Multicultural consumers are transforming mainstream U.S. marketplace business economy. Propelled by twin engines of population growth and expanding buying power, they are at the leading edge of converging demographic and social trends, redefining the increasingly diverse consumer marketplace. By understanding the cultural landscape that drives multicultural consumer behavior today, marketers and advertisers can anticipate future business market trends and forge long-term relationships with the most robust and fastest growing segment of the U.S. consumer economy.
THE NEW MAINSTREAM
- African-Americans, Asian American Pacific Islanders, Latino Americans et al comprise 38% of the U.S. population with U.S. Census projections forecasting multicultural populations will become the numeric majority by 2044
- 92% of the total growth in the U.S. population from 2000-2014 came from multicultural consumers
- U.S. multicultural buying power is currently $3.4 trillion
MULTICULTURAL BUYING AND SUPER CONSUMERS
- Super consumers represent top 10% of a category’s household consumers and drive minimally 30% of sales, 40% of growth and 50% of profits
- Super geos are geographic regions and metropolitan areas with very high concentrations of Super Consumers of categories
CULTURALLY DRIVEN BEHAVIORS
- 82% of multicultural heavy consumers actively use a smartphone vs 70% of non-multicultural counterparts
- Multicultural heavy consumers are 32% more likely to be the stop segment of mobile users averaging 73 website visits per month and more likely to use an average of 46 apps per month
Adapted from Nielsen, An Uncommon Sense of the Consumer™ www.nielsen.com
U.S. President Obama traveled to China and met with China President Xi Jinping to effect a reciprocal visa validity arrangement to broaden and fortify economic and people-to-people ties. Both countries mutually agreed to increase the validity of short-term tourist and business visas issued to each other’s citizens from one to ten years – the longest validity possible under U.S. law – and increase the validity of student and exchange visas from one to five years. The U.S began issuing visas in accordance with the new reciprocal agreement on November 12, 2014. The visa accord will enhance trade, investment, and business ties by facilitating travel and ease access to both economies. Extended validity visas for students and exchange visitors will foster the bonds between U.S. and China and facilitate travel for outstanding students from around the world who attend U.S. institutions of higher education. As a result of this arrangement, the U.S. hopes to welcome a growing share of eligible Chinese travelers, inject billions in the U.S. economy and create demand to support hundreds of thousands of additional U.S. jobs.
Welcoming a Growing Share of Chinese Travelers
- China is the fastest-growing outbound tourism market in the world, and in 2013, 1.8 million Chinese travelers visited the U.S., contributing $21.1 billion to the U.S. economy and supporting more than 109,000 American jobs
- Chinese travelers consistently rank the United States as their most-desired travel destination, yet less than 2 percent of total Chinese travelers come to the U.S.
- Chinese travelers cite ease of visa policies as the second most important factor in deciding where to travel, behind only cost
- A competitive visa policy will help U.S. meet projections that suggest as many as 7.3 million Chinese travelers will come to the U.S. by 2021, contributing nearly $85 billion a year to the economy and supporting up to 440,000 U.S. jobs
Strengthening Bonds Between Chinese and American Students
- 28 percent of all foreign students and exchange visitors in the U.S. originate from China
- Chinese students in the U.S. spent $8 billion in 2013, an increase of nearly 24 percent over the previous year
- Visa accord will allow American and Chinese students to more easily travel back and forth, making foreign study a more attractive option, increasing opportunities for people-to-people ties, and boosting mutual understanding
Extending Visa Validity to Increase the Number of Chinese Travelers Coming to the U.S. and Support American Jobs. In order to support America’s most important and largest services export – tourism. Chinese travelers persistently rank the U.S. as their top desired travel destination, but only slightly more than 1.8 percent of total outbound travelers go to the U.S. Chinese travelers cite ease of visa policies as the second most important factor in deciding where to travel, behind only cost. A competitive visa policy is needed to secure the U.S. as the chosen destination for millions of Chinese travelers
Global growth of outbound travel from China represents an unprecedented opportunity to foster job creation across the country. China is the fastest growing outbound tourism market in the world, and Chinese visitors have accounted for 20 percent of the growth in overseas travel to the U.S. since 2008. In 2013, 1.8 million Chinese travelers visited the U.S., contributing $21.1 billion to the American economy and supporting more than 109,000 U.S. jobs. As incomes in China continue to rise, the number of Chinese citizens able to afford international travel and tourism is projected to more than double over the next few years, reaching the hundreds of millions. Close to 7.3 million Chinese are projected to travel to the U.S. by 2021, contributing nearly $85 billion a year to the economy and supporting 440,000 jobs.
