Black Dollars Matter: Brands and Marketers Urged to Recognize the Black Spend

(Black millenial)

Research shows that Black consumers represent 14% of the U.S. population, but outsize on spending in a number of fast-moving consumer goods categories, and according to a Nielsen report called “African-American Women: Our Science, Her Magic,” total Black spending power is expected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2021.

So, now more than ever, it would behoove brands and retailers to think about their bottom lines and speak directly to the Black population in culturally relevant ways when planning advertising and marketing efforts, especially in this age of social media.

“As African Americans, we are not afraid to use social media platforms to level the playing field and talk to the brands we love,” Cheryl Grace, senior vice president, Strategic Community Alliances & Consumer Engagement, Nielsen, told “Brands should keep in mind that in order to track our attention and viewing habits, they have to represent us accurately. It can’t be done devoid of cultural nuances.”

In the past year, popular brands witnessed the power of Black Twitter and the brand impact of socially conscious black consumers who are speaking directly to brands in unprecedented ways and achieving headline-making results. And further research from Nielsen shows what’s at stake when advertising and marketing misses the mark, or offends, as well as the lifestyle choices that are impacting black buying decisions.

“When it comes to African-American consumer spend, there are millions, sometimes billions of dollars in revenue at stake,” said Andrew McCaskill, senior vice president, Global Communications and Multicultural Marketing, Nielsen. “With 43% of the 75 million millennials in the U.S. identifying as African American, Hispanic or Asian, if a brand doesn’t have a multicultural strategy, it doesn’t have a growth strategy. The business case for multicultural outreach is clear: African-American consumers, and all diverse consumers, want to see themselves authentically represented in marketing, and they want brands to recognize their value to the bottom line.”