Introducing the New U.S.  MONITOR

A NEW AMERICA DAWNING

Out of the crucible of America’s cultural and demographic melting pot, a new and profoundly different day is dawning. For brands looking to capture the hearts and minds of American consumers, that new day must start today.

The much-covered U.S. Census projection of a 2043 “tipping point,” when the country becomes majority-minority, implies a tremendous demographic sea change will reshape the contours of American society and culture. But it also implies that there is time to prepare for this unprecedented new future—that those sea changes will result from a gradual rising tide. The reality, however, is a far more immediate one affecting how Americans today live, work, play and spend. It’s a new reality that beckons new ideas, new thinking, new approaches and ultimately, a wholly new understanding of the American consumer.

Kantar Consulting is celebrating the nation’s birthday and the dawn of a new America with a newly launched U.S. MONITOR that is your roadmap to the new America: a fresh perspective, panoramic in scope and view, that translates this demographic sea change into the ways it is redefining American consumers, culture and the marketplace of tomorrow.

THE MULTICULTURAL INFLECTION POINT

A multicultural mastery of the marketplace is now a must. Many companies are doing just that, some quite deftly. This year alone, Cheerios, Chevy and Coca-Cola garnered national attention with bold campaigns celebrating multiracial, gay and multicultural depictions of the modern American family tapestry. But even the most sophisticated brands, those reaching and resonating effectively with multicultural consumers, know they need a more sophisticated approach. Much of multicultural marketing during the last 10 to 15 years has employed a narrow, segmented strategy.

Brands would attempt to bend their general market approach to target the perceived needs of their multicultural consumer segments. The result, though, was marketing and advertising that even at its best felt inauthentic and at its worst, tone-deaf.

This siloed approach left multicultural marketing teams separated from the brand team’s general marketing efforts, with little budget to innovate or develop original campaigns tailored specifically with multicultural consumers in mind. It particular, this approach fails to see multicultural consumers in as rich and as nuanced a way as general market consumers and it fails to reflect the increasingly blurred lines between ethnicities. The new multicultural America has effectively rendered the old approach both clumsy and moot.

The multiculturalization of America requires a reevaluation of conventional wisdom about ethnic consumers. From PepsiCo to Diageo, from Walmart to Toyota, the growing ranks of Fortune 500 companies to acknowledge and embrace the multicultural imperative signals a major shift in the dominant marketing of success, not as a bolted-on afterthought. These forward steps reflect a realization that this is a make-or-break moment—that a “total market” orientation isn’t a nice-to-have complement but a need-to-have imperative.

 

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