Understanding the Urban Consumer
PRESENTATION TO THE ADVERTISING RESEARCH FOUNDATION
February 7, 2008
2
www.greenfieldgroup.com
2008 Greenfield Consulting Group
What We’ll Cover…
FRAMEWORK FOR FOCUSING ON URBAN CONSUMERS
•...
Framework for Focusing on Urban Consumers
4
www.greenfieldgroup.com
2008 Greenfield Consulting Group
Why is the Urban Consumer Important?
About 5 years ago, “URBAN”...
5
www.greenfieldgroup.com
2008 Greenfield Consulting Group
 Since then, the qualitative research community began to
recei...
6
www.greenfieldgroup.com
2008 Greenfield Consulting Group
URBAN is a complex segment representing overlap in
traditional ...
7
www.greenfieldgroup.com
2008 Greenfield Consulting Group
URBAN is a gumbo of cultural elements…
Grass Roots Sensibilitie...
8
www.greenfieldgroup.com
2008 Greenfield Consulting Group
How do Urban Consumers Influence the Mainstream?
Activity withi...
9
www.greenfieldgroup.com
2008 Greenfield Consulting Group
Urban Consumers are an Added-Value population. Significant
volu...
10
www.greenfieldgroup.com
2008 Greenfield Consulting Group
Migration of Trends
Trends travel through Urban sub-segments t...
11
www.greenfieldgroup.com
2008 Greenfield Consulting Group
QUESTION: Why is the UCM an important segment for my brand to
...
Urban Insights
13
www.greenfieldgroup.com
2008 Greenfield Consulting Group
Urban Segment Snapshot
Are young-minded /
young at heart
Hav...
14
www.greenfieldgroup.com
2008 Greenfield Consulting Group
Selected Urban Marketing Success Principles
 Ad executions me...
Case Study
16
www.greenfieldgroup.com
2008 Greenfield Consulting Group
Challenge
Personal/Oral Care Client approached Greenfield Cons...
17
www.greenfieldgroup.com
2008 Greenfield Consulting Group
Qualitative Research Approach
"Un-Focus" Groups
 Party format...
18
www.greenfieldgroup.com
2008 Greenfield Consulting Group
Qualitative Research Approach
"Un-Focus Group"
19
www.greenfieldgroup.com
2008 Greenfield Consulting Group
Selected Insights & Implications
 These consumers think all p...
20
www.greenfieldgroup.com
2008 Greenfield Consulting Group
Qualitative Research is the key to capturing this segment.
GCG...
21
www.greenfieldgroup.com
2008 Greenfield Consulting Group
 Knowing where to aim (as well as where NOT to)
– Trend-farmi...
22
www.greenfieldgroup.com
2008 Greenfield Consulting Group
CONTACT:
Ola Mobolade
Director, Greenfield Consulting Group
Ol...
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Understanding the Urban Consumer

  1. 1. Understanding the Urban Consumer PRESENTATION TO THE ADVERTISING RESEARCH FOUNDATION February 7, 2008
  2. 2. 2 www.greenfieldgroup.com 2008 Greenfield Consulting Group What We’ll Cover… FRAMEWORK FOR FOCUSING ON URBAN CONSUMERS • Why is the Urban Consumer important? • What is Urban? • How do Urban Consumers influence the mainstream? URBAN CONSUMER INSIGHTS • Urban Segment Snapshot • Selected Urban Marketing Success Principles CASE STUDY • Challenge • Qualitative Approach • Selected Insights & Implications • Urban Marketing Research Expertise
  3. 3. Framework for Focusing on Urban Consumers
  4. 4. 4 www.greenfieldgroup.com 2008 Greenfield Consulting Group Why is the Urban Consumer Important? About 5 years ago, “URBAN” seemed to explode into mainstream marketing buzz in a number of varying contexts …  Toyota next month will bow its first TV and print campaign for its youth-skewing Scion, which will showcase various artists' interpretations of the car. The buzz-building effort will attempt to link the brand with an URBAN MARKET… Jim Farley, divisional vp, said the media is highly targeted: "We're going after opinion leaders, whether fashion, music or cars. We want the conversation about Scion to the mainstream youth to happen from another young person." -BrandWeek, 5/26/03  Run Athletics, LLC, and Kellwood Co. said Monday they have signed an agreement to develop a Run Athletics men's activewear collection for Fall 2003. Run Athletics, owned by Rev. Run, founder of Run DMC, and his brother, Russell Simmons, will sell the activewear collection through specialty and department stores. The athletic-styled gear, targeted to the URBAN LIFESTYLE CONSUMER, will consist of jogging suits, T- shirts, sport shorts, fleecewear, baseball caps and other items. -BrandWeek, 5/12/03  Lugz's world is a delicate ecosystem, requiring the company first to cultivate demand within the primary, urban-black target audience and then to export the urban style to the suburban malls of middle America -- and to pull both off without alienating the core audience who highly value "keeping it real." -Advertising Age, 3/17/03
  5. 5. 5 www.greenfieldgroup.com 2008 Greenfield Consulting Group  Since then, the qualitative research community began to receive a steady stream of requests to better understand the Urban segment. – Categories range from Apparel to Consumer Electronics, Food Service to Personal Care, and so on.  These requests are not only from niche brands and categories, but increasingly from mainstream marketers looking for… – Strategic insight into more impactful adult-targeted General Market campaigns – Creative fodder for cutting edge GM youth campaigns – Trend mining  But for many, the question remains… What exactly is URBAN, and why is it important to UNDERSTAND THIS SEGMENT? Why is the Urban Consumer Important?
