There are nearly 17 million Millennials in the UK. In 2017, millennials became the largest generation in the workforce. That same year, more than 26% of them came from an Ethnic background other than White British, higher than the same figure for the entire UK population (18%). As more young people migrate to the UK, these numbers are on the rise.
With the increasing number of Ethnic Millennials in the UK, multicultural marketing is gaining traction. Because of its personalised nature, it has the power to convey strong sociocultural messages and can be more meaningful than traditional advertising as a way to attract consumers. Brands have the potential not only to increase social recognition, but they can influence social norms by effectively providing ethnic minorities with safe spaces and companies they can trust.
Companies that are able to gain the trust of ethnic millennials have the opportunity to develop lifelong ties with consumers and might even make a difference by influencing other brands to be more accepting of minorities.
Understanding the ethnic millennial consumer
Millennials are the most ethnically diverse generational group currently in the workforce. With an ever-rising spending power, they’re more relevant than ever to the future of many brands.
Many of them grew up in ethnically mixed families, leaving them with an innate sense of understanding and tolerance. They’re known for supporting diversity, being open-minded, and demonstrating acceptance of race and gender identity. They’ve got a multicultural mindset, and they’re more likely than any previous generation to appreciate your ethnic marketing efforts.
Tailor a culturally diverse message
The tried and tested marketing methods of the past aren’t anywhere as effective on the new kids in town as they were for older generations. They’re smarter than most people give them credit for, as well. In 2015, they were touted as being on track to be the most educated generation. That means they’re not easily fooled, and you can’t put minimal effort into your culturally diverse campaigns.
To effectively communicate your message to ethnically diverse millennials, you’ve got to become familiar with what matters to them and deliver content that represents a multitude of cultures. More and more, millennials have mixed ethnic backgrounds. With parents from different cultures and with various ethnicities, they usually have multiple cultural identities. So targeting one specific ethnic group isn’t going to be enough to reap the full rewards of multicultural marketing.
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Avoid generalisations and stereotypes
Ethnic millennials long for more than the celebration of diversity, though it’s still imperative; they also want to be respected and included. They’re the most likely generation to demand equality, acceptance, and understanding. Generalisations and stereotypes in advertising will quickly turn them away from brands, potentially leading them to sever ties permanently.
They’re radically opposed to racism and stereotypical representations of different groups. Two examples of what to avoid are the Pepsi Kendall Jenner commercial that had the model use a can of Pepsi to defuse police tensions, and the Nivea ad that claimed: “white is purity.” The adverts came across as tone deaf and insensitive. The public backlash was immediate and fierce, with many boycotting both brands.
Aim for natural and realistic portrayals of ethnic groups
Rather than targeting an ethnicity, target the individual. More than anything, millennials value authenticity. This is especially true with ethnic millennials who are used to being addressed as a collective race. If they feel like they’re being branded under a general ethnic umbrella, no matter what message you’re pushing, it won’t feel natural or realistic.
In a social media report, 90% of millennials said authenticity is important in the brands they choose to support. The same report found that 57% of respondents feel that less than half of the brand content they consume feels authentic. What many brands don’t understand is that authenticity can’t be faked.
An authentic multicultural marketing campaign with a natural feel needs to be light-hearted, relevant, and true to the consumer. If a business that doesn’t genuinely promote acceptance of multiculturalism tries to target ethnic groups, it won’t fool the target demographic. Inauthenticity will read through any digital media and advertising content that a brand creates.
Ethnic millennials appreciate unfiltered honesty when it comes to the content they consume. Advertising campaigns should be personalised, taking into consideration language and slang, style, cultural trends, politics, and more. The key to gaining their trust and loyalty is marketing to them in their own words.
In addition, the culturally diverse nature of the millennial cohort has made them increasingly prone to supporting social causes. The Millennial Impact Report surveyed millennials and found that 79% of them are passionate about a social issue, and 67% felt they could make a difference for causes they cared about. They’re much more focused on the issue they’re supporting and less focused on the specific organisation.
If you want to stand out to ethnically diverse millennial groups, your brand needs to show young people that it cares about world issues and it cares about individual consumers.
Multicultural consumers need normalisation in ethnic marketing so that it doesn’t feel as though any given brand has gone out of their way to get minorities on their side. They don’t want to be an afterthought, which they have been historically; they want to feel finally included. Genuinely incorporating these ideologies into your marketing techniques will set you up to be one of the go-to-brand for ethnic millennials.
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