The recently published landmark Black Pound Report 2022 by backlight describes the phenomenon of ‘psychological passing’. This is when multi-ethnic consumers (the term it uses for people from Black, asian and other ethnic groups), change their behaviour in shops. It is defined as the desire to change one’s appearance and adapt behaviour to “fit in” and avoid being racially profled by security and shop staff.
The term ‘Shopping while Black’ covers a range of experiences, including being followed by security staff, being detained and questioned, or being ignored in favour of a white customer.
To be socially accepted, 13% of respondents said they had consciously changed their appearance and 12% their speech to fit in when visiting shops.
Yet black consumers have an annual disposable income of £4 5 billion, African Carribean consumers alone is £1.1 billion. 93% of multi-ethnic consumers think brands have a responsibility to embrace diversity and inclusion.
Three times as many black consumers as whites believe that diversity in advertising is important.
Lydia Amoah, author of the Black Pound report, said, “The death of George Floyd changed the world, and businesses saw the need to do things differently.”
Multi-ethnic consumers want to know how products are sourced and made. So, when we want our products to appeal to multi-ethnic consumers, we now know what to do!
So, if you parent a black child, will you talk to them about it?
If you are running a business, what might you do differently?