Multicultural Branding: Representation Matters
Multicultural consumers represent about 40% of the U.S. population, with a combined buying power of $4 trillion. Yet ad spend targeted to multicultural groups including Latinx, Asian, and Black consumers only accounts for 5% of marketing budgets, according to Nielsen.
One of the first steps brands can take is ensuring that there’s proper representation when developing multicultural campaigns.
This is more than just representation in a TV commercial or print ad - take a look at your project team and even C-suite executives.
I’ve often wondered how many boardrooms have minorities in them helping to inform and make campaign decisions, because some mistakes are so blatant that the only logical answer is “not many.”
The notion of representation is a simple one, but one in which there is still a large gap to fill. In fact, 85% of the advertising, communications, and marketing workforce is made up of white professionals. As a brand strategist, I have often sat in rooms where I was the only Latinx and, in many instances, the only minority.
On the few occasions when the question of multicultural marketing came up, I was deemed the subject matter expert by default. While I was happy to contribute, how can one person be the subject matter expert on an entire culture - especially when there are so many cultures within it?
Representation is more than just one person in an ad. It should be woven throughout the entire organizational structure.
Multicultural Branding starts at the groundfloor! This brings me to perhaps the most crucial point. To have a successful multicultural campaign, diversity, equity, and inclusion must be built into the organization’s mission. It should be more than a sentence that gets lost within an employee handbook. It should be evident in the organization’s practices, values, and culture.
When inclusivity is built into a organization’s mission, the change it brings about is unmatched.