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Black consumers support companies aligned with sociopolitical issues, sincere DEI efforts

by | Oct 31, 2022 | Public Relations

Black consumers are more likely than their general market counterparts to have taken an action (positive or negative) as a result of a company’s alignment with sociopolitical issues, reveals a new report from Horowitz Research.

The firm’s new FOCUS Black: State of Consumer Engagement 2022 study finds that nearly six in 10 (58 percent) Black consumers have taken an action as a result of learning about a specific company’s actions or stances on political, social, and/or environmental issues—higher than the total market (50 percent). This is particularly true for younger and higher income Black consumers.

Compared to the total market, Black consumers are more likely to have spoken out against a company in conversations and/or to have signed a petition against a company because of the company’s sociopolitical stances. They are also more likely to have rewarded a company because of its sociopolitical stances by starting doing business or spending more money with the company.

Company policies impact Black consumers

A wide range of policies and values have an impact on the decisions of Black consumers to buy from a company. Of the policies and values tested in the survey, equal treatment of women in the workplace (66 percent), and policies to ensure that Latinx/Hispanic, Black, and Asian employees are considered for jobs (62 percent), are most likely to have a positive impact on Black consumers’ decisions to buy from companies.

Almost half (45 percent) of Black consumers say that they are seeing more companies making a sincere effort towards diversity, equity, and inclusion in their business practices because they want to do better. However, four in 10 (44 percent) Black consumers are seeing more companies that are insincere in their efforts towards DEI than a year ago—higher than for total market (35 percent).

On the positive side, Black consumers are more likely than total market (44 percent and 36 percent respectively) to feel that more companies investing in their neighborhoods, such as through creation of jobs, grants for small businesses, and/or helping to improve local schools.

Improving representations in the media

Black consumers continue to see improvement in terms of how Black communities are represented in the media. For example, almost six in 10 (57 percent) Black consumers say they are seeing more Black actors as lead characters in scripted shows; 55 percent are seeing more Black characters and communities portrayed in positive ways in scripted shows.

For Black consumers, comedies, movies, dramas, and original content from streaming services do the best job representing Black people and communities. Sci-fi shows, dating reality shows, news, lifestyle reality shows, and unscripted TV shows are more likely to be perceived as having poor representation of diverse people and communities.

“Many companies have invested in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts over the past few years, and BIPOC consumers are taking notice, especially Black consumers,” said Adriana Waterston, chief revenue officer and insights & strategy lead for Horowitz Research, in a news release. “The question is, will these efforts be sustained? It will be important for these companies to continue making structural, strategic changes and investments to earn the trust and loyalty of Black consumers and audiences.”

The report is available for purchase here.

The full FOCUS Black: State of Consumer Engagement 2022 report provides analysis of adults 18+. The survey was conducted in July 2022 in English among 1,800 adults, with 567 online surveys among Black adults. Data have been weighted to ensure results are representative of the overall TV universe. The report is available in total market, FOCUS Latinx, FOCUS Black, and FOCUS Asian editions.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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