African-Americans—44 million or about 14 percent of the U.S. population—make up a powerful group with a growing impact on businesses and a report by Nielsen shows they want companies to recognize their unique culture. Among 18-54 year olds, 87 percent of African-Americans felt cultural recognition was important compared to 59 percent of the general population; 73 percent stated cultural heritage was a critical part of their identity.
The need for cultural recognition translates into African-Americans’ purchasing choices. Forty-four percent said they are more likely to purchase products owned or supported by African-Americans or other multicultural groups, and 43 percent are more likely to patronize a business if it’s minority-owned. African-American celebrities and musicians also have an impact with 20 percent of African-Americans 18-54 saying they are more likely to purchase a product supported by these stars.
Using mobile platforms for advertising is necessary to capture the African-American consumer; 62 percent say advertising content on mobile phones and devices useful. TV ads provide 53 percent with useful information about new products and services; perceptions of advertising in newspapers, magazines and radios’ match the general population.