Recession Planning for Sustainability & Growth: Market Research & Consumer Insights

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Recession Planning for Sustainability & Growth: Market Research & Consumer Insights
Data Analytics, Primary Research & Subject Matter Expertise
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Signs are pointing to a global recession sparked by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Lessons from the Great Recession suggest that the Multicultural contribution to total consumer expenditure actually increases in economic downturn because of Multicultural population growth.

Through a series of studies launched this spring, Collage Group has collected deep insights on how behaviors vary by race and ethnicity – key to remaining relevant in this rapidly changing environment. Fill out the form to access our webinar recording.

The Coronavirus pandemic is a once-a-century transformation in the global economy, with radical impacts on trade-flows, consumer behavior, and spending across every industry.

Collage Group members are now in the throes of intensive investigation into consumer response across every category to plan for the short- and long-term. Beyond understanding immediate consumer response through our recent syndicated research, many members are now turning to plans for the future to mitigate loss of revenue anticipated given the pending recession.   

Collage Group was born in the Great Recession when it became apparent that the most resilient consumer group was the Hispanic segment. The segment’s larger family size, and faster population growth and household formation guaranteed that marketing organizations had to put the Hispanic consumer at the center of marketing.   

The 2020 COVID-19 recession will see a similar phenomenon. The continued higher growth rate in consumer expenditure of all multicultural groups significantly outpaces the general market. Indeed, the Multicultural consumer contribution to consumer expenditure in the next few years will likely be even greater than it was during the Great Recession.

Based on this unique understanding, Collage Group recommends the following engagements to build efficiency and plan effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic and pre-recession:

SIZE OF PRIZE ANALYSIS

Nationwide, when the economy is in recession, population and spend growth predominantly comes from Multicultural consumers. In preparation for a recession, brands must understand who they should target to maximize growth, and how best to reach these consumers. Collage Group has long helped brands size the opportunity for growth, to guide investments and budgets. Consider scoping an analysis for your categories and brands to ensure your long-term strategy can withstand the upcoming recession.

CONSUMER ATTITUDE & USAGE DEEP DIVE

Understand the impact of COVID-19 on category usage, behaviors, habits, drivers and barriers.

Our work provides a clear profile of the consumer’s attitudes and behaviors and identifies recommendations and strategies for breaking barriers and optimizing communication with target segment(s) through a combination of qualitative and quantitative research modalities.

PRODUCT & PRICING OPTIMIZATION

The pandemic has driven change in purchasing behaviors across categories. Members are looking to understand how the price-to-value equation has changed across ethnicity and socio-economic segments. Discover the top features that will convince consumers to pick up your product in aisle or select your services (i.e., channel plans, mobile plans, etc.) through the choices they make, rather than their stated preferences.

Latest COVID-19 Coverage

Spending Shifts and Social Values During COVID-19

Spending Shifts and Social Values During COVID-19
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A pandemic has upended your 2020 strategy, and you need to stay relevant with the consumers who will power your return to normal growth, regardless of how they are impacted today. These are the insights you need to resonate in response to the COVID-19 crisis and its aftermath. The document available for download provides an excerpt focused on Hispanic consumers.  Fill out the form to download detailed insight into the top issues prime for brand activation in the near and midterm for all consumers by race and ethnicity.

 

COVID-19 has forced all of us to reconsider how we interact with the world.

The uncertainty about how the crisis will evolve and impact us – both as individuals and as a society – has left us without guiderails for how to plan for next month, let alone past 2020. No one can predict the future, but we must be ready for whatever comes next, whenever it comes.
We at Collage have done our best to assess this situation and provide you with answers to three key questions:

1. How will COVID-19 and the public response impact consumer spending?

2. What do consumers expect right now from brands, companies, and other organizations?

3. Which issues remain resonant for consumers beyond the pandemic?

Multicultural Consumer Expenditure Share Grew During the Great Recession

Make no mistake: economic downturns have the harshest personal impacts on the most vulnerable consumers. Peak unemployment rates during the Great Recession were much higher for Hispanic and Black consumers (13.1% and 16.8%, respectively) than for other segments. And with April 2020 national unemployment numbers already expected to be between 15 and 20 percent, we can expect these same segments – which are also more likely to be employed in services directly impacted by social distancing – to feel the brunt of the slowdown.

But despite these setbacks, the Great Recession did not reverse the general historical trend towards increased multicultural share of total consumer expenditures. The key ingredients here are fourfold: (1) younger consumers have higher future earnings potential overall; (2) rising education rates increase the rate at which their future earnings will grow (3) larger families require more spending, and (4) immigration is bolstering household formation, especially for the Asian segments.

These trends guarantee continued and increasing multicultural contribution to expenditure growth even under the dire economic impacts of COVID-19. While individual multicultural households are more likely to see greater price sensitivity in the short term, their growth fundamentals continue to improve.

Multicultural consumers will continue to represent an ever-growing share of your target markets. No consumer brand can afford to abandon any multicultural segment now, no matter what happens in the near term. Their loyalty will be 100% responsible for powering your return to normal growth in the recovery. It is in your immediate interest to let these consumers know you are on their side during these difficult times.

So how do you make that happen? ​

Multicultural Consumers Want Brands to Be Practical, Not Preachy

About 4 in 5 consumers believe that brands have a responsibility to step up in response to COVID-19. The need for action is especially urgent for multicultural segments, who are receiving news about the pandemic with increasing urgency and concern that others are not taking the situation as seriously as they should.

Underlying this urgency is the reality of immediate financial hardship and health risk. Black and Hispanic communities are more vulnerable both to the pandemic itself and the resulting economic downturn. Given these strains, it is not surprising that donating products and services to those in need and educating people about the need for social distancing are the most valuable things multicultural segments say companies can do in response to COVID-19.

