Few people fully realize the power of Black spending. But all one has to do is look at some dollar figures to see just how important it is. Currently, Black spending is at $967 billion per year. According to data collected from Nielsen, a leader in the field of market research, that number is expected to reach $1.1 trillion by the year 2015.
There are some areas where Black Americans simply spend more than Whites. For example, the number of cellphone minutes. Blacks use an average of 1,300, compared to 600 for Whites. Blacks also watch 40 percent more television than other racial groups in the country, according to Cheryl Pearson-McNeil, Nielsen’s Senior Vice President. These figures were revealed earlier this month during the last day of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund conference, which was held in Chicago.
Even though Black Americans are responsible for a significant amount of spending in the United States, Pearson-McNeil said that many corporations simply don’t do enough to recognize this and don’t show respect for the large amount of buying power Black people have.
The conference was attended by more than 600 participants from various groups, such as politicians, business and industry leaders, as well as civic and thought leaders. Numerous issues that affect the Black community were discussed, such as issues surrounding employment and labor, foreclosures of African-American churches, hip-hop music, voting rights as well as the access to capital that Black entrepreneurs have. The Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a multi-racial, multi-issue and progressive organization that fights for social change in the United States and elsewhere in the world. It was founded in 1996 by the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. and has offices in numerous American cities like Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit and Los Angeles. The organization’s mission is to defend, protect and acquire civil rights by fighting for fairness in the educational and economic areas, as well as promoting peace and justice around the world. Over the last few years, the organization has been active in fighting for equality among all people regardless of their racial background. Rev. Jackson has taken a lot of action to eradicate poverty and hunger all over the world by addressing government, education, religious and business leaders worldwide.
At the conference, Pearson-McNeil went on to add that African Americans should pay more attention to how they spend their money, specifically the companies that they give their support to. She stated that as consumers, it was time for African Americans to finally “wake up” and stop complaining about things that cannot be changed, and focus efforts and energy on things that Black consumers in the United States could have a definite impact on. She added that African Americans should spend more time researching which companies are supportive of their community and do everything possible to spend more money with them.
She said that consumers need to recognize that they have a lot of power by simply voting with their dollar. No matter what type of consumer product they purchase, their decisions can have a direct impact on a company’s bottom line. Whether it is something very inexpensive and simple, like toothpaste, lipstick, ringtones, restaurant meals or games for your mobile phone, or items that are considered major purchases such as cars, every consumer needs to recognize the fact that they have some power in their wallets. No matter what choices are made by the consumer, there is always a company that profits from the transaction. And there is no denying that there is a direct correlation between choices that consumers make and a company’s bottom line.