Striving for racial equality: Are you doing enough?

Are organizations living up to expectations? We asked people in the US how they expected brands to behave and communicate with regards to race.
23 October 2020
connecting with black consumers
DIonne Aiken

Chief Marketing Officer, Profiles Division

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Recent events leading to the Black Lives Matters protests have put a global spotlight on the importance of racial equality and the pressing need to fight racism. This has sparked a global outcry against the injustices and revitalized the debate on personal and corporate responsibility that needs to be undertaken in a visibly progressive manner leading to actionable outputs. Subsequently, this has forced everyone to pause, reflect and take measures. In order to better understand the impact of these social justice movements, Kantar carried out an extensive survey of 2000 LifePoints respondents across the U.S. and the UK to gauge this progression.

Following are the key takeaways from our analysis:

Authenticity reigns supreme

The current climate makes it crucial for brands to have a voice and to propagate what they believe in, and authenticity is key to this. It’s no longer about the service or product that is sold, but also the ideology that is put forth. 69% of the Black community in both the U.S. and the UK claim that a company’s authentic statement regarding the issue of Black Lives Matter impacts their purchasing decision. On a wider scale reflecting all ethnicities, more than 40% of respondents in both the countries felt authentic representation was vital, with another approx. 20% stating they boycott businesses that carry a different view.

Just representation in communication

Companies and brands carry a heavy responsibility in society as they play a vital role in shaping perceptions and cultural norms. 28% of Black Americans feel that companies are not doing an adequate job of representing and communicating with their ethnicity, out of which a staggering 82% believe that companies should invest more in their research around the unique needs of their race. Moreover, 78% in the U.S. state they are more likely to purchase a product where the communication represents race.

Getting it right with research

Understanding your consumer, their needs and expectations, forms the crux of your communication with them. Companies that don’t invest in research lose out on their opportunity to really connect with the consumer and resonate with them on a personal level. 79% of Black Americans surveyed agree that companies need to be doing more in this space. Consumers are also changing their spend to contribute towards promoting anti-racism, with 35% of all ethnicities in the U.S. and UK also shifting towards this change.

Although effort is being made, it is evident that there are many areas of improvement that companies can make, particularly in these sensitive times. Use your communications wisely to be inclusive and racially aware.

Learn more

To find out more details about the research, please visit Connecting with Black Communities on our global website.

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