around JLo’s celebration of Puerto Rico, Shakira’s nod to her middle eastern heritage, and of course the spike in both artists’ record sales and online streams.

But anecdotal evidence only provides limited insight. To really understand what consumers thought about this culturally charged event, brands need data. So, we fielded a survey to 284 Hispanic, Black, and White consumers age 18-39.  We call this segment the “New Wave,” defined by an experience of growing up in an intrinsically diverse America. The findings from this survey and what they mean for brands are below.

First, and most importantly, the New Wave was exceptionally positive about the halftime show. In fact, almost 80% or more of each segment said they enjoyed the show.

When asked what they liked most, respondents repeatedly mentioned Latinas and Latin culture, as you see in the quotes below.  If Goodell’s intent was to ensure the NFL’s relevance to the 25 million Hispanic NFL fans who are part of America’s fastest growing demographic, then his decision to celebrate Hispanic culture and its growing influence on America was a no-brainer.

Second, almost 70% of women surveyed thought the halftime show empowered women. 23% of White women felt the show objectified women, while less than half that percentage of Hispanic and Black women felt the same. One caveat: Unacculturated Hispanics were slightly more likely (21%) to think the show objectified women.

Third, over 80% of Hispanics thought the show represented Hispanic culture well. And 60% of these individuals also agreed that it represented American culture well. What’s really interesting is that non-Hispanic segments were even more likely to hold this view. Over 80% of the Black respondents and 62% of the White respondents who thought the show represented Hispanic culture well also thought the show represented American culture well. These data reveal that a majority of people can view something as both strongly Hispanic and strongly American – these are not trade-offs.  And you don’t even have to be Hispanic to hold that view.

Our data indicate that the vast majority of the New Wave—18-39 year old Americans—did not find the show particularly controversial and were thrilled about the inclusion of superstar Latinas. This finding is further evidence that brands looking to take the next big step in marketing, which is to lead with multicultural, will be well-positioned to win with the New Wave. Your brand should follow the evidence and lean into the multicultural space to ensure you capture your share of this segment’s attention and loyalty.

Diverse Representation in Ads Is Not Enough to Win The “New Wave” of Diverse, Young Americans

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Diverse Representation in Ads Is Not Enough to Win The “New Wave” of Diverse, Young Americans
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Across 2019, we analyzed almost 150 ads, gathering almost 100,000 surveys and 20 million datapoints. Using this data, we developed the Cultural Fluency Quotient, a new metric to predict brand favorability and purchase intent, and ran machine learning on the data to derive powerful new insights into what matters for every demographic.  Read on for critical insights into the creative strategy you need to win the New Wave.

Access the Presentation 

Keys to Culturally Fluent Creative for the New Wave

In a climate of increasing tribalism exacerbated by social media polarization, advertisers must appeal to the most complex mix of demographics in American history while steering clear of unintended backlash.  Every quarter has its walk of shame for one or more brands, most recently Peloton for its widely reviled holiday commercial “The Gift that Gives Back” that tanked the stock by over 10% in early December 2019.

As many members know, we have been building a capability we call AdRate leveraging a database of consumer response to ads. Across the last 18 months, we have been conducting research based on a new way of looking at brand favorability called Groundswell and Backlash, and applied machine learning to reveal powerful insights into how people from different cultural backgrounds process ads.

As the database grows, our ability to derive deeper insights and develop more predictive metrics increases.  For this study we developed the Cultural Fluency Quotient (CFQ), a weighted combination of three factors that best predict post-view brand favorability and purchase intent, which is then indexed for each demographic.  We ranked ads on CFQ for each demographic and ran machine learning on the top and bottom performing ads to derive the factors that best predict both high Cultural Fluency and what to avoid.

