Are We There Yet? How To Approach Your Multicultural Audience During a Pandemic
This pandemic has taken over most of our lives. And multicultural audiences have been hit the hardest. I’ve seen it, the data shows it, and the media - even the deniers out there — have acknowledged it. How can a brand (yes, yours) offer a bit of sanity, tranquility, and hope to consumers — humans looking for answers, and maybe a few rolls of emotional support?
To understand the scenario, we need to take a step back. Let's take a closer look at some of the most basic and useful recommendations to connect, convince, and entertain a population that can be described with one word: resilient.
Are we in survival mode? Are we almost on the other side? Is this thing over? Can we go back to normal? Can I hug and thank my bagger at my local supermarket? Can I take a drive till I see the coastline in front of me? I really wish I could sit down for a nice quiet dinner with my wife in her favorite taco spot. There are many things I took (and we all did) for granted when we were not thinking about spreading germs or viruses. But this is the new normal. Quiet is not an option.
Attitude is mentality with a tone If you want your brand to say the right thing, just say what you would to a person who needs your help. If you want your brand to come through for multicultural audiences, you’ll do everything you need to make it happen. Your brand is more than your product or sales figures or profits. Your brand has a conscious, a mission, a reason to show we are all in this together. If you keep a positive attitude and the right mentality, your brand tone will come naturally to your message. Perfect or not, be honest to your brand voice and stick to your tone.
There’s no better time than now This is the time to tell your brand story, and get your name out there. Celebrate people, your employees, and your customers. The circumstances are not changing — don’t wait for a better moment. Be honest, keep it simple, and let authenticity come from the heart (yes, brands also have feelings). Trust your gut, follow your instincts, and bring your agency to the conversation. Let creative storytellers tackle the appropriate message and tone. Anything you say right now is 10x better than not saying anything at all. Also, action speaks louder than words, so make sure you back up what you’re communicating with community presence and a worthy cause. If you don’t have one, find one, and hurry.
Connect, Listen, and Deliver Instinctively brands will do what makes sense, cut communication budgets, limit campaign messages, and focus on specific audiences. Minorities, multicultural audiences, and opportunity audiences are also paying attention and listening to what you are saying or not.
Your brand has followers, loyalists, and ambassadors, and they need to know you care about them, beyond how much of your product they can get right now. If there’s something we can learn from celebrities and influencers it's that social media has made connecting and staying top of mind an experience we can all be part of. Yes, an email is a superb place to start, but your audience wants to see your brand and hear your voice. Deliver on your brand promise and remind them you are here with your next step.
Home is where your brand should be Think about it. When we are home, we feel safe, loved, and cared for. If we know where the audience is listening, why not contextualize your brand message to meet your audience in that specific time, space, and place? In-home content and music listening are up - and for a reason. While some states loosen up shelter in place restrictions and others take additional precautions to keep the population safe, find a way to bring to life your product benefit, brand story, or mission in the context of an at-home listener. Sound can change the mood and enhance the well-being of your audience. Make people laugh or think, and they will remember you were there with them when they needed you the most. This will build your brand, and profits will follow.
Who are you talking to? Multicultural audiences include essential and front-line workers. It includes the people feeding us and doing the cleaning yes, but also the doctors and decision-makers, the hard-working professionals, and the educated. It includes dreamers and poets, thinkers, fighters, and even ex-Presidents. While we like to think we are all in this together, the reality is different depending on many variables, like income level, education, ethnicity, language, and country of origin. I will not generalize or succumb to stereotypes, but if there’s one key factor that will make your message resonate or crash, it is that you fully understand who you really want to reach before you say anything at all.
At Studio Resonate, we are continually monitoring brand messages, in- and off-platform, and quickly adapting, updating, and personalizing the narrative to match the moment, the tone, and the context of the audiences brands need to reach. While our recommendations above might sound formulaic or generic, we genuinely believe every brand has something substantial to say, to an audience (multicultural or not) that above everything else, is listening.
Don’t know what to say, or how to say it? Reach out — we are here to help. We believe in culture and collaboration, in talking and thinking together. And most importantly, in making sure your brand, no matter the messaging phase your audience, community, or state is at, will sound like your brand. That’s the first step to getting somewhere. And getting there safe and sound.