For the past decade, marketers have used the money-saving idea of "universal" insights to drive marketing strategies. And for the past decade, many brands have seen stagnant growth among the segments that have seen increases in population and spending power.
The pandemic has not only affected communities differently, but revealed that their coping mechanisms are driven by very different values and beliefs—now combined with the generation-defining Black Lives Matter movement. More than ever, brands and marketers must look beyond the universal and go back to the fundamental marketing practice of consumer segmentation.
Many are doing it at the behavioral level, but behavior gives you only the "what." They also need to incorporate the segmentation of consumers with like mindsets and shared cultures and values to get at the "why." That means taking another look at what they are doing to connect with Hispanics, Blacks, LGBTQ+, Asians and other consumer tribes. And it means asking themselves if they are speaking with the specificity of nuance required to authentically connect. If brands want long-term growth, they will need to build deeper roots with every segment versus a superficial connection across all.