Capture your share of $1.2 trillion in Black consumer spending.


By Rieva Lesonsky

“Throughout 2017, popular brands witnessed the power of Black Twitter and the brand impact of socially-conscious Black consumers,” reports data analytics company Nielsen. “Through social media, Black consumers have brokered a seat at the table and are demanding that brands and marketers speak to them in ways that resonate culturally and experientially—if these brands want their business. And with African Americans spending $1.2 trillion annually, brands have a lot to lose.”

But courting Black consumers (who make up 14% of the U.S. population and have $1.2 trillion in spending power) should not be left to big brands. Small businesses should jump in—particularly if your business is in one of the industries where Black consumers have what Nielsen calls “outsized influence over spending.”
Take the beauty industry, for instance (which I’ve long maintained is especially open to entrepreneurial ideas). Not only do Black consumers dominate spending in the ethnic hair and beauty market, totaling 85.7% of sales, Nielsen reports, “In terms of sheer dollars, African Americans spent considerably more money in the general beauty marketplace last year. Black shoppers spent $473 million in total hair care (a $4.2 billion industry) and made other significant investments in personal appearance products, such as grooming aids ($127 million out of $889 million) and skin care preparations ($465 million out of $3 billion).”

Other products Black consumers spend a lot of money on include bottled water, soap and bath needs, men’s toiletries, women’s and children’s fragrances, and watches.

If you do start selling to Black consumers, Nielsen says their “brand loyalty is contingent on a [business’s] perception as authentic, culturally relevant, socially conscious and responsible.”

More broadly speaking, Nielsen points out that 43% of millennials identify as African America, Hispanic or Asian, so if you want to succeed with this age group, you need to have a multicultural outreach.