Report Summary

Black American identity is layered and shaped by diverse experiences. Brands are a key part of the narrative around identity as they reflect images to the masses.

Courtney Rominiyi, Multicultural Consumer Insights Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary

    • What you need to know
    • Consumer trends: key takeaways
    • Market predictions
    • Opportunities
  2. Target Audience Overview

    • Black consumers by the numbers
    • Black American youth have greater representation and influence on societal trends
    • Graph 1: distribution of US generations, by race, 2023
    • Black Americans' cultural identity within higher education may be challenged due to less representation
    • Graph 2: high school/college graduation rate, by race/Hispanic origin, 2021
    • Black adults' household income has been steadily increasing
    • Graph 3: median household income % annual change, by Black and by total, 2012-22
    • Black adults’ household income has been steadily increasing (dollars)
    • Market context & drivers
    • Brands can connect with multicultural consumers by appealing to individuality and unique self-expression
    • Graph 4: self-expressive and use outward appearance, by race and Hispanic origin, 2023
    • Graph 5: self-expressive and use outward appearance, by parental status, LGBTQ+ identity, area of residence, 2023
    • Diverse culture and heritage impact the identity of Black Americans
    • Black Americans have a rich history of faith and religion
    • Affluence drives Black Americans' desire to connect with their culture; greater demand for Black culture in the mainstream
    • Growing multiculturalism impacts how Black Americans relate to their heritage and culture
  3. Consumer Insights

    • Consumer fast facts
    • Significance of culture and heritage
    • Culture and heritage is an essential part of Black Americans' identity
    • Parenthood gives Black consumers new identity and less concern for culture and heritage
    • Graph 6: importance of culture and heritage, by parental status and women/moms, 2024
    • Women have a greater responsibility to cultivate their families and pass down culture/heritage
    • Graph 7: importance of culture and heritage – participating in activities that are part of my culture/heritage is important to me, by gender and parental status, 2024
    • Culture in an essential part of identity for older Black adults; individual pursuits help form younger generations' identity
    • Graph 8: importance of culture and heritage, by generation, 2024
    • A focus on Black culture helps higher-earning Black adults stay connected
    • Graph 9: importance of culture and heritage, by household income, 2024
    • Black consumers whose political views impact their interpretation of culture/heritage are more engaged in their culture
    • Impact of political views on translation of culture/heritage peaks among Millennials
    • Graph 10: activities related to culture/heritage, by political views impact interpretation of culture/heritage, 2024
    • Graph 11: importance of culture and heritage – my political views have impact on how I interpret my culture/heritage, 2024
    • Greek letter organizations become more relevant as Black consumers matriculate in their education
    • Graph 12: activities related to culture/heritage, by education level, 2024
    • Brand spotlight: Macy's Kasper Sorority Collection highlights Black sororities
    • Empower Black Americans to bring culture to new activities and situations
    • Perspectives of identity
    • Black consumers are confident in who they are and feel most like themselves when they can interact with others in person
    • Self-confidence carries over into confidence about their knowledge of culture
    • Graph 13: knowledge of culture/heritage, 2024
    • Desire to learn more about culture becomes more prevalent as household income increases
    • Outlook and evolution of identity
    • Black consumers have varying opinions on the idea that their identity is constantly changing and how to balance it all
    • Graph 14: attitudes toward identity – feelings about identity, 2024
    • Life experiences are key to how consumers see their identity
    • Graph 15: attitudes toward identity – my sense of identity is constantly changing, by generation, 2024
    • Graph 16: attitudes toward identity – my sense of identity is constantly changing, by parental status, 2024
    • Analyst POV: life experiences tell the story of true identity
    • Black LGBTQ+ are more anxious about life
    • Interpretations of life evolve with life stage
    • Graph 17: overall life description, by generation, 2024
    • Pro-aging ads can help younger Black consumers understand life outlook and the evolution of identity
    • Black consumers' relationship with identity influences their outlook on life
    • Graph 18: overall life description, by confidence in identity, 2024
    • Confident Identity vs Insecure Identity
    • Expressing identity
    • Balancing authenticity is vital to expressing identity, consumers manage to celebrate their Black identity amidst the need for adaptation
    • Graph 19: expressing identity, 2024
    • Parenthood emboldens Black adults to express themselves authentically
    • Graph 20: attitudes toward expressing identity – importance of authentic expression (any agree), by parental status, 2024
    • Language plays a significant role in how Black consumers relate to others
    • Graph 21: attitudes toward perspectives on language – AAVE and colloquial language (any agree), 2024
    • Awareness around the need for code-switching is more prominent among college-educated Black adults
    • Graph 22: attitudes toward expressing identity – recognize the need to adapt (any agree), by education level, 2024
    • Code-switching is common but raises a debate about lack of authenticity
    • Black adults have diverse social circles and value both virtual and in-person interactions
    • Graph 23: attitudes toward language – representation and social circles (any agree), 2024
    • Despite some potentially negative feedback, Black consumers are enthusiastic about expressing themselves and celebrate their identity
    • Graph 24: attitudes toward expressing identity and impacts (any agree), 2024
    • Media and brand responsibility
    • Black consumers hold brands to a high standard and expect appropriate and respectful representation
    • Graph 25: attitudes toward representation (any agree), 2024
    • Brand community involvement is especially important to families
    • Graph 26: attitudes toward brand responsibility – community involvement, by parental status, 2024
    • Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to express themselves through the brands they buy
    • Graph 27: attitudes toward identity – expression through brands (any agree), by generation, 2024
    • Authentic representation is an important aspect of preserving Black identity
    • Graph 28: attitudes toward representation, 2024
    • Analyst POV: media plays a significant role in the portrayal of identity and Black consumers want the industry to get it right
  4. Competitive Strategies

    • Marketing and advertising
    • Procter & Gamble use thought-provoking images to address bias in its "Widen the Screen" campaign
    • Procter & Gamble use thought provoking images to address bias
    • Launch activity and innovation
    • New comedy TV series 'Churchy' sheds light on Black church culture
    • KevOnStage's new series 'Churchy' brings Black church culture to the mainstream
    • Beyonce's new country singles give Black adults confidence to embrace new genres
    • Hasbro reboots the classic board game, 'Clue' to include characters, backstories and special abilities
  5. Appendix

    • Consumer research methodology
    • Generations
    • Abbreviations and terms

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