Brands are increasingly being scrutinized regarding their response to racism, and inequity, an EthniFacts PICAT study reveals that 55% of consumers want companies to share values and ideals that unite America despite a cross-cultural trend to retreat into our own “Ethno-Racial Corners”.
EthniFacts, a cross-cultural knowledge and insights provider, has released findings from their syndicated 2020 PICAT (Personality and Intercultural Affinity) study. PICAT is a bi-annual national survey of American consumers that measures attitudes and behaviors through a cultural lens. Key insights include:
- Cross-Cultural Trends – While social media and personal contacts have become more diverse (+5% since 2017) for all consumers, there is a marked trend among all ethno-racial groups to “retreat into our own corners and defend what is ours” vs. previous surveys. Many are feeling defensive and on edge with over 50% of Americans worried about saying something offensive (highest among 16-34-year-old Non-Hispanic Whites at 60%).
- Overt Racist Incidences – Over 50% of all diverse respondents report a recent personal experience with racism involving themselves or a close friend/family member. Hispanic highest incidence is being criticized for speaking Spanish (57% higher), Asian American is being told to “go back to their country” (21% higher),” and African American is being falsely accused of criminal activity (69% higher).
- Values that Unite Americans – Over half the country (55%) says companies should share and reinforce the values and ideals that unite Americans, an increase of 11 points since 2017.
There is an equal danger for brands in sitting on the sideline without a voice and in pandering while not “walking the walk” regarding social issues.
- Social Issues that Motivate Buying & Loyalty – There is an equal danger for brands in sitting on the sideline without a voice and in pandering while not “walking the walk” regarding social issues. Worker protection and pay are the most important issue for 55% of the population and the overwhelming issue uniting all races and ethnicities. Differences exist with other issues making it critical for brands to understand their purpose and align their public stand on social issues with that purpose.
- Admired Brands – Fifty-one percent (51%) of all consumers and 58% of Multicultural consumers are more likely to buy a product or service if that brand is perceived as standing for issues important to them. EthniFacts’ PICAT study has been tracking movement in brands that are most and least admired for aligning with personal values and ideals for 4 years.
This wave of PICAT was conducted among 2,189 online adults offering deep insights around consumer attitudes and behaviors surrounding COVID-19, social justice, and other key issues.