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Securing The African American Bag To Boost Economic Growth

Securing The African American Bag To Boost Economic Growth

By Taylor Durham

  • 42% of Black consumer adults expect brands to support social causes

  • Black purchasing power is expected to increase to $1.5 trillion by 2025

When you read that African American’s have $1.3 trillion in spending power, it’s an incredibly impressive number. Even more so when you realize that’s more money than Spain, Mexico, Netherlands, Turkey, or Switzerland generate annually. At 47.8 million strong, we’re the second-largest consumer group, and yet according to Nielsen, brands are spending less and less on advertising to the Black community. Strange right, don’t these brands want our money?

Why This Matters: It’s incredible to think that the collective purchasing power of Black Americans is greater than most developed nations. Despite our purchasing power being virtually unmatched, ad spending tailored towards Black consumers has steadily declined in recent years. The problem could be a lack of diversity in boardrooms where these ads campaigns are birthed. If these companies did their research, they would know that the Black community is more likely to purchase a product or service that’s more in line with their self-image. Another problem could be an unwillingness to adapt, as younger audiences are online more and more. 

Despite our purchasing power being virtually unmatched, ad spending tailored towards Black consumers has steadily declined in recent years

The best brands connect with their audiences. FENTY, by Rihanna, was able to disrupt the beauty industry by tapping into an often ignored market in beauty, black women. Because of that, FENTY was estimated to generate $570 million in revenue, after just 15 months in business. Other brands, like H&M, have repeated failed to reach Black audiences and have committed several acts of cultural insensitivity. Anyone remember the ‘Monkey in the Jungle’ hoodie fiasco

Brands that deliver advertising reflective of the audience can build greater appeal and trustworthiness. McDonald’s is one of the largest employers of Black Americans and has set up numerous campaigns to give back to the black community. 

Situational Awareness: Black purchasing power is expected to increase to $1.5 trillion by 2025. Brands needs to pick up the pace in terms of hiring creative talent that can produce content reflective of the community. It’s also necessary for brands to cultivate better diversity practices to ensure that messaging is seen less as pandering, and more representative of its intended audience as representation matters.

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