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   As advertiser boycotts such as #StopHateForProfit have shown, a far closer alignment between
what brands claim and the channel mix chosen is increasingly important. Brands should consider how social platforms with critical mass can support brand activism agenda, using influencers who align with brand values.
Marketers Can Take Calculated Risks If They Know Their Consumers’ and Their Brand’s Cultural Values First
Here’s the good news: brands can take calculated risks if they know both their brand’s and consumers’ cultural values. For example, when Nike used Colin Kaepernick in their ads, that was a calculated risk based on knowing that their customers value “freedom of speech/right to protest” over patriotic symbols. Sales did not suffer. When Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods took steps to address gun violence by tightening their restrictions and removing some types of firearms and ammunition from their stories, they saw no ultimate negative bottom-line impact—in fact, in HMC’s study, 67% of multicultural people ages 13 to 49 and 53% of non-Hispanic whites said they were more likely to shop in these stores after this move. Gen Z and their parents tend to reward brands that prove they support issues and
movements that matter to them, such as hate, racism, and gun violence, among others.
Key Takeaways
Hispanics continue to be the largest underserved audience that fuels demographic changes, cultural transformation, and economic growth in the
U.S. Segment marketing is critical. Brands must realize Hispanics are a crucial part of the American mainstream with Hispanic marketing as a core practice for achieving sustainable market relevance and growth. Companies that have figured this out are on HMC’s short list of Marketer of the Year, which include Nestle, AARP, Sprint, Ford, State Farm, Toyota, McDonald’s, and Walmart.
• The multicultural majority has arrived and is spreading rapidly—from teens in 2020 to the under-35 segment in 2028 and the under-50 segment in 2035. If brands and agencies do not see the urgency in becoming culturally fluent, they risk becoming irrelevant, or worse, earning negative social currency.
• Brands need to avoid mono-cultural marketing bubbles, as they are culturally dangerous feedback loops. You cannot take calculated cultural risks if you are unsure of your own brand’s cultural values and those of your customers.
• Race and ethnicity are more core to the multicultural identity compared to “being American” for non-Hispanic whites. With culture at the heart of all choices—including purchase decisions—and in-culture content being consumed at an unprecedented pace, brands must be culturally fluent.
• Hire in-culture marketing experts to guide you from the planning stages through the campaign execution and results analysis.

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