How to reach the different generations within the black community in the UK

4% of the UK population is Black. As the fastest-growing community, the percentage of the population from a Black African background doubled from 0.9% in 2001 to 1.8% in 2011. This is likely to significantly increase again once the latest census is released. 

Unsurprisingly, after looking at recent data, Black people are less likely to trust financial services. More than half (53%) of respondents said they had experienced societal racism. Without the representation and opportunities delivered, the Black community have become untrusting and looks elsewhere for the support they need, impacting the financial sector and the economy as a whole. 

What can I do to engage the black community in the finance sector?

The Black British in Business and Proud report from Savanta and Black Business Network found that only 13% of Black-owned businesses look to banks for financial support. Instead, those business leaders said they are more likely to use a loan from their family than from a financial service provider. 

By giving ethnic communities equitable opportunities, the economy and businesses would benefit from the growth opportunities. 

“A 2020 study by McKinsey revealed that “nearly half of black households are unbanked or underbanked”. And that financial institutions could earn $2 billion in incremental, additional annual revenue if access to financial products were more equitable across races.”

As with any form of ethnic marketing, the key to success is to ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion is to start within. Hiring a diverse range of people at all levels will show decisions being made for all but those who know them best. An inclusive workforce allows for lived experience opinions to be heard. By ensuring your brand is representing minority groups from the board room, you will be able to create a valued approach which is authentic.

How do I reach the black community in the UK? 

To start, you must understand the motivators. As a whole, they are fiercely loyal to their community, and they want the best for everybody. As with any terminology, the Black community comprises many subgroups. We break these down into the Black Caribbean and Black African communities, both an integral part of the British economy. 

Black Caribbean 

The Black Caribbean community within the UK is a mix of subcultures from across the Caribbean islands. Each island has its own attributes that differ from the next. Birmingham is home to the largest black Caribbean population, with 8% of all black Caribbean people living there, followed by Croydon (5.3%) and Lewisham (5.2%), (both in London).

The unique and colourful culture stems from its long history of diversity, and the Caribbean is where carnivals originated and still exist today. As the home of reggae and jerk, the sense of togetherness, strong family values, and celebration carry across into Black Caribbean communities within the UK.

In the second half of the 20th-century, sport and music were among the few areas which offered young people of Caribbean backgrounds opportunities. The Caribbean music culture helped to create a cohesive identity among young migrants, one which everyone began to recognise as ‘Black British’. By the 1980s, growing up in the UK became a place young adults with Caribbean heritage could discover their own version of what it meant to be British. 

While the majority of this minority group are of second to third generation the strong cultural ties should be recognised, and your brand’s marketing strategy should be full of colours and life to engage the vibrant Caribbean community. 

Black African 

The black African population is the fastest-growing and largest Black community in the UK. With over 15,000 languages spoken in Africa, the continent is extremely diverse. 

Africa has a rich culture and heritage, which is expressed through food, fashion, and music.

This culture is showcased in a versatile and creative manner. Prints and materials are native to the different countries within the continent and the distinctive styles are seen across the UK. Therefore, it is important for brands to educate themselves to ensure campaigns are culturally correct and sensitive to the audience they want to reach. 

By 1984 the Black British population in the UK no longer consisted predominantly of immigrants but was mainly UK-born. Having settled and raised their children and grandchildren in the UK, there is much acceptance of ‘mainstream’ media. However, the lack of representation is an ongoing battle. 

We would recommend ensuring the content you are producing when attracting Black audiences in the UK are culturally sensitive and appropriate for the audience you are trying to reach. Each minority group has unique and identifiable characteristics that should be showcased for your brand to engage with new audiences. As with any first-generational group, they will be the hardest to attract to new services as these are different from what they are used to. However, this does not make it impossible. 

GottaBe! Ethnic’s top tips on engaging the different generations in the Black community:

  1. Ensure your campaign is culturally appropriate and matches the audience you are looking to reach (no matter the generation). As we mentioned above, the Black community comprises an array of diverse cultures– do your research!
  2. Make your campaigns family-focused and vibrant!
  3. Run geographically targeted campaigns, as they will be more beneficial and allow you to create focused campaigns. 
  4. Show the audience why they should choose your brand, i.e. you care for the community and are doing something to support them. Be authentic in this approach because consumers see straight through a PR stunt.
  5. Don’t just accept that the majority of the Black community is second, third or even fourth generation, so they will be more accepting of mainstream media. They still have strong cultural ties and are often misrepresented.

For support in reaching new audiences in the UK, contact the team here at GottaBe! Ethnic. We can provide you with solutions to your marketing challenges and become an extension of your team. It is important to us that everyone is authentically represented through marketing. 

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