One key insight here is to go beyond performance norms.  We therefore also look at how important a norm is to high CFQ.  After all, it makes no sense to focus overly on how well an ad’s visuals perform (for example), if visuals are not a driver of cultural fluency.  For this reason, we use our machine learning results to derive importance scores an dozens of attributes of ads.  We then plot the results on a 2×2, as shown below.  The winning ads do well (horizontal axis) on what matters (vertical axis).

When we run the numbers, the findings are similar for every demographic. The best ads tell a simple story using ONE multicultural perspective, with attention to authentic texture.  These ads avoid the trap of representing every demographic at once, and ensure the viewer is not confused by the relationship between the product and the story.

The top two insights from this analysis imply:

  • It’s Not Just Casting: Creating common ground is not just “representation.”  You see that in the chart below that People & Characters are not as important as Story and Message. Diverse representation is necessary but it’s only price of entry.

  • The Story is Everything: Storytelling is by far the most impactful way to build cultural relevance. No story, no cultural fluency.
  •  

Few ads better exemplify this point than US Banks “Hard Work Works: Flying Home.”

The Cultural Fluency Imperative: How to Win the “New Wave” of Diverse, Young Consumers

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The Cultural Fluency Imperative: How to Win the “New Wave” of Diverse, Young Consumers
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The 2019 Roundtable Series inaugurated a new chapter in the way we help organizations activate young diverse consumers. Learn about our Cultural Fluency Framework and how applying our three-part approach can help connect your brand equities more reliably to the Group Traits of these consumers.

How should marketers reach younger and more diverse Americans, the generation between 18 and 39 whose spending is set to explode?  To answer this question, we enhanced the Cultural Fluency framework we first introduced in 2017, to better increase the ROI on marketing to a diverse America.

Listen to or download this presentation to learn about:

  1. Our three-part framework for deepening Cultural Fluency for the New Wave.
  2. Details of the New Wave Group Traits, covering the “what, how and where” of marketing to this segment.
  3. Case study examples outlining how a handful of leading brands are activating against these Traits.

Webinar Replay
How to Win America’s New Wave of Multicultural Consumers

The Cultural Fluency Imperative

Indeed, applying a demographic lens alone is not only superficial and impractical, but also ignores the commonalities that bind people together across different cultural experiences.

For that reason, we have developed an exhaustive analytical method for understanding how cultures vary, identifying six cultural attributes that can be used to culturally profile any segment.  This work has formed the foundation of our Essentials of Multicultural and Generational Marketing work.

And for younger Americans in particular, this approach is especially important.  This group has grown up in an environment of intrinsic diversity not experienced by older generations, and which unites their consumption behavior across demographic labels. We call this group the “New Wave” of consumers, those consumers born into an America that was already intrinsically diverse.

According to our research, New Wavers possess six Group Traits as shown in the graphic below.

Understanding “What to Say”

Marketers can use this framework to first understand the core cultural attributes underlying how culture is expressed in the Group Traits of any particular segment.  In this presentation we apply the model to the New Wave.  Please review our Essentials work to see how the model is applied to Multicultural and Generational Segments, or contact your Client Services representative to learn more about applying the framework to your subcategory.

Understanding “How to Say It”

Marketers can use this visual to understand the four elements that impact the cultural fluency of their advertising.  Our AdRate creative assessment methodology takes this one step further by applying machine learning to decipher why different groups respond so differently to advertising.  Learn more about Adrate or contact your Client Services representative to commission your own engagement to evaluate the Cultural Fluency of your advertising and to what extent you are exposed to backlash.

Understanding “Where to Say It”

Knowing what to say and how to say it are necessary but not sufficient to connect with the New Wave: marketers must also “show up and connect” in the places that matter to the New Wave – whether in experiential, traditional media, social media, in-store or via various forms of influence.  In 2019, we investigated word-of-mouth  social networks in multicultural segments. 

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Motherhood in the Age of Social Media

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Motherhood in the Age of Social Media

While consumers of all ages and backgrounds engage in social media, Millennial and Gen X moms participate in specific social media behaviors that marketers and insights professionals need to understand.