  6. 6. 6 www.greenfieldgroup.com 2008 Greenfield Consulting Group URBAN is a complex segment representing overlap in traditional demographic & psychographic measures: The Urban Consumer Market resides at this intersection. U R B A N Focused in super-cities: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago Fast-paced – process multiple information/media feeds simultaneously Lifestyle/fashion driven by city environment Value independence, ‘street smarts’ Metropolitan Mindset Incredibly diverse (racially, ethnically, and socially) Music, fashion & language central to identity Ethnic Youth Culture What Is "Urban"?
  7. 7. 7 www.greenfieldgroup.com 2008 Greenfield Consulting Group URBAN is a gumbo of cultural elements… Grass Roots Sensibilities Fast City Living Fusion of Ethnic Cultures Racial & Economic Diversity “Keeping It REAL” Street smarts Aesthetics of Key Music Subcultures What is "Urban"?
  8. 8. 8 www.greenfieldgroup.com 2008 Greenfield Consulting Group How do Urban Consumers Influence the Mainstream? Activity within the Urban Consumer Market is a rich area of focus, where each sub-segment plays a key role in the trend- making process: INNOVATORS… ARE URBAN Consistently birth new, utility- and environment- driven expressions of personal style TRENDSETTERS… VALUE URBAN Retrieve underground style elements – the first “above-ground” emergence of “trends” as such ADOPTERS… COMMERCIALIZE URBAN Either reject trend or accept it into “cool” paradigm - help determine lifespan MAINSTREAM YOUTH… CONSUMES URBAN Absorb “cool” paradigm –and all trends included- into popular mainstream consciousness
  9. 9. 9 www.greenfieldgroup.com 2008 Greenfield Consulting Group Urban Consumers are an Added-Value population. Significant volume comes from the fact that URBAN represents not only those within this segment, but also those Urban-Influenced members of the Mainstream Market. When considering the POWER of this segment, think in terms of:  BUYING POWER  Prolific spenders who over-index in particular categories  POWER OF INFLUENCE  Highly influential in trend adoption across mainstream segments  Generally perceived as originators of trends Urban-Influenced Mainstream Market Urban Consumer Core How do Urban Consumers Influence the Mainstream?
  10. 10. 10 www.greenfieldgroup.com 2008 Greenfield Consulting Group Migration of Trends Trends travel through Urban sub-segments toward Mainstream market at varying speeds with different life-spans.  Tracking the trajectory of these trends presents a number of unique challenges… – …When to focus energy away from declining trends, toward new emerging trends? – …Which urban sub-segments to mine trends from? – …Which early trends have long-term staying power? How do Urban Consumers Influence the Mainstream?
  11. 11. 11 www.greenfieldgroup.com 2008 Greenfield Consulting Group QUESTION: Why is the UCM an important segment for my brand to understand? ANSWER: Because many trends originate at the center of the urban culture and move outward, creating a RIPPLE EFFECT of consumer activity. Savvy brands replicate this phenomenon via Urban-flavored marketing. How do Urban Consumers Influence the Mainstream?
