A new sense-check solution for market research & insights professionals seeking to ensure inclusive, non-biased approaches to their research methods

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In a survey geared towards identifying the content market researchers & insights professionals wanted to see in a more equitable and diverse MRX industry, just under 80% requested best practice solutions for multicultural insights, research and strategy.

The desire for guidance around gathering and interpreting multicultural data & insights is not surprising with today’s increasingly diverse and culturally-layered mainstream audience. However, the amount of requests for guidelines clearly demonstrated that many market researchers are lost when it comes to how to think about research techniques and approaches that can also capture the varied cultural nuances of today’s new mainstream consumers.

Insights in Color, a new initiative for multicultural research professionals, got to work figuring out the best way to deliver solutions for this needs and it’s much bigger than a “Best Practice List” . …


Why the Unique Experiences of Minorities are Just What the Semiotics Field Needs

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Within the market research industry, cultural strategy is still a nascent concept, and semiotics is the burgeoning cool kid on the block everyone is eager to understand and get to know. As a result, the network semioticians in this category is small, but strong.

As I’ve learned more about semiotics, and the impact is has on informing the direction of culturally relevant marketing and advertising outputs, I’ve also gained an appreciation for my ethnicity and cultural background after realizing how it has placed me in a distinctly unique position in my field. …


Getting real about the market research industry and the complex tensions researchers of color silently endure

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The marketing research industry is the small, unglamorized cousin of the advertising and tech fields. Unlike its cousins however, when it comes to diversity, researchers of color (ROCs) are often disconnected and without community. In a cultural moment that needs diverse voices in research, insights and strategy more than ever, there is not only a lack of diversity in our field, but also a lack of connectivity and awareness, especially in POC communities.

There is a need to come to terms with what it really means to be a minority in research, and to bring attention to the inherent flaws in an outdated system and how it contributes to the tensions ROCs often face in their workplaces, and in the work that they do. …


Why There is Always a Need for Sustained D&I Efforts

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Five years ago, I found myself leading Added Value’s Multicultural Practice across North America. It was a position that had been vacated by my mentor, who, before he left, sat with me on a bench near Madison Square Park to talk about his next steps. It was in that conversation that he so easily, and matter-of-factly suggested that I fill the role in his absence. …


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Originally published at http://www.tpof-thepsychologyoffashion.com on June 23, 2020.

Before starting my own business, when I sought new job opportunities, I had a habit of submitting colorful, nontraditional resumes to any company I applied to. Doing so was not only a way to sort out stuffy, restrictive office environments that wouldn’t fit who I was, but it was also my own quiet rebellion against a corporate system I knew I was never meant to fit in in the first place. If my resumé was my “feeler”, then my style and the way I’d show up in those spaces was my unapologetic, differentiating megaphone. …


We were never setup to be great at friendships in the first place

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At the end of last year, I publicly addressed something that I had been holding to myself for quite a while — that I was had felt abandoned by the people I called my friends.

I was in the midst of what would become a huge life transition that consumed my mind and emotional state for more than half the year. …


As cities reopen, do brands have a responsibility to place minorities, the country’s most vulnerable population, at the heart of their COVID recovery plans or will their needs been forgotten in the flurry?

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For many consumers of color in the corporate space, COVID hit the US just as the multicultural initiatives of many US companies were beginning to hit their stride. From ensuring diverse hiring practices and marketing strategies to providing updated resources for unconscious bias trainings, US brands were finally on the road to comprehending the many facets of the multicultural population and becoming more intentionally inclusive.

Then came COVID. As a result, much of that progress is in jeopardy. …


Cultural Insights Vs. Multicultural Insights: How the architects of “culture” are shifting & what that means for your brand

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There are several ways to employ Cultural Insights to help brands gain the right amount of Cultural Intelligence to solve for larger questions. When the right cultural insights methods are utilized, marketers are able to create solutions for today, and also plan for how their category will likely be shaped in the near future.

This is one of a series of posts that dives into the many ways cultural insights can be used for branding needs.

A BATTLE OF MEANINGS

It’s no secret that “culture” has become the buzzword of the marketing and branding industries. Suddenly everyone offers it, is leaning into it, wants to understand it, or is paying attention to it. Phrases like “cultural competence” or “cultural intelligence” are common with agencies boasting broad cultural insights offerings. …


Navigating Anxiety When It Feels Like the World Doesn’t Want Us Here

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I’ve debated posting this. Part of me feels like saying it out loud leaves me weak and open to criticism and retaliatory rhetoric. It feels like I’m admitting what no one wants to openly say: that racists and White supremacy are winning in this country; to say it wasn’t would be a lie.

In an already anxious & mentally draining time, given the global pandemic, the killing of Ahmaud Arbery has sent me over the edge. …


Contemplating the impact of global pandemic on the generation of tomorrow

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Photo by Leon Biss on Unsplash

For a while now, I’ve documented & tracked the macro-level shifts that occurred as a result of the 2008 recession. And, for a while now, these shifts have served as the unifying center for emergent trends and have influenced how businesses have had to evolve in order to appeal to consumers today and in the future. Millennials, the hardest hit by the 2008 recession and responsible for most of these shifts. …

About

Whitney Dunlap-Fowler

Whitney Dunlap-Fowler is a Cultural Strategist specializing in semiotics, culture & brand strategy. www.touchofwhit.com www.insightsincolor.com

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