Becoming Culturally Cognizant.

I consider myself a creative designer of cultural inclusion. This means taking a holistic approach in guiding brands, companies, professionals and everyday people on seeing the necessary shifts needed in thinking about different cultures within our world. I thrive on helping others to see the significant differences between consumers when it comes to selling products or services.

To be culturally cognizant means to understand cultural lifestyles and how to interpret them individually. When consumers are addressed in a culturally relevant manner, it could mean a world of difference for your company – as well as significant growth.

Today, many of us consider ourselves the majority in population…but many foreign cultures have been penetrating our world over time and will soon no longer be the minority – but tomorrow – the majority. By 2020, the younger segment (under 18) will experience the majority-minority crossover. By 2030, nearly 1 in 5 of the nation’s total population will be foreign-born. By 2060, the Hispanic population will more than double in the U.S., followed by the African-American populations and the Asian segments.

Take a look around you. No matter where you live and work there is diversity and this means an opportunity to cater to such diversity in order to gain growth for your company. Now is the time to seek cultural knowledge and drive real change for businesses today. Especially when today is all about the consumer and the demands they bring. No longer can we cater to just one consumer. Each one is culturally different no matter where they come from. And many times, companies still operate with the mindset that if messaging works for the masses, it will resonate with all. That is no longer the case.

Companies must be willing to challenge what works in order to driver stronger and more loyal customer connections. Customer engagement and customer experience could be so much richer and significantly more successful when organizations cater to cultural lifestyles. It’s no longer about translation in language but transcreation to the cultural experience. If businesses approach potential customers in a culturally relevant manner, many of these ethnic segments, because they are so closely tied as a community – will drive stronger word of mouth about your products and services. If ethnic consumers believe that your organization takes the time to understand their lifestyles and needs, you will connect with them on a very personal level, and only then will you have won the battle for long-term loyalty.

Becoming culturally cognizant means doing a deep dive into who these international audiences are all about as a community and then dissecting down to the multigenerational household level to best understand the cultural tipping points. By understanding these differences and catering to unique audiences in an innovative manner, you are fully invested in long-term customer relationships. And know that there are many commonalities as there are differences, however the challenge is to find both, and to use this cultural knowledge for developing key differentiators in your business markets.

Challenge what works and step into the world of the unknown. Culturally relevant innovation is at its best once understood, and the results can be astounding for business growth. And many times, the biggest obstacle lies within the challenge of change management.

And that’s where I come in. I lead businesses to building the organizational story of cultural inclusion. Once you have buy-in from key members of your company – you can drive innovation on a very niche level that ultimately is guaranteed to achieve deeper more longer lasting customer relationships.

When companies seek to move the needle and gain new customer acquisitions, I recommend a focus on understanding the differences between mass markets and niche markets – specifically as it relates to cultural audiences. If your business aims to understand cultural differences, then it is investing in the potential for growth and more advanced innovations for all of us.

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