Cosmoprof 2016: Engaging the multicultural market (part 3 of 3)

If you want an introduction to how to best engage the multicultural market, consider these 3 actions

Representatives from Ebony Magazine, Black Opal,, “love, Aunt Bonnie” (a digital community for multicultural women), and Kline consumer products groups discussed how to successfully win with multicultural consumers.
Cosmoprof panel

  • Don’t treat multicultural consumers as a monolith. In hair for instance, while there is a definite rise in the number of women wearing their hair naturally curly, it would behoove brands to include all textures, people with relaxed hair, locs, and other styles. From product development to marketing campaigns, brands need to consider the full range of their consumers’ hair types and preferences. One way that the panelists said brands can do this is by hiring the types of people you are marketing to. I would have liked them to go a step further and give other tactical ideas on how to do this successfully, as there is a danger in trying to appeal to everyone and winding up appealing to no one.
  • Find authentic sources of inspiration and an authentic voice. According to the panelists, successful brands are drawing from areas such as female entrepreneurship (according to Renae Bluitt from InHerShoesBlog, black women are launching businesses at six times the national average), social values and making a difference in the community, and natural ingredients from all over the world. In talking to the consumer, recognize that the consumer is coming from all walks of life and affluence and education are changing in this segment.
  • Win with Digital. The multicultural audience is one of the most highly engaged on social media, and panelists urged brands and marketers to participate on all platforms and get creative with short ad space (e.g., the 5 seconds you have on YouTube before a viewer “skips” can still leave room for creativity). Brands can use social media as a two-way platform to talk to customers directly and get customer input to name products and vote on packaging. Additionally, panelists said brands must use influencers to reach the multicultural audience and cited Eden Body Works’ successful campaign that tapped into the “mommy bloggers” lifestyle to launch their kids line.

While I think the tips presented were helpful, unfortunately they could have applied to any brand trying to win in digital and I would have liked to hear what specifically is required for the multicultural market. Additionally, a hair brand representative would have been a good addition to the panel, given that much of the conversation centered on this category. I also would have liked to see a mainstream brand represented- many large brands have a wide reach so I would have liked to hear their successes and missteps.

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