ON THE FRONT LINES OF THE FIGHT AGAINST RACIAL INEQUALITY
Over the last month, the country’s focus shifted from COVID-19 to racial inequality and police brutality, set off by the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. His death sparked outrage and Americans across the nation came out in droves to protest racial inequality in America. Thousands of marches and protests, some peaceful and some not, took place in every major city, social media was filled with links to petitions on behalf of poorly treated Black Americans and thousands were calling their local and state representatives in support of legislation that would prevent racial inequality in the future.
Who are the consumers that are at the forefront of the fight against racial inequality? What are their personal values and drivers? What are their preferences and behaviors when it comes to purchase decisions? How can you connect with this highly engaged group of activists in an authentic way? Read on for a deep dive of this group of 20 million consumers we’re dubbing as the Racial Justice Fighters.
WHO ARE THE RACIAL JUSTICE FIGHTERS?
This group believes police treat Black Americans unfairly almost always or often and their preferred form of civic expression is attending a rally, signing petitions or contacting politicians.
This segment is equally made up of males and females. They’re between ages 18-24 and 149% more likely to be a student. They’re unmarried, have no children and 40% of them have been through some college. When it comes to their personal values, they put the most emphasis on showing their abilities and being admired, maintaining a good public image and treating everyone equally. They’re personally driven by their social/professional status, recognition from peers and creativity. Their core value of equality fits right into their passion for fighting for racial justice, while the other values and drivers reflect that they want to be seen and recognized for doing the right thing.
WHAT ARE THEIR SHOPPING PREFERENCES AND BEHAVIORS?
When it comes to corporate responsibility, they’re 137% more likely than the average U.S. consumer to prefer companies that reduce packaging, 113% more likely to prefer companies that reduce energy use and 52% more likely to prefer companies that listen to the public. When it comes to key shopping factors, they’re 38% more likely to decide where to shop based on the brand or retailer’s reputation. They’re 199% more likely to contact companies to share their thoughts, 185% more likely to shop based on an important issue and 165% more likely to pay more based on an important issue.
Clearly this group wants the brands they do business with to take a stand on a social issue. They want a brand to align with their values, not just sell them a product or service. In looking at their favorite brands, this becomes abundantly clear. Their top retailers are Whole Food and Trader Joe’s, while they also prefer shopping at Levi Strauss and L.L. Bean, all of whom have spoken out and are dedicated to either protecting the environment or fighting against racism.
If you’re looking to form a deeper connection with this segment, taking an authentic stand on a social issue that matters to them is incredibly important. They see brands as an extension of their values and beliefs, so they want more from them than a surface-level transaction. In fact, 84% of millennials and 87% of Gen Zers say that they expect more from brands than just products. It’s important that you pick a social issue that aligns well with both this group’s values and your corporate values, otherwise it will come off as an opportunist move.
WHAT MATTERS TO THEM?
If you’re looking to take a stand that resonates with this segment, it’s critical to have a deep and comprehensive understanding of what matters most to them. They’re 151% more likely to care about promoting civil liberties, 135% more likely to care about human rights and war crimes and 114% more likely to care about promoting gay/lesbian equality. Not surprisingly, they’re 196% more likely to believe elected officials should be concerned with removing more confederate statues and 66% of this segment believes elected officials should be concerned with the police mistreatment of Black Americans. They’re also 21% more likely to believe congress should prioritize ethics reform.
WHERE CAN YOU FIND THEM?
This group stays highly informed about current events. They’re 134% more likely to say their consumption of political online media is heavy, 110% more likely to say their consumption of political talk radio is heavy and 101% more likely to say their consumption of political TV is heavy. When it comes to talk radio, they’re 117% more likely to listen to NPR and 99% more likely to listen to news talk. As for online media, they’re 193% more likely to have a digital subscription to the Washington Post and 106% more likely to have a digital subscription to the New York Times. When it comes to TV networks, they’re 240% more likely to watch MSNBC, 183% more likely to watch PBS and 179% more likely to watch CNN. They’re also 23% less likely to watch the local news.
When it comes to social media, their most-used channels are Tumblr, TikTok and LinkedIn. They’re 94% more likely than the average U.S. consumer to report heavy engagement on social media. When it comes to regular activities, they’re 104% more likely to link to someone else’s content, 83% more likely to link to their own content and 42% more likely to share something important. This segment is plugged into digital content of all kinds, from social media and online news to TV and talk radio, they’re staying informed and engaged with current events on many channels, giving your brand a range of opportunities for connecting with them.
HOW DO THEY FEEL ABOUT COVID-19?
You can’t look at audiences today without understanding their sentiment surrounding COVID-19. This group is 16% more likely to be concerned about coronavirus to a large extent and are 38% more likely to believe life won’t return to normal for at least 7-12 months. When it comes to their specific concerns, they’re 26% more likely to be concerned about a family member contracting the virus and 24% more concerned about a friend contracting the virus. How has their lifestyle changed? They’re 38% more likely to spend an increased amount of time on hobbies, stocking up on food and doing DIY projects. When it comes to increased precautions, they’re 17% more likely to avoid physical stores to a large extent.
If you’re a retailer thinking about reopening a location, it’s important to know where this group is geographically, as that area may not be the best place to focus on right now. According to our proprietary DMA® data, this segment is 126% more likely to live in Portland, Oregon; 84% more likely to live in Santa Barbara and 83% more likely to live in San Francisco/San Jose, California. Retailers should hold on reopening or building a new store in these locations as they’re not totally comfortable with the idea of going to physical stores yet.
CONNECTING WITH CONSUMERS TODAY
Resonate has always believed that it’s critical to your brand’s success to understand that your audience is made up of humans, and this rings true especially in today’s climate. The racial justice fighter will continue to play an increasingly important role in the U.S. economy moving forward, and Resonate will continue to track sentiment related to relevant issues surrounding racial equality, all with the goal of getting you the freshest, real-time consumer understanding in order to help you connect with these social activists effectively and authentically.
Ready to learn more about aligning corporate and consumer values? Read our newly released annual report: The State of Your Customer.