BofA, Sears Lead Minority Brand-Preference Survey

Study Followed Asians, African-Americans and Latinos in Dallas

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NEW YORK ( -- In a survey of multicultural consumers' brand preferences in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Bank of America was rated the most popular bank, with Chase a not-very-close second among Hispanics, blacks and Asian-Americans. Wells Fargo and Washington Mutual (before the bank failed Sept. 25) were a distant third and fourth.

Edward Rincon, president of Rincon & Associates, the company that conducted the Dallas/Ft. Worth Multicultural Trendline Study in July, said Bank of America scored so high because the company has transformed its marketing and service, including adding multicultural and multilingual staff. "I believe that multicultural consumers will take more comfort with current banking relationships -- assuming they have one -- and be more skeptical of new or less familiar brands," he said.

Despite multiple moves through different agency holding companies, Bank of America has stuck with independent Lopez Negrete Communications, the fourth-largest U.S. Hispanic shop, for its Hispanic marketing. This year, Bank of America has expanded the agency's work, targeting bicultural Hispanics with spots running on English-language TV.

In other findings, Sears Roebuck & Co. was the top destination for appliance shopping for all three multicultural groups. And among car buyers, African-Americans said they planned to buy American brands, Asians preferred Asian brands, and Hispanics considered both American and Asian brands.

Rincon conducted phone interviews with 400 African-Americans, 600 Latinos and 400 Asian-Americans. According to Rincon, multicultural consumers account for more than 40% of the Dallas/Fort Worth population and 70% of the one million residents who have moved to the area since 2000. Ad Age's Hispanic Fact Pack ranks Dallas/Fort Worth as the sixth largest U.S. Hispanic market, with 1,757,000 Hispanics accounting for 25.9% of the population.
Source: Rincon & Associates: Dallas/Fort Worth Multicultural Trendline Study
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