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Marketing to Black Millennials - US - June 2019

Covered in this report

For the purposes of this report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

Black Millennials are defined as the generation born between 1977 and 1994 who self-identify as Black. In 2019, Millennials are between the ages of 25 and 42. Where applicable, data in this Report is compared to all US Millennials as well as to other generations within the Black population.

In reference to US Census and Simmons data, Mintel has used the available age groups that best reflect the Millennial generation for the years of data collection.

"Black Millennials have high expectations for their future and want to achieve their version of the American Dream – family, faith and a comfortable life. This generation believes in their ability to be successful – one day, but works just to maintain their current situation. Black Millennials take ownership of their lives where they can have control – their image, and gravitate toward brands that allow them to stand out from the crowd."

– Toya Mitchell, Multicultural Analyst

This report examines the following issues:

  • Everyone has high expectations for Black Millennials’ lives, but face anxiety in achieving them
  • Black Millennials more likely to face burnout
  • Lower earnings and greater financial obligations have an adverse impact
  • Black Millennials gravitate to small brands to stand out
  • Black Millennials believe America will remain divided

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • The insights
            • Everyone has high expectations for Black Millennials’ lives, but face anxiety in achieving them
              • Figure 1: Attitudes toward life and world view, February 2019
            • Black Millennials more likely to face burnout
              • Figure 2: Attitudes toward life and success in life, by generation, February 2019
            • Lower earnings and greater financial obligations have an adverse impact
              • Figure 3: Average personal earnings (2017) and everyday expenses, by race and age 25-39, October 2017- November 2018
            • Black Millennials gravitate to small brands to stand out
              • Figure 4: Attitudes toward life and brand perception, February 2019
            • Black Millennials believe America will remain divided
              • Figure 5: World view – American society, February 2019
            • The Opportunities
              • Acknowledge their personal struggles and show transparency in the way forward
                • Follow their lead toward discovery of brand choices
                  • Highlight commonalities across groups, while respecting their individuality
                    • What it means
                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                      • Black Millennials comprise over one quarter of the total Black population
                        • Black Millennials complete college later than their general market peers
                          • Black Millennials’ earnings lags across educational attainment
                          • Black Millennials by the Numbers

                            • Millennials represent the greatest share of the Black population
                              • Figure 6: Black population share, by generation, 2018
                            • Black Millennials represent 14% of all Millennials
                              • Figure 7: Millennial population share by race and Hispanic origin, 2018
                          • Black Millennial Education and Earnings

                            • One third of Black Millennials have earned college credit
                              • Figure 8: Educational attainment among adults aged 25-39, by race and Hispanic origin, 2018
                            • Independent Black Millennials return to school later in life
                              • Figure 9: Life events experienced in the last 12 months, total and Black adults aged 25-39, October 2017 – November 2018
                            • Black Millennials’ labor force participation on par with the average
                              • Figure 10: Employment status among adults aged 25-39, by race and Hispanic origin, 2018
                            • Black Millennial median income trails their White and Asian counterparts
                              • Figure 11: Personal median income in adjusted dollars by age groups, by race and Hispanic origin, 2017
                            • Black Millennial graduate degree earnings similar to total bachelor’s degree earnings
                              • Figure 12: Personal median earnings among adults aged 25-34, by race and Hispanic origin and educational attainment, 2017
                          • Market Perspective

                            • Shopping is a sport for Black Millennials
                              • Figure 13: Attitudes toward shopping, total vs Black adults aged 25-39, October 2017 – November 2018
                            • Making money and independence valued over all else
                              • Figure 14: Attitudes toward personal finance, total vs Black adults aged 25-39, October 2017 – November 2018
                          • Key Trends – What You Need to Know

                            • Media expansion poised to deliver unique content to reach Black Millennials
                              • Student loan debt contributes to strained finances
                                • Black Millennials’ start-ups fund their peers’ businesses
                                  • Black social media safe spaces launch on independent platforms
                                  • What’s Working?

                                    • Designated media and content platforms created for Black Millennials
                                    • What’s Struggling?

                                      • Black Millennials in the center of the growing student loan crisis
                                        • Figure 15: Cumulative amount borrowed for undergrad, by race and Hispanic origin, 2012
                                    • What’s Next?

                                      • Black Millennials create opportunities for their peers to launch start-ups and form partnerships with established firms
                                        • A return to “safe space” social media platforms outside the usual suspects
                                          • Figure 16: BlackPlanet.com user tweet, February 2016
                                          • Figure 17: MightyNetworks announcement of Awesomely Luvvie dedicated platform, April 2019
                                        • Student loan repayment replaces traditional work perks
                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                          • Black Millennials’ finances are better than their parents’, but lag that of their general market peers
                                            • Work is driving burnout among Black Millennials
                                              • Black Millennials’ participation in everyday experiences contingent upon accessibility
                                                • The American Dream is alive among Black Millennials – American society, not so much
                                                  • Big brands offer better quality, small brands cement image
                                                    • Saving more money is life’s missed opportunity
                                                      • Gap between expectations and achievements drive anxiety among Black Millennials
                                                      • Current Financial Situation

