it was a moment of celebration because they were
still alive,” he says. “So the marketing plan we devised
linked the celebration of the morning with that product, and it was extremely successful.”
Still, reaching underserved consumers requires
more than cultural understanding. According to Greg
Almieda, president of the Providence, R.I., marketing
firm Global View Communications, retailers must also:
•Develop accurate data about consumer-spending
habits to reach realistic and measurable sales targets;
•Seek advice from corporate affinity groups about
product development and advertising/marketing;
•Sponsor community and school events that are
significant to diverse groups in their neighborhoods;
•Reach out to community influencers for new
ideas. In Dearborn, Mich., for example, major retailers are consulting with the American Arab Chamber
of Commerce to better serve the nation’s 10 million
DREAM IN COLOR
When Hispanic Heritage Month began last month, Target rolled out a national
radio campaign featuring great Latino storytellers from all over the country—
including a chef, a teacher and other community members sharing their personal stories—along with merchandise in the store and online, such as DVDs
and books, that celebrate Latino culture and encourage
guests to share their own stories.
However, Target’s commitment to the Latino market did not end there. Guests may notice shelves in the
beauty aisle that carry a wider selection of skin and hair-care products for Latinas and black women. Dream in
Color is a yearlong celebration of the unique cultural
perspective, needs and wants of Target’s diverse guest and team members.
Through partnerships with the National Hispanic Cultural Center and Scholastic’s web site, Dream in Color also offers teachers resources for classroom
activities focused on Hispanic Heritage Month.
“At Target, we speak with one voice to all of our guests,” explains Greg
Cunningham, group marketing manager. “But we also recognize the unique
needs of those who shop with us.”
In fact, the key to Target’s success in the stores is its dedication to delivering the merchandise its guests want, when and how they want it. That means
fine-tuning the offerings to many diverse audiences along with team members
who can help guests find those products.
“We strive to be a company with an incredible heart and an incredible
sense of social responsibility,” says Cunningham.
That heart will be on display during the holidays with Target Presenta
Nuestra Navidad, a Christmas special on the Univision network. The show
will feature some of the biggest names in Latin Music, from Regional Mexican
to Reggaeton, along with a special performance at Target House, a home
in Memphis for children undergoing cancer treatments at St. Jude’s Cancer
Hospital and their families.
Inclusive Product Sections, Ownership
Attracting diverse shoppers also includes stocking
shelves with products that appeal to different consum-
ers. This is where supplier diversity plays an important
role and why leading retailers are tapping their
diverse vendors for advice. That’s because
minority and women business owners are
most familiar with goods that speak directly to
diverse consumers. “Diverse suppliers live the
lives of the diverse customer and hence have
the insights that might otherwise be missed,”
says Global Lead’s Marcellus.
Likewise, shoppers who faithfully support diversity and inclusion are more likely to
frequent stores where the management and
ownership are diverse. To help increase their
numbers, the International Franchise Association has launched a series of nationwide
franchise-opportunity seminars and is partnering with organizations such as the National
Urban League to spread the word among
people of color.
Whether it’s selecting products or expanding a store’s footprint, a commitment to
diversity has paid off for leading retailers. And
it’s not just increasing transactions with more
customers. Diversity builds brand loyalty that
lasts a consumer’s lifetime.
“A few years ago, a young generation of
people purchasing urban clothing proved that
people of color will support brands created
by those who look like them,” explains Gary
Lampley, vice president of operations at the
Black Retail Action Group. Today, “there’s a
real opportunity for retailers that support all
different segments of the population.” ❚
“Our commitment to the Latino market is simply part of what we do every
day to make our guests feel welcome,” says Cunningham.
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