Why “Multicultural” Is More Than Just a Business Buzzword

According to a recent Forbes article, the multicultural future marketers have been talking about for years has already arrived.  

“Multiculturalism is no longer optional, but a foundational factor in business and marketing. Put another way, if your brand isn’t focused on reaching multicultural consumers, you are overlooking more than half of potential customers.”

That quote comes from the Forbes article “Why Focusing On Cross-Cultural Consumers Is Essential For The Growth Of Your Brand” by Chris Morley. It’s a strong statement, and one that seems intent on opening the eyes of more businesses to the growing multicultural face of the nation.

In the article, Morley also shares this insightful finding from the American Community Survey:

“Americans think the nation is only 24 percent multicultural. The real number is 40 percent.”

Whether brands are aware of it or not, the multicultural market of consumers that’s been talked about for decades is more or less already here. The Forbes article goes on to offer some fairly compelling supporting evidence for this:

  • 21 of the 25 most-populated counties in the United States are already majority multicultural
  • 92% of the total growth in the U.S. population from 2000 to 2014 came from multicultural consumers
  • In the next 5 years, the U.S. multicultural population will grow by 11 million (compared to only 1 million for non-Hispanic whites)
  • Only 40% of the U.S. Millennial generation is non-Hispanic white. The generation behind them (Generation Z) is already majority multicultural.
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the United States will be majority-minority by 2044 (though Morley suggests it may be years or even a decade sooner)

Rather than adjust their marketing, Morley recommends U.S. companies adjust their overall perspective:

“The answer is not ‘multicultural marketing’—not the creation of more demographic silos. The appropriate response is marketing to a multicultural world, transforming our definition of the marketplace itself.”

You can read the full Forbes article here