Custom Techniques for Diversity Research - image

Best Practices: Custom Techniques for Diversity Research

Christine Drummond - photo

by Christine Drummond

Vice President

Case Study

“How do the dynamics of diversity, inclusivity, and equity impact our brand’s perception and customer loyalty?” That’s the pressing issue that brands in every category are seeking to unravel. This issue is highly complex and nuanced, and customer expectations can be quite different from one brand to the next. It should come as no surprise that there is rarely a “one-size-fits-all” approach to research around these topics.

Getting to the deep core of how customers think on these topics and predicting how they will behave requires a custom insights approach for each brand. Here are three unique solutions on how we solved different diversity-related questions for our clients:

1. Growth strategy centered on audience diversity.

A public media brand was concerned that their actual audience was not as diverse as their region. Its growth strategy was contingent on better serving the full population of the metro area to broaden the audience for its content. 

A broad representative study of the metro area captured an extensive picture of the demographics, media behaviors, and needs of the population. A max-diff trade-off exercise revealed the unique media needs of each demographic cohort, and then a SWOT analysis provided additional focus to guide the brand. The study revealed that the brand’s audience was indeed much older, more Caucasian, and with a higher income than the average media user in this metro area.

These insights informed a new growth strategy that would focusing on serving younger, much less affluent media users from minority backgrounds. The brand had a deep understanding of what the unmet needs were of this audience and had a clear strategy on new content to reach this audience.  

Customer expectations can be quite different from one brand to the next. It should come as no surprise that there is rarely a “one-size-fits-all” approach to research around these topics.”

 

2. Ensuring diversity in foundational research.

For years, a leading global beauty brand had relied on U.S. census-based ethnicity and race screening measures. Given the increasing blended and mixed backgrounds of U.S. citizens, the marketing team was concerned that this approach did not accurately capturing how consumers self-identify.

The marketing team commissioned a “research on research” study to identify more accurate screening questions to assess inclusivity of race and ethnicity in a way that would personally resonate with the research participants and could be truly predictive. Multiple primary research datasets were analyzed to determine if a person’s ethnicity and race could be predicted through physical self-descriptors or other characteristics.

The study yielded a range of accuracy, predicting certain races and ethnicities very well and others with low levels of confidence. It provided a strong foundation for the next phase of work which was to create a measurable way ensure inclusivity in research as the U.S. population continues to blend and mix. Ongoing research continues to provide insights on how consumers identify with their beauty/looks, heritage, culture, and other key factors.

Getting to the deep core of how customers think on these topics and predicting how they will behave requires a custom insights approach for each brand.”

Custom research designed with your brand’s unique diversity questions can help navigate the fast-moving landscape of diversity and inclusion in our culture. Contact us to learn more about creating a diversity and inclusion research roadmap for your brand.