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How to Navigate the Streaming Revolution in a Diverse America

December 4th | 2PM

FOR many moms, social media provides community and social interaction during a hectic and isolating season of life. It’s a place where they can turn to friends and strangers alike for crucial parenting advice, life hacks, and tried-and-true product recommendations as they navigate motherhood. Many even seek out information directly from brands on social media such as product details, promotions, and sales. In fact, Millennial and Gen X moms (those with children aged 14 or younger)


actually use social media at higher rates than their non-mom female counterparts
to obtain product and brand information.

As the graph below shows, about two-thirds of all moms (of children 14 or younger) “like” or “follow” products or brands on social media. This is especially the case for non-Hispanic moms, who are about twice as likely to do so as non-Hispanic non-moms: 66% versus 33% respectively. 

This indicates that moms are leaning on social media as a trusted source for product information beyond traditional media advertising and brands’ e-commerce sites. Brands that lack an accessible and descriptive social media page that showcases their offerings will be behind the curve with the many moms who rely on this source of product information.

More so than non-moms, most moms across segments like sharing their experiences and opinions about products and brands on social media. This is especially true for non-Hispanic moms, who again, are about twice as likely to engage in this way than non-Hispanic non-moms (63% versus 32%). Their difference with Hispanic moms (50%) is also statistically significant. If your brand wants to facilitate dialogue and shared experience on social media, then you should target those most inclined to participate: non-Hispanic moms followed by Hispanics moms.

You may be wondering which non-Hispanic segment(s) is driving the non-Hispanic mom over-index. We are too! So we’re going to be conducting research and digging deeper into the non-Hispanic moms group in 2020.

Both of the above data points align with trends we’re seeing on social media today. A growing number of moms are stepping into influencer roles to capitalize on the community and wealth of product recommendations they’ve accumulated through experience. For example, Claudia Felix-Garay (@thelatinamom), a Hispanic mom influencer with over 80k followers, Naomi Davis (@taza), a non-Hispanic White mom influencer with 463k followers, and Jennifer Borget (@jenniferborget), a Black mom influencer with over 90k followers all run accounts that evolved out of successful blogs. They write about their lives as mothers while also inviting readers to adopt aspects of their lifestyle by sharing what products they use and places they like to go. Brands that are interested in partnering with powerful social media influencers should consider moms!

As you head into the end of the year and prepare for your next social media push, remember to keep these stats (and moms!) in mind.  And keep an eye out for upcoming blogs on moms and our moms study coming out in 2020.

Feast on This: Generational Insights on Thanksgiving Celebrations

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Feast on This: Generational Insights on Thanksgiving Celebrations

THANKSGIVING: the classic foodie holiday everyone knows and loves. Make Thanksgiving stand out by activating on these generational insights that reveal some untraditional perspectives on ways consumers celebrate Turkey Day.

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​Essentials of African American Consumers

November 13th | 2PM

Thanksgiving is a widely celebrated and lighthearted holiday that presents brands with an opportunity to stay top-of-mind with consumers before holiday shopping rolls around. To appeal to Gen Z and Millennial consumers, segments that prize authenticity and experiences, brands need to show up in a genuine and engaging way. In summer of 2019, Collage Group fielded a survey to 2,800 people and analyzed the data to help members understand how to connect authentically with these young consumers around a variety of holidays. Below are three learnings from this research initiative that will help you connect with Gen Z and Millennials at Thanksgiving.

1. Gen Z and Millennials increasingly spend Thanksgiving with friends, reflected in the growing popularity of “Friendsgiving.” Use this as a secondary opportunity to activate consumers around the Thanksgiving holiday and stretch the time span of holiday consumption.

“Who do you celebrate Thanksgiving with?”

2. Almost half of consumers do not drink alcohol with their Thanksgiving meal. Appeals to alcohol consumption are best targeted at Millennials and coincide with the “Friendsgiving” narrative. For a family-centered approach, highlight other ways the holiday is festive, such as baking or watching football together.