  12. 12. Urban Insights
  13. 13. 13 www.greenfieldgroup.com 2008 Greenfield Consulting Group Urban Segment Snapshot Are young-minded / young at heart Have a "hustler" mentality (in a positive sense) Are fiercely independent Take pride in swimming upstream / defying convention Value exploration and discovery Are active participants in passion areas vs. observers/bystanders Are highly social Highly mobile Work tirelessly toward goal of making their passions, their livelihood Indulge in more vices than their general market counterparts Highly mobile Work tirelessly toward goal of making their passions, their livelihood Indulge in more vices than their general market counterparts Truly multi-cultural Build "transcultural" personal identities Live, work and/or "hang out" in highly metropolitan spaces… if not, they have a burning desire to Are young or youthful ATTITUDINALLY…BEHAVIORALLY…DEMOGRAPHICALLY…
  14. 14. 14 www.greenfieldgroup.com 2008 Greenfield Consulting Group Selected Urban Marketing Success Principles  Ad executions meant to convey an urban vibe should depict a range of ethnicities, with an overrepresentation of Black and Hispanic consumers. Brands associated with this imagery will stand out as more "real" and relevant.  Spread beyond media channels and genres traditionally associated with Black and Hispanic consumers. This will begin to attract a truly Urban audience vs. mainstream minority consumers alone. The result: boosted "cool" equity among TasteMakers which trickles down to the high-volume Late Adopter audience.  Consider co-branding entities with established Urban equities in the areas of music and fashion.  Dial up Below-the-Line and Event marketing.  In traditional media, focus on Digital, Print and Out-of-Home (esp. placed in along mass transit pathways).  Use Innovators for mining insights, but market to the Early Adopters.
  15. 15. Case Study
  16. 16. 16 www.greenfieldgroup.com 2008 Greenfield Consulting Group Challenge Personal/Oral Care Client approached Greenfield Consulting Group with a desire to better understand the Urban Consumer Market, for the purpose of differentiating their brand with a more cutting edge campaign:  Urban Consumer perceptions of Personal / Oral Care Category posed the greatest challenge: – Viewed as functional commodity brands that all do the same thing. – Little to no badge/image value to brands in these types of product categories. – Loyalty to brands in this category driven by habit or what they grew up with.
  17. 17. 17 www.greenfieldgroup.com 2008 Greenfield Consulting Group Qualitative Research Approach "Un-Focus" Groups  Party format discussion groups  Larger sized groups than normal (10-14 respondents)  Viral recruit  Longer than the traditional focus group (3 hrs)  2 markets: CHICAGO & NEW YORK  Respondents completed in-depth video diary homework assignment Benefits of this Approach  Disabled skepticism for more true-to-life responses  REAL Urban Mindset consumers vs. database duds  Window into an otherwise closed world
  18. 18. 18 www.greenfieldgroup.com 2008 Greenfield Consulting Group Qualitative Research Approach "Un-Focus Group"
  19. 19. 19 www.greenfieldgroup.com 2008 Greenfield Consulting Group Selected Insights & Implications  These consumers think all personal care products in a given category are the same, so they go for what they know, and therefore trust. Leverage this perception creatively by emphasizing the history of brands with significant longevity ("what you grew up with").  Urban consumers are skeptical of oral/personal care brands that try to over- differentiate via contrived benefits (including technological / chemical jargon). Preempt this barrier with advertising that is wittily over-simplistic in describing the product's benefits.  Consider breaking out from the pack at the retail level with non-functional differentiators, like design-conscious packaging.  Appeal to the segment's on-the-go lifestyle and need for social confidence while they're out. Think about whether there's some way to make teeth brushing out-of- home more convenient while still maintaining the discretion and portability value.  While this segment has trouble gauging efficacy, they are drawn to sensory cues in the product as proof that it's working. In communications regarding oral care products with visible efficacy cues, position these elements as "freshness you can see".
  20. 20. 20 www.greenfieldgroup.com 2008 Greenfield Consulting Group Qualitative Research is the key to capturing this segment. GCG’s expertise with this market is in…  Identifying real touch points – Attempting to reach the Urban Consumer Market is like taking the SAT; Points are deducted for incorrect guesses – GCG employs a number of “out-of-the-box” qualitative exercises and techniques to identify Urban consumer-brand touch-points  Breaking the culture code – Urban culture carries with it an entire language of its own. – With Urban Youth researchers who actually reside in this segment, GCG Clients are provided with true-to-life target translations.  Knowing when to jump off the trend train – Greenfield applies cross-category experience with Urban segments to forecast trends. – GCG uses the target itself to accurately identify Urban lifestyle elements with true staying power. Urban Marketing Research Expertise
  21. 21. 21 www.greenfieldgroup.com 2008 Greenfield Consulting Group  Knowing where to aim (as well as where NOT to) – Trend-farming in the wrong sub-segment can alienate an entire audience – Greenfield uses proprietary custom screeners to recruit appropriate Urban segments Toyota’s 2001 “Mouth” postcard which aimed at “edgy” urban youth audiences featured imagery reminiscent of historically insensitive depictions of African-Americans Ad prompted powerful community response against the brand’s racial insensitivity Urban Marketing Research Expertise
  22. 22. 22 www.greenfieldgroup.com 2008 Greenfield Consulting Group CONTACT: Ola Mobolade Director, Greenfield Consulting Group Ola.Mobolade@greenfieldgroup.com Tel. 1.773.474.1600 Fax. 1.630.799.1159 Thank You! Contact Info

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