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Last year, the Census Bureau reported that for the first time in U.S. history, non-white and Hispanic Americans represented the majority of people under the age of 16 for the first time in U.S. history. This generation is key for marketers, and brands would be remiss to not pay attention to tomorrow’s younger, more diverse consumer.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is significantly impacting America’s diverse populations. The CDC reports Black and Hispanic people in the U.S. contract the virus at approximately four times the rate of non-Hispanic white people.
As several recent opinion pieces have pointed out (e.g. Los Angeles Times, CNBC, The New York Times), this is hardly surprising. Black and Brown communities in America have always faced unique challenges in America, including limited access to quality education and affordable healthcare. These obstacles are critical to understand if brands want to continue to engage with multicultural consumers authentically.
A study conducted by Alma Culture Lab earlier this year showed that Latinos are turning to social media more to share their optimism about COVID-19. So, while in-person interactions have taken a back seat this year, that sense of community is still achievable online. As such, we’re working with our clients to create digital experiences that are less about the product and more about the gesture.
We’ve created mailers that evoke positive reactions, executed virtual campaigns that bring people together and even sent simple emails with the question, “How can we help?” Though not product-driven, these actions go a long way – especially among some multicultural influencers who view their followers as their community and their Instagram feed as their platform for social good.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that compassion goes a long way. Efforts that go beyond the transactional relationship are key for fostering lifelong loyalty. And while brand marketers are ultimately working to drive sales, building brand affinity can be just as – if not more – valuable.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you with community and media relations strategies, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jessica Peraza is an account director at Allison+Partners in the Phoenix office. She focuses on community and media relations strategies for consumer clients and specializes in reaching Latino audiences.