Data & Tech

Authenticity wins with multicultural gift-givers, per report

My Code found that most US adults across demos are more likely to shop with brands they feel “understand them.”
article cover

Francis Scialabba

· 3 min read

The holiday season is upon us, and, after a rocky handful of years thanks to the pandemic, there are signs that consumers are eager to celebrate like it’s 2019 again—including spending on gifts. That doesn’t necessarily mean everyone will automatically flock to your brand (even if you pull off a viral tweet related to Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce).

To help brands “more effectively establish meaningful reach during the highest new customer acquisition period of the year,” multicultural media company My Code took a look at what kinds of content and channels are most likely to appeal to shoppers from different demographics.

“With respect to multicultural [consumers], it’s not just that you can be more effective in addressing an audience when you take the steps to message, as well as behave, in a more authentic and understanding way,” Aaron Braxton, GM of research and insights at My Code, told Marketing Brew. “It also, beyond that, is becoming an expectation.”

Who’s who: More than three-quarters (83%) of US adults have bought or intend to buy gifts this year, according to My Code’s holiday report. Several groups of consumers over-index when it comes to gift-giving across occasions compared to the general population.

  • Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander consumers are more likely to be in the market for gifts when it comes to celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and Mother’s Day.
  • Black Americans also over-index on Mother’s Day.
  • Hispanic shoppers are most active shopping for Christmas, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day gifts.
  • Multicultural women over-index on birthdays, Christmas, and Mother’s Day.
  • Openly LGBTQIA+ consumers are the most active gift givers, over-indexing on Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and anniversaries.
Get marketing news you'll actually want to read

Marketing Brew informs marketing pros of the latest on brand strategy, social media, and ad tech via our weekday newsletter, virtual events, marketing conferences, and digital guides.

Across all of those groups, including all US adults, majorities said they plan to spend the same amount or more on gifts this year than they did last year. LGBTQIA+ adults were most likely to say they planned to spend the same or more this year, and multicultural women were least likely, My Code found.

Misunderstood: More than six in 10 multicultural adults said they were “more likely to consider shopping at retailers where they feel understood.” A brand can convey that sense of understanding when it “mindfully represents” the experiences of different consumers, according to the report. At the very least, retailers can strive to achieve this via physical representation in content, per My Code, but the goal should be to ultimately reach what the report calls “emotional representation” as well.

In the context of holiday content, brands should “have a good understanding of what sort of emotions are activated by particular holidays specific to a culture,” Braxton said. “Then you work that into an advertisement or brand messaging.”

Channel check: Connecting with consumers also includes working to meet them on the channels where they’re already turning for gift inspo. Those channels change among different demographics, My Code found.

  • AANHPI audiences are most likely to turn to YouTube, while Black adults most prefer to rely on influencers.
  • Hispanic audiences tend to gravitate directly to brand websites, perhaps because of improved experiences for dual-language consumers, Braxton said.
  • Multicultural women and openly LGBTQIA+ consumers mostly use social media for recommendations.
Get marketing news you'll actually want to read

Marketing Brew informs marketing pros of the latest on brand strategy, social media, and ad tech via our weekday newsletter, virtual events, marketing conferences, and digital guides.