African-American women’s consumer preferences and brand affinities are resonating across the U.S. mainstream, driving total Black buying power toward a record $1.5 trillion by 2021, according to African-American Women: Our Science, Her Magic, a Nielsen report. Young, independent and 24.3 million strong, Black women comprise 14% of all U.S. women and 52% of all African-Americans. Relatively young with an average age of 35.1 years (versus 42.8 for non-Hispanic White women and 39.4 for all women), they have enjoyed steady growth in population, incomes and educational attainment. Sixty-four percent enroll in college right out of high school and 23% over age 25 have a bachelor’s degree or higher (up from 18% in 2005). Self-made and self-reliant, the number of businesses majority-owned by Black women grew 67% between 2007 and 2012, more than all women combined. The latest U.S. Census figures show African-American women have majority ownership in more than 1.5 million businesses with over $42 billion in sales.
In a nutshell this means that Black Women are single handedly driving total Black Buying Power to Trillions! I think its safe to say that we already knew this. I mean just turn on the television and check out all the appropriation going on. When it comes to Trends in music, fashion beauty sports and film, Black women run that. The scientific report backs it up. But what will we do with this knowledge?
Nielsen, the global performance management company paints a portrait of Black women as trendsetters, brand loyalists and early adopters who care about projecting a positive self-image. They are playing an increasingly vital role in how all women see themselves and influencing mainstream culture across a number of areas, including fashion, beauty, television and music.
We have always known that we set the standard when it came to Black buying Power. I mean look how we set the Black hair care industry on fire 10 years ago when we decided that we didn’t want to perm our hair any more!
In fact the report states that going natural, or forgoing chemical treatments to straighten their hair, is another way Black women may choose to safeguard their health and environment, while embracing their curly hair as it grows naturally.
- 60% of Black women agree they buy natural products because they are concerned about the environment.
- 63% buy natural, citing concerns about their health and that of their family.
- 46% of Black women agree they often use natural or organic beauty products.
- 68% of Black women agree they are content with their self-image.
“Black women have strong life-affirming values that spill over into everything they do. The celebration of their power and beauty is reflected in what they buy, watch and listen to, and people outside their communities find it inspiring,” says Cheryl Grace, Senior Vice President of U.S. Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement, Nielsen.
More Highlights of African-American Women: Our Science, Her Magic include:
Advances in Social Media and Technology
Black women have embraced the social media movement #BlackGirlMagic, a term that describes a cross-platform gathering of empowered Black women who uplift each other and shine a light on the impressive accomplishments of Black women throughout the country. Especially adept at using technology and social media to trade opinions and offer recommendations, Black women (18+), more than any other demographic group, have taken social media and adopted it for higher purposes. Whether they are buying cars, jewelry, smartphones or beauty products, the advice, referrals and feedback they receive from friends and community play an important role in Black women’s purchases.
- 43% of Black women say they like to share their opinions about products and services by posting
- reviews and ratings online.
- 47% agree that people often come to them for advice before making a purchase.
- Black Women over-index by 29% for spending 3–4 hours each day on social networking sites and by
- 86% for spending 5 or more hours each day on social networking sites.
Trends in Television
Black women (18+) spend more time watching live TV, listening to the radio and using multimedia devices than total U.S. women.Empire on FOX was the most watched show during the 2016–2017 broadcast season among Black women 18+, followed by The New Edition Story (BET), Star (FOX), The Have and the Have Nots (OWN) and Love and Hip Hop Atlanta (VH-1)—rounding out the top 5 shows.
Nothing in this report surprises me but I am glad that it exists. Now that we have the scientific data to back up our ability to propel Total Black Buying Power to trillions what will we do with that knowledge? They say that money talks. So how will this knowledge of power translate to the Black community? What would happen if we poured this kind of money into our own communities? The possibilities to control our own destiny becomes endless.
For more insights, download the 2017 report African-American Female Consumers: Our Science, Her Magic.
Join the conversation on Facebook (Nielsen Community) and Twitter (@NielsenKnows) using #NielsenKnows.
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