There is a $2 trillion marketplace that is up for grabs, and according to the 2010 US Census results, this market can only be defined as multicultural. The question is whether US businesses are ready and willing to make the changes necessary to take advantage of this critical demographic shift. From an aging white population to a growing youthful multicultural market where women have become key players, businesses that can adapt to this “New World Marketplace” will find themselves leading the way, while those holding onto traditional prejudices will falter.
“In about 30 years, the majority of the US population will be nonwhite, especially in the metro areas, and one of three children born in the country today has a parent who is an immigrant,” says multicultural globalization expert and corporate advisor Farnaz Wallace, founder of Farnaz Global. “The major shifts we are seeing within the US population have already begun to give us a New World Marketplace. It is multicultural in the mindset and lifestyle, not just skin color. It’s also young and non-traditional and places women in decision-making positions.”
Wallace emphasizes the importance of businesses learning and being willing to cater to the breadth of this New World Marketplace. “Most companies still define ‘multicultural branding’ as token sponsorships to African American and Latino holiday events. Until brands are ready to re-define ‘General Market,’ they won’t be able to generate profitable growth in the next three to five years,” she says.
Although large corporations may be able to strategically budget and market to each segment of the New World Marketplace, mid-size and smaller companies will need to build a holistic and multicultural campaign that is able to emotionally connect to and attract the New World Marketplace customers.
“A good differentiating Value Proposition should bridge the cultural gaps,” explains Wallace. “A brand’s leverageable opportunities lie within harmony of values, causes and beliefs; it’s all about emotional and cultural frameworks.” Bridging cultural gaps allows business leaders to connect through commonalities rather than coercing through power differentiation. This means aligning brand values with those of your New World customers. “Organizations must forsake past myths, biases, prejudices and orthodoxies to ensure future profitability,” says Wallace. “And they must be willing to become their own future rivals.”
The demographic transformation necessitating these new business practices is most apparent among the youth. Already, fewer than half of the nation’s toddlers are white. Hispanics, Asians and multiracial children accounted for all of the net growth of the nation’s under-18 population. “Think about how aging of this new emerging population will redefine America,” says Wallace.
While the ability to appeal to youth will be a deciding factor of brand success in the near future, attracting women is already necessary today. Women currently control 65 percent of global spending and 80 percent of US spending and start 70 percent of new businesses in this country. “Why do most banks and financial institutions continue to heavily target men?” asks Wallace.
“The New World Marketplace must be the foundation of all future corporate strategies; it is now a business imperative,” asserts Wallace. And with an eye to the 2010 US Census data, it is apparent that the “future” is already here.
Farnaz Wallace is a thought-leader and trusted advisor on multiculturalism and social and cultural shifts. To find out more or to contact Farnaz, visit http://www.farnazglobal.com.