Connecting with the Black Consumer is bigger than a media buy

In the wake of systematic racism, Covid-19, and politics, the way Black consumers arrive at their purchase decisions have changed drastically. The responsibility of connecting with the Black consumer for advertisers is more complex than a simple media buy. Studies have shown how valuable the brand loyalty is for Black consumers so advertisers are vying to get it right.

Black consumers are more likely to spend more on a product that aligns with the image they want to convey, are amongst the most socially conscious shoppers, seek brands that support causes they care about, and value companies with other Black people at the forefront of their brand advertising. As reported on Effective marketing, “2020 has been a year where employees and consumers want to know what your brand, company or business stands for,” said Jessica Garrett Modkins, president of Hip Rock Star. “This is the time to build your strategy around the issues that matter to the very fabric of your service. This is an opportunity to evaluate your corporation’s heartbeat.”

Far from the evaluation phase is Proctor and Gamble who is getting it right. “Words alone won’t create change. Sustained action and investment are necessary to address the systemic bias and inequality in advertising and media,” said Proctor and Gamble in a statement in regards to their new campaign. “Widen The Screen is an expansive content creation, talent development, and partnership platform that celebrates creativity and enables Black creators to share the full richness of the Black experience. Only when we Widen The Screen to Widen Our View can we all broaden the spectrum of the images we see, the voices we hear, the stories we tell, and the people we understand. Fully.”

Black consumers are watching. Advertisers who think that they can add a Black face and voice to a campaign and instantly gain the support from the Black consumer will wake to a rude awakening. Modkins added that “Completely separate from your business model is this opportunity to evaluate your corporation’s heartbeat.  It is here that your corporate culture will permeate over to your recruitment, reduce turnover and create internal evangelist for your business.”  To meet Black consumers where they are, it’s vital to create authentic relationships and align your brand accordingly. “As an agency, we have found countless success with
having authentic conversations with the Black audience on genuine media platforms, whether it is an influencer endorsed placement, radio ad, social media place on hyper-local Black-owned – news outlets or print, we have found the success for our clients,”added Modkins.

According to Nielsen, the Black buying power in 2019 was at $1.4 Trillion. The buying power will continue to rise over the next few years and is calculated to reach $1.8 Trillion by 2024. Numerator reports almost 22% of Black consumers say a brand’s values are essential in purchase decisions vs. under 18% for the general population. Black consumers were nearly twice as likely as the general population (31% to 16%) to say a brand’s commitment to diversity, equality, and social justice is essential when choosing a product or service.