Thu, Mar 15, 2018
CUNA Mutual Group released its annual TruStage® What Matters Now™ consumer research during CUNA’s Marketing and Business Development Council Conference Tuesday. The research revealed the unique makeup and preferences of today’s multicultural consumers, how these cultural differences impact business performance, and ways credit unions can reach and establish more meaningful relationships with this core consumer group.
“Our 2018 research builds on our 2015, 2016, and 2017 research, which revealed how middle-income Americans, millennials, and non-credit union members define success,” said Eric Hansing, vice president, multicultural and corporate strategy, CUNA Mutual Group. “We know the population is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse, so we focused our efforts on understanding the values and behaviors of multicultural consumers.”
With continually expanding buying power, multicultural consumers have emerged as one of the fastest growing and most influential consumer groups in the country. During the past five years, multicultural consumers accounted for 100 percent of U.S. population growth and 61 percent of credit union membership growth, according to The Collage Group, Latinum Network.1
“Our What Matters Now research revealed significant differences in what multicultural consumers want and how they use financial services,” said Hansing. “It also revealed how cultural differences impact business performance and ways credit unions can reach and establish more meaningful relationships with multicultural consumers.”
- Hispanic consumers are nine times as likely to acquire a small business loan within the next five years.
- African American and Hispanic consumers are twice as likely to research financial products and services using mobile apps and call to ask about financial products.
- Convenience and flexibility are two times more important to Hispanic and African American consumers, even if it means paying higher rates and fees.
- African American consumers are two times more likely to take-out a student loan than White consumers.
- 69 percent of Asian and White consumers own investment products.
“When examining the research findings, it’s important to remember a person is made up of many unique cultural aspects,” said Opal Tomashevska, manager, multicultural business strategy, CUNA Mutual Group. “Be careful not to over-generalize or create stereotypes from this information and apply it to all members of a certain group. The data shows trends and significant differences, but does not attempt to speak for every individual,” Tomashevska added.
The research also revealed significant differences in multicultural consumers’ attitudes, beliefs, values, feelings, and priorities. Multicultural consumers rank considerably higher than White consumers in these six areas: optimism, hustle, living in the moment, worry, generosity, and placing the community above the individual. For example, 42 percent of Hispanics, compared to 23 percent of Whites, say they strive to live in the moment, which often influences their financial decisions and determines how these consumers feel about purchases. In addition, a notable divide appeared in how consumers view the act of taking-out a loan with Asians twice as likely and African Americans and Hispanics three times more likely than White consumers to report that taking-out a loan makes them feel idealistic in being able to help others.
“Our goal was to help credit unions find ways to build genuine connections with all of their members and give them better ways of reaching consumers by finding out where their products and services resonate with consumer needs and where they don’t,” said Kirby Wenger, vice president, director marketing and media, TruStage. “Hopefully, like us, you learned a few things from the examples and stories shared here today. Your challenge now is to discover how you can leverage the credit union difference to show that your mission aligns with the needs of all consumers, multicultural consumers included.”