                                                        • Most Black Millennials’ finances are okay or better
                                                          • Figure 18: Self-reported current financial situation, Black Millennials vs total Millennials and total Black consumers, February 2019
                                                        • Older Millennials’ family and job status aids financial health
                                                          • Figure 19: Self-reported financial situation, younger and older Millennials, February 2019
                                                        • A college degree leads to a more comfortable financial situation
                                                          • Figure 20: Self-reported financial situation, by educational attainment, February 2019
                                                        • Financial stability is a weak link to consumer confidence
                                                          • Figure 21: Economic outlook – American economy, total and Black adults aged 25-39, October 2017 – November 2018
                                                        • Price fluctuations on everyday expenses have greater impact on Black Millennials
                                                          • Figure 22: Economic outlook – Everyday expenses, total and Black adults aged 25-39, October 2017 – November 2018
                                                      • Success in Life

                                                        • Black Millennials are fast approaching burnout
                                                          • Figure 23: Success in life, by generations, February 2019
                                                        • A college degree offers trade-offs for Black Millennials
                                                          • Figure 24: Success in life, by educational attainment, February 2019
                                                        • Millennial parents feel the strain at work, but their efforts are worth the sacrifice
                                                          • Figure 25: Success in life, by parental status, February 2019
                                                      • Down-to-Earth Aspirations

                                                        • Everyday, practical, yet fun activities drive Millennial aspirations
                                                          • Figure 26: Down-to-earth aspirations – Everyday fun, February 2019
                                                        • Millennial families with disposable income more likely enjoy little pleasures
                                                          • Figure 27: Down-to-earth aspirations – Everyday fun, by key demographics, February 2019
                                                        • Personal digital technology holds different value across category
                                                          • Figure 28: Down-to-earth aspirations – Digital technology, February 2019
                                                        • Married Millennial men look to perfect their entertainment center
                                                          • Figure 29: Down-to-earth aspirations – Digital technology, by demographics, February 2019
                                                        • Experiences close and away from home are fulfilling
                                                          • Figure 30: Down-to-earth aspirations – Experiences, February 2019
                                                        • Experiences are universal, but more income drives greater choice
                                                          • Figure 31: Down-to-earth aspirations – Experiences, by demographics, February 2019
                                                        • Ensuring loved ones are taken care of trumps personal responsibilities
                                                          • Figure 32: Down-to-earth aspirations – Personal responsibilities, February 2019
                                                        • Millennial women feel the need to nurture their friends and family
                                                          • Figure 33: Down-to-earth aspirations – Personal responsibilities, by demographics, February 2019
                                                        • In their own words…
                                                        • World View

                                                          • Black Millennials believe they can only rely on faith, family and themselves
                                                            • Figure 34: World view – American society, total and Black Millennials, February 2019
                                                            • Figure 35: Word cloud of American Dream responses among Black Millennials – May 2019
                                                          • Millennials’ version of the “American Dream” is a reality check
                                                            • Figure 36: World view – American society, by generations, February 2019
                                                          • College fuels Millennials’ dreams for their lives
                                                            • Figure 37: World view – American society, by educational attainment and household income, February 2019
                                                          • Millennial parents have greater faith in their abilities rather than society
                                                            • Figure 38: World view – American society, by parental status, February 2019
                                                        • Brand Perception

                                                          • Bigger is better, but also basic
                                                            • Figure 39: World view – Brand perceptions and behavior, February 2019
                                                          • Image is tied to trendiness and individuality
                                                            • Figure 40: Attitudes and behavior toward shopping, total vs Black, October 2017 – November 2018
                                                          • Younger Millennials prefer small brands that are yet to be adopted by the mainstream
                                                            • Figure 41: World view – Brand perceptions and behavior, by younger and older Millennials, February 2019
                                                        • Life Reflections

                                                          • More money could solve most challenges
                                                            • Figure 42: Life reflections, February 2019
                                                          • Millennials more likely to balance career and home life
                                                            • Figure 43: Life reflections, by generation, February 2019
                                                          • Women are more anxious and look to their faith for relief
                                                            • Figure 44: Life reflections, by gender, February 2019
                                                          • Shifting priorities compel greater investment in family and community
                                                            • Figure 45: Life reflections, by marital/partnered and parental status, February 2019
                                                            • Figure 46: Life reflections, by parental status, February 2019
                                                        • Attitudes toward Life

                                                          • Living up to expectations leave Millennials anxious
                                                            • Figure 47: Attitudes toward life, February 2019
                                                            • Figure 48: Attitudes toward life – It’s not where I thought it would be, by key demographics, February 2019
                                                          • Black Millennials share the same attitudes as their peers
                                                            • Figure 49: Attitudes toward life, total vs Black Millennials, February 2019
                                                          • Millennials exert control where possible – their image
                                                            • Figure 50: Attitudes toward life, by generation, February 2019
                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                          • Consumer survey data
                                                            • Consumer qualitative research
                                                              • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                  • Terms
                                                                  • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                      • Figure 51: Life events experienced in the last 12 months, total and Black adults aged 25-39, October 2017 – November 2018
                                                                      • Figure 52: Attitudes toward shopping, total vs Black adults aged 25-39, October 2017 – November 2018
                                                                      • Figure 53: Attitudes toward personal finance, total vs Black adults aged 25-39, October 2017 – November 2018
                                                                      • Figure 54: Economic outlook – American economy, total and Black adults aged 25-39, October 2017 – November 2018
                                                                      • Figure 55: Economic outlook – Everyday expenses, total and Black adults aged 25-39, October 2017 – November 2018

                                                                  Marketing to Black Millennials - US - June 2019

                                                                  US $4,395.00 (Excl.Tax)