Iconic American Brands Connect with Black Consumers Using Culture, Partnerships

McCormick, Walmart, and Sprite, among top brands to resonate with Black Americans

Washington, D.C., Feb. 08, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

New insights from cultural intelligence leader, Collage Group, reveal and examine the top 10 culturally fluent brands among Black Americans.

The 2023 study measures how brands have been able to use culture efficiently and effectively to connect across the Black segment. According to the findings, Walmart, YouTube, Lysol, Sprite, Visa, McCormick, Dove, Febreze, Netflix, and Google resonate the best among Black consumers.

“These brands were so successful in reaching Black America because they effectively engaged the passions of Black consumers,” said Sudipti Kumar, Collage Group’s Director of Multicultural Insights. “Each of the top brands displayed that they understand Black consumer values and made intentional efforts to engage and support them.”

In assessing the top brands, Collage Group employed the Brand Cultural Fluency Quotient (B-CFQ) score to determine brand resonance across six different cultural factors. The quotient takes into account Fit, Relevance, Memories, Values, Trust, and Advocacy.

McCormick, for example, put forth a winning campaign by tapping into Black interests and creativity, and saw it embraced by the Black community. The brand partnered with award-winning chef Millie Peartree, an African American woman famously known for her tasty dishes and affordable recipes.

Through the partnership, McCormick acknowledged the history and prominence of soul food by transforming traditional charcuterie boards into “Soul-Cuterie” boards in celebration of Black History Month 2022.

McCormick also teamed up with another popular African American food influencer, Tabitha Brown, working with her to form her own seasoning line. “Pairing with these two women – Peartree and Brown – helps McCormick connect with the Black community on the point of Relevance,” Kumar explains.

Beyond that, an extensive inventory of seasonings and recipes drives Fit and Values, according to Kumar, while the commitment to celebrating Black traditional soul foods, further ties into Values, as well as Memories, and Advocacy.

Sixty-four percent of Black Americans express that they find joy in cooking at home versus eating out, compared to 54% of the population. Furthermore, 63% of Black Americans say they seek new things to do, try, and see, including new foods and meals.

From a social media perspective, 88% of Black consumers follow influencers or content creators on social media platforms, while 42% of the segment follows food and cooking influencers/ content creators. McCormick’s campaign was a huge success with these Black social media users.

Walmart’s efforts to connect with Black consumers also garnered a positive reaction among the Black community. Walmart’s approach is related to the brand’s focus on affordability and its commitment to uplifting Black Americans as a whole.

“We know Black consumers have expressed concern about their financial circumstances, and recognize an overwhelming majority of Black Americans want brands to do something to combat social and political issues,” notes Zekeera Belton, Collage Group’s Vice President of Client Services and Diverse Segment Strategist. “Walmart directly acted on these desires, and as a result, won over many of these consumers.”

Illustrating Belton’s position, 72% of Black Americans are worried about their finances and 83% have called on brands to be involved in social issues in some respect. In response, for Walmart+ members, Walmart instituted free shipping on online orders, and withdrew delivery fees on orders totaling at least $35. The brand also invested in a $2 million grant in the name of racial equity, plus another $3.3 million in criminal justice reform.

Walmart’s emphasis on savings connects to Fit and Values. Additionally, the brand’s ongoing efforts to invest in Black enrichment, and taking a stance on social matters, connects on Relevance and builds Trust. These actions, among other endeavors in support of the Black community, helped make Walmart the number one brand among Black consumers.

Sprite put forth the “Sprite Limelight musical campaign” featuring Hip-Hop artist Coi Leray, and the endeavor was largely enjoyed and welcomed by Black consumers. Black Americans have a long-lasting relationship with Hip-Hop, as it has played a significant role in the evolution of Black culture.

To that point, 54% of Black Americans say they are more likely to listen to Hip-Hop music (including rap) compared to 33% for the total population. Moreover, 34% of the Black segment enjoys consuming music that is part of their cultural heritage. So, when Sprite interjects this genre within their commercials, it is not surprising that Black consumers have a favorable reaction. The Limelight ads in particular, in featuring Hip-Hop music, connect with Black Americas on Memories, Advocacy, Fit, Trust and Values.

“Sprite has an impressive record of amplifying the voices of Black musicians and promoting Black athletes,” says Belton. “This history helps the brand ultimately gain loyalty among Black consumers, activating Memories, Advocacy and Trust.”


About Collage Group

Collage Group is the leading source of cultural intelligence about diverse consumers to more than 250 of America’s iconic brands across 15 industries. Through our consumer insights, data, tools and best practices we work with marketing and insights professionals to help them more effectively and efficiently understand, reach and engage diverse consumers in the midst of America’s seismic cultural transformation. For more than 10 years, we have provided brands with the tools needed to build the Cultural Fluency necessary to activate consumers across race, ethnicity, generation, sexuality, gender and parent-child relationships. Learn more about why America’s iconic brands turn to Collage Group for diverse consumer insights and best practices.

About CultureRate

With CultureRate:Ad and Brand, Collage Group provides competitive rankings of all top brands and ads in every major category. The CultureRate database is the largest of its kind available, growing annually by over 200,000 responses or 30 million unique datapoints. Through a deep oversample of diverse Americans, brand leaders can access rich insight into how consumers process brands and ads across race and ethnicity, generation, sexual orientation, and gender. ​Brand leaders apply the findings from CultureRate:Ad and CultureRate:Brand to build cultural fluency, the capability to drive total market growth from inclusive, diverse-led marketing.



Top 10 Culturally Fluent Brands for Black Consumers McCormick Drives Fit & Values

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