New Nielsen report highlights the power of black women

Times Staff Report

A new report by Nielsen says that the majority of African-American women are young, independent and self-made, have a set of strong life-affirming values that carry over into all they do, and are trendsetters for women of every race and ethnic background. (Nielsen)

The power of black women cannot be denied, according to a report recently released by the Nielsen Company.

“#BlackGirlMagic is trending—on social media and in real life,” says the Nielsen summary of their report, African-American Women: Our Science, Her Magic. “What does it mean? Recently, an editor at Essence Magazine defined it as, ‘A term used to illustrate the universal awesomeness of Black women.’ While it started as a social media hashtag and rallying call for black women and girls to share images, ideas and sources of pride in themselves and other black females, it has also become an illustration of black women’s unique place of power at the intersection of culture, commerce and consciousness.”

Nielsen, the company perhaps best known traditionally for surveys about television viewers has been monitoring the phenomenon for some time. “This report is Nielsen’s seventh look at African-American consumers and the second time we’ve focused our attention on black women,” the summary notes. “Now more than ever, African-American women’s consumer preferences and brand affinities are resonating across the U.S. mainstream, driving total black spending power toward a record $1.5 trillion by 2021.

“At 24.3 million strong, black women account for 14 percent of all U.S. women and 52 percent of all African-Americans. In the midst of data chronicling her steady growth in population, income and educational attainment, the overarching takeaway for marketers and content creators is to keep ‘value and values’ top of mind when thinking about this consumer segment.”

While a vehicle being environmentally friendly is a buying consideration for many, the majority of Black women agree that fun, performance, acceleration, and styling are top considerations in purchasing a vehicle.

The report describes one of Black Girl Magic’s core tenets as “her perseverance against socioeconomic headwinds, and her gains in entrepreneurship and academic success” which Nielsen says, “directly contribute to her being the economic engine of the black community. This report offers data and insights to Black women’s ability to drive product categories and shift culture—and make it look like magic.”

Among the highlights of the report:

  • Black women are “especially adept” at using social media for “higher purposes” like trading opinions and affirming each other’s choices.
  • Because they know that style projects confidence, staying on the cutting edge and projecting an impressive personal image are important to black women.
  • Black women are extremely community and family-oriented, tend to be supportive and fiercely protective of their loved ones, and because of that support brands and companies “that give back to and that do no harm to their environment, community, family, and health.”
  • Black women tend to report being religious or spiritual more than white female counterparts.
  • Black consumers are largely an untapped market for financial service providers and black consumers are strong predictors of what will become culturally popular.

In conclusion, the report notes that “African-American women are making advances in key categories that cannot be ignored: population growth, educational attainment and entrepreneurship. Building on the resourcefulness and perseverance of previous generations of black women, they are embracing their power to choose–taking charge of how they look, how they work, how they consume entertainment and information and how they leverage the dollars they spend.

“The impact of that awareness will continue to shape core facets of American popular culture–from entertainment and fashion to politics and social change. Increasingly the heads of households, Black women are core decision makers for a lion share of African-Americans’ enormous spending power. Their roles as both caregivers and providers make them stalwarts of the Black community and often the principal link for sharing cultural nuance, tradition and heritage between generations. Values and faith play an integral role in how Black women engage the world around them, and those values can be seen in how they spend their money and use their voices in digital spaces.”

For more on the Nielsen study visit http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/reports/2017/african-american-women-our-science-her-magic.html