Increasing business travel will support the U.S. President’s goal of increasing exports. Increasing visa validity for U.S. citizens traveling to China makes it easier to respond to market and commercial opportunities in China, helping to boost U.S. exports, foster increased trade ties, and improve commercial linkages between U.S. and Chinese firms. In the near term, extending visa validity for Chinese business travelers will also help meet the President’s Select USA goal of boosting inward investment into the United States as the U.S. travel and tourism industry commits to making upfront investments in new hotels and other infrastructure in anticipation of a rise in Chinese inbound travel.
For over two decades MacKenzie-Childs Creative Director Rebecca Proctor, leads the iconic global brand of the MacKenzie-Childs design team. They introduce upward 700 items each year, emulating the artisan-handpainted pottery creations at its production studios in bucolic Aurora, New York. “We have artists and poets and all kinds of talented people there,” Proctor said of the company, which has its headquarters on a 65 acre farm nestled in the heart of the Finger Lakes Region in Central Upstate New York.
MacKenzie-Childs Creative Director Rebecca Proctor began working with the collection in 1991 and looks back on it as the most incredible opportunity of her life. “I was hired by the founders of MacKenzie-Childs and I got a very interesting inside view of the brand traveling and working with them,” Proctor said. “They left the company in 2001 and then Pleasant Rowland, founder of American Girl, bought us. I was also excited to work with her. Then in 2008 Rowland sold MacKenzie-Childs to Lee Feldman and Howard Cohen and they are wonderful to work with as well. They’re so supportive of the design process and they’ve really taken a tabletop company to an exciting lifestyle brand.”
Working swiftly and growing every season, the collection went from launching 24 designs a season to an impressive 300 new items. This is no accident. The brand is overflowing with magical qualities just like Proctor herself. Design rules are tossed out the window, patterns are mixed with cheerful spontaneity and the passion of the MacKenzie-Childs collector is unceasing.
“The world is filled with stuff you can find anywhere,” Proctor said. “Our point of view with this brand really sets us apart. Our customers say our designs make them happy. Making people feel good is the core of our mission and it’s really important to me. They come to us for playful creations. We’re the court jester in the room.”
There’s something very regal about the line’s iconic black and white checkerboard pattern called “courtly check.”
“This pattern started as a tiny design accent painted on furniture in the ‘80s,” Proctor said. “In 1993, I started working with the founders on handmade black and white checkered enamel plates. We love handmade things at MacKenzie-Childs because no two are alike. We originally called the pattern ‘roasted marshmallow.’ Now we call it courtly check and it’s become our signature pattern. This pattern has a major place in history and it’s beautiful but at the same time, oddly a neutral.”
In addition to courtly check, MacKenzie-Childs offers a variety of enchanting patterns for enamelware and accessories such as a vibrant flower market pattern and piccadilly ceramics. The Aurora pattern is an homage to the brand’s home-base and production studio that was once a dairy barn in Aurora. “We have highland cattle grazing on our fields and extraordinary gardens. Every window is like a framed piece of art,” Proctor said. “This 65-acre farm is a tremendous source of inspiration for us. We have a fantastic design team with high energy people. Many of them have also been with the brand since 1991. Inspiration is every where. It comes from dinners and conversations with friends and travel as well.”
The latest pattern to take flight in the MacKenzie-Childs family is the butterfly garden enamelware. “This pattern was inspired by the gardens on our property filled with butterflies and we wanted to incorporate all of our other patterns into the butterflies,” Proctor said. “I love to cook and entertain and when you place food on a plate, you want the food to be the star. With the butterfly garden enamelware, the butterflies appear to be fluttering around the plate.”
In addition to charm bracelets and travel accessories, MacKenzie-Childs is now tapping into the young mother’s market. “We’ve introduced a diaper bag, nursery items and baby dishes,” Proctor said. “We also make beautiful, hand-sewn quilts for cribs. It’s a really exciting time for us. Our owners are so open minded, the sky is really the limit for MacKenzie-Childs.” http://www.mackenzie-childs.com Excerpts adapted from the SunSentinel.com article by Joanie Cox-Henry