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From small growing firms to large corporations, The Black Pound Report provides valuable insight into Black, Asian and Multi-Ethnic consumers’ spending power, untapped potential, and profitability in the UK. By Tsharna Daniel
The Black Report 2022, reveals that big businesses are disregarding Black, Asian and multi-ethnic consumer groups, with an average monthly disposable income of £4.5 billion.
Multi-ethnic consumers have a large economic impact on the economy, and this report highlights the opportunities for brands to reach this growing market. Lydia Amoah, CEO of Backlight – a Cultural Change Agency who worked with Opinium to conduct thorough and rigorous research for The Black Pound Report. Lydia says “When I was 21, I went into a department store to buy make-up. I struggled to find a shade for my skin tone and asked the assistant for help. She said they only stock colours for ‘normal skin’. At that moment, I decided that my life’s work would be dedicated to ensuring that no one would ever have that same experience.”
Consumers of multi-ethnicities invest a staggering £230m a month in health and beauty, however, four out of 10 black women shoppers still find it difficult to buy cosmetics. Why is this not a thing of the past?
Multi-ethnic consumers spend 25% more on health and beauty products than any other group, with 22% having a need to visit specialist shops to purchase health and beauty products – a figure that rises to 30% for black women. Businesses should not ignore these communities since Black, Asian, and multi-ethnic consumers were found to have a higher level of commitment to buying locally, with 64% responding positively to the survey compared to 56% of the general population.
By showing businesses the “untapped economic power” of multicultural customers, Lydia hopes to allow businesses to get a better understanding of a market that has rarely been researched in depth. “When there is an audience spending £2.7 billion every year on Health and Beauty products, demonstrating that they want to spend their money with businesses on their high street, why on Earth would brands not want a slice of that pie? The Black Pound Report is helping businesses to understand the value of inclusion in the products they create, stock and market,” she added.
‘Psychological Passing’: A Curse For Consumers
One of the bleakest findings in the report, is a high rate of ‘Psychological Passing’ among Multi-Ethnic consumers, especially in retail environments.
In spite of the fact that all ethnicities feel ‘Psychological Passing’, there is a higher propensity among multi-ethnic consumers. Consumers often feel they need to adjust their appearance or behaviour to ‘fit in’ if they want to avoid being profiled by security staff and shop employees.
Multi-Ethnic respondents admitted changing the way they dress and speak in order to be socially accepted 13% of the time. Multi-ethnic consumers who identify as LGBTQ+ or have a disability are more likely to adjust their behaviour in stores, highlighting the impact of intersectionality shopping.
In today’s Multi-Ethnic consumer world, diversity plays a major role at every level. Workplaces that value diversity and have equal and inclusive practices are seen as driving and supporting ambition and change. This is where The Black Pound Report comes in, as it shows how brands can appeal to Black, Asian, and Multi-Ethnic customers by thinking about diversity in product creation and advertising.
Multi-Ethnic consumers agree that brands have to be inclusive, compared to 74% of White consumers; diversity in advertising is three times as important to Multi-Ethnic consumers (24%) than White consumers (8%). The multi-ethnic consumer is twice as likely as the white consumer to favor and trust brands that represent different cultures, create products and services that are ethnically diverse, and have diverse staff. Multi-Ethnic consumers are more likely to tell their friends about a company they like than White consumers, and 59% of Black, Asian, and Multi-Ethnic consumers are more likely to purchase products from brands that offer inclusive products. You wouldn’t want to ignore such a supportive community now, would you?
It is the goal of the Black Pound Report’s Founder to bring change to the way businesses treat consumers so that they are treated with respect and equally served.