“What do you tend to drink on Thanksgiving?”

3. Younger cohorts value nontraditional activities to celebrate Thanksgiving such as spending time with friends or shopping. Present younger consumers, especially those age 23-28, with opportunities for a holistic and unique shopping experience that doesn’t require them to sacrifice family time.

“What do you need to do to celebrate Thanksgiving properly?”

Download a Sample of the Research.

Spooky Stats to Keep You up at Night: The GenYZ Halloween Insights Deep Dive

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Spooky Stats to Keep You up at Night: The GenYZ Halloween Insights Deep Dive
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With Halloween a little over a month away, brands are starting to roll out their creepy (or festive!) campaigns. Keep the following generation-specific insights in mind while you finalize your campaign or consider a quick social media activation. Beware…creepy but creative activations and frighteningly useful insights lie ahead!

Don’t Miss the Next Webinar

Understanding America’s Cultural Transformation

October 16th | 2:00 PM

1. Eating and giving out candy is a major component of most consumers’ Halloween. Build activations related to trick-or-treating activities and sweets for all ages, not just children.

2. While Gen Z and Millennials are most likely to describe their Halloween celebrations as lively and rowdy, 18-28 year-olds are the most likely to celebrate Halloween at a party. When targeting 18-28 year-olds, tap into these younger consumers’ exceptionalist tendencies with aspirational, lively party vibes. This approach is particularly well-suited for alcohol brands that have the right to play in the party space.

Americans of all ages celebrate Halloween with a wide variety of activities, not only trick-or-treating and parties. Brands have numerous avenues to make themselves relevant such as home decorations, costumes, and haunted houses. Pursue options that allow your brand to seamlessly fit into the Halloween season.

Beyond the OTT Revolution: How Gen Z & Millennial Viewers are Reshaping Entertainment Media

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Beyond the OTT Revolution: How Gen Z & Millennial Viewers are Reshaping Entertainment Media
Connor Wahrman
Connor Wahrman

Connor is an Senior Analyst on the Product & Content team, conducting statistical and machine learning analysis of Collage's survey data. Before joining Collage, Connor received an M.A. in Quantitative Methods for the Social Sciences from Columbia University.

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September 25th, 2019

2:00 PM

As the marketplace for online shows and movies gets more and more crowded, reaching young viewers increasingly feels like swimming upstream. These are the insights you need to maximize the share of Gen Z & Millennial eyeballs on your content, platforms, or advertisements.

TODAY’S young consumers and households have high expectations for their show and movie providers. And it’s not because they’re entitled or picky – they’ve just happened to grow up in an extraordinary period of innovation, both in terms of how people access media and the diversity of high-quality content available.

From 1990 to 2010, when Gen Z viewers were just children, the world saw a revolution in entertainment media technology. Digital streaming to personal devices displaced the cable box for many households, and these kids were free to watch whatever they wanted, wherever they wanted. This unprecedented access to content continues to influence their consumer attitudes and behaviors today.

And direct-to-consumer media content allowed for the growth of media giants who don’t have to cater to all of America with their prime-time content. Today’s young consumers are floating down an endless stream of great TV tailored to their specific interests. They’ve matured in the age of “peak TV,” and they don’t expect to crest it any time soon.

These trends impact not only media providers, but also the brands who historically have advertised through them. If young viewers expect more control over their higher-quality media content, it stands to reason that they will be more sensitive towards advertising. Advertisers need to adapt to capture and keep viewer attention, both through rethinking product-content integrations and optimizing the advertisement experience.

To help Collage Group members navigate this new media landscape, in July 2019 we conducted a nationally representative survey of 3085 respondents, oversampling Gen Z and Millennial respondents for precision within these segments. With our members’ input, we designed a survey and conjoint analysis testing key hypotheses on how Millennial and Gen Z consumers compare to older generations, and one another, when it comes to shows and movies.

Take a sample of the research.