And if you decide to put out messaging around COVID-19, you need to make sure it speaks to the lived realities of your audience. Feel-good messages will fall on deaf ears in communities that feel like their tragedies are not being taken seriously. There are plenty of organizations already on the ground listening and responding to these struggles – so make sure you are really listening before you try to respond as well.

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Online Qualitative Research Answers In-Person Fieldwork Disruptions

Online Qualitative Research Answers In-Person Fieldwork Disruptions
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With the coronavirus crisis disrupting most planned in-person fieldwork, our existing online qual expertise at Collage Group has allowed us to seamlessly support clients despite quarantines.

We have been able to continue tracking changes to consumer behavior through cost-competitive, online qualitative research services. Our comprehensive suite of tools makes it easy to engage with hard-to-reach segments across the nation, in multiple languages, wherever they are. Explore the benefits of leveraging our online research, including quicker turnaround times, in-the-moment feedback, rich insights and much more:

Online qualitative research is not a new concept for Collage Group. Our depth of experience goes back 8 years, with more than 60 online qualitative studies that apply more than 10 different online methodologies.

Our expertise and best practices allow us to implement highly engaging and insightful sessions.

Our RIVA-trained, in-language/in-culture moderators and analysts have extensive cross-cultural knowledge and unparalleled Hispanic expertise. We are equipped to uncover true drivers of behavior for any segment in any industry.

We use specific interview techniques that enable our responders from different ethnic groups to obtain breakthrough insights across segments.

We have the ability to engage some of the hardest-to-reach segments through a unique community of highly engaged consumers.

Our selection of online tools is powered by the best user-friendly platform providers, allowing you to innovate with different methodologies.

If you are interested in scheduling a scoping call or would like more information around our online research capabilities, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Catch Up On The Latest Insights

Category Spend Patterns During COVID-19

Category Spend Patterns During COVID-19
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These times are uncertain, but you don’t have to be. Act on these category-specific insights to resonate with multicultural consumers during this period of change. The document available for download provides an excerpt focused on Hispanic consumers. Fill out the form to download detailed insight into the top issues prime for brand activation in the near and midterm for all consumers by race and ethnicity.
 

Our latest COVID-19 initiative takes an expansive look at consumer preferences and shopping behaviors during our time of crisis. The analysis uncovers how attitudes and spending patterns are shifting among the major racial and ethnic segments at a general and category-specific level. These insights will help you understand how to connect with consumers right now and in the near future.

You’ll find category-specific decks ready for download on this page, covering alcohol, mobile and electronics, entertainment and media, financial services, food and beverage, home care, and personal care. But before diving in, take note of these key insights…

Four High-Level Findings to Help You Navigate Marketing during the Pandemic:

1. The majority of consumers in each segment are being more mindful of their spending habits, especially Hispanic consumers. This means that the bar is raised for which brands and products make the cut. You’ll need to pay close attention to how behaviors and preferences are changing right now to stay relevant across segments.

2. 4 in 5 Americans expect brands to take positive action in response to the pandemic. This is not the time for your marketing efforts to go dark. Stay relevant by taking action and speaking out in ways consumers find valuable, like educating the public about social distancing, a strong want from multicultural consumers, especially Hispanics.

3. Changes in specific shopping behaviors are more pronounced for multicultural consumers. Hispanic and Black consumers have increased their shopping at both big box stores and drugstores. Take a look in our category-specific decks for a deep dive on changes in buying patterns within each industry.

4. Where consumers are making trade-offs is also noteworthy. Black consumers are notably less likely to cut spending on makeup and cosmetics.  Hispanics by contrast will defend spending in groceries, personal care and home care, but expect to cut spending in that category as well as toys and games, electronics and at home entertainment.

Though these times are uncertain, you can survive and thrive with these insights on how to connect with consumers right now and beyond the pandemic.

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Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Brands: Alcoholic Beverages

Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Brands: Alcoholic Beverages
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Collage Group just launched new syndicated research streams ranking ads and brands on cultural fluency. AdRate and BrandRate are major new initiatives that provide a solution to our members’ mounting need for a comprehensive, ongoing analysis of the cultural fluency of branding and advertising. 

AdRate and BrandRate are part of a larger initiative to place every member’s brands and ads at the center of what we do. In the last two weeks, we begin our 2020 BrandRate initiative with the release of rankings in alcoholic beverages.

Our rating system is built on two years of research into how best to measure cultural fluency. Our 2020 initiative is the first step toward realizing a vision of a comprehensive and transparent database that reveals what works and what doesn’t.

AdRate is based on over 120,000 responses to approximately 150 ads in 8 categories, with deep multicultural, Millennial and Gen Z oversample. We piloted BrandRate with four investigations testing over 100 brands with 6000 consumer responses.

For each investigation we are testing ads and brands with approximately 450-500 consumers between 18-39 (21-39 for alcoholic beverages) equally divided across three levels of Hispanic acculturation, Black, Asian and White. Except for personal care and beauty categories, the sample is equally divided across gender. We also capture respondents’ cultural attribute profile and other demographics factors. This can enabled detailed assessment and lookalike identification of high frequency, high affinity or culturally similar consumers.

We hope that access to this database will motivate more inclusive advertising to drive up Cultural Fluency across every category.  It’s time to raise the bar for everyone.

alcbevbrands

In that spirit, we offer all members a free detailed mini-report on one ad and one brand for each membership subscription (Latinum and GenYZ). Members may obtain additional reports on any ad or brand 2 and 3 credits respectively, or add additional ad and brands (and obtain reports) for the same fee.

We also offer members the opportunity to commission detailed custom analyses of our data or commission engagements to using our rating methodology.

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