How to utilise different ethnic events in marketing

25th March 2022

When marketing to ethnic audiences, your brand will need to alter your marketing to suit the needs of the consumers. One of the many ways GottaBe! Ethnic help brands reach ethnic audiences is to attend ethnic events such as Diwali on the Square. By reaching the audience in this way, your brand is guaranteed to reach the target audience in a culturally appropriate manner, raising brand awareness.

Why is ethnic event marketing effective?

Currently, over 9.3 million people are living in the United Kingdom are from an ethnic minority, and this is set to rise as they are the fastest-growing population in the UK. With 80% of population growth attributed to them, it is a shock to see that only 1 in 5 brands is actively reaching out to the ethnic groups in the UK. While second and third generations are more accepting of mainstream media, there are still many first-generation minorities who are left feeling underrepresented and ignored by brands. 

Connecting with these audiences could see your brand profit from the £300 bn untapped spending power that ethnic minority groups hold in the UK. One of the best ways to directly engage these audiences is through face-to-face interaction, and what better way to connect than to show your brand cares at an event to celebrate an Ethnic holiday or festival. There are also many benefits for your brand:

It provides your brand with the opportunity to be seen. 

Ethnic audiences are often left feeling underrepresented, and therefore, they stick with what they know and trust. Your brand will get noticed by attending an ethnic event with a culturally appropriate activation. As audiences will see you are suitable for their needs and care about them as consumers. Your brand will reap the rewards as consumers build an emotional connection with your brand as you represent their needs. To be seen shows you care.

You can reach a specific audience. 

Typically, ethnic events are attended by a particular audience. So, prior research on the habits and behaviours of this audience will give you a better understanding of the best way to connect with the consumer. Tailoring your activations will allow you to connect with audiences who did not previously associate your brand with the holiday or culture. You will then be able to create engaging experiential activations that give the nod to the religious or cultural celebration whilst also referring to your product or services. This will give the audience something to remember your brand by and adds value to their experience.

Connecting with key people of influence, such as community leaders, will prove your authenticity. This is especially important when establishing your brand within a minority group, as they are typically untrusting. 

Engage new audiences 

As well as reaching a specific audience, your brand will also be exposed to new audiences you may not have thought of engaging before. Once your brand has established itself at an ethnic event, you will then be able to return and expand your reach further. Whilst your product or service may be targeted at a specific audience within the event you are running, you will still be able to engage with a wider audience. Having an approach that is suitable for all will see brand awareness raised even further. 

A multicultural marketing agency with experience with the different ethnic groups in the UK can help you get your campaign right the first time and avoid any mishaps to ensure your brand is remembered positively.  

Increase in brand purpose

By attending an ethnic event, your brand is pledging your allegiance to the culture or ethnic group and is showing the ethnic minority that you care for them. By attending, your brand’s visibility will increase, and you’ll be able to connect with both existing customers and potential consumers. Showing your consumers you care by celebrating a cultural holiday, will not only increase sales on the day but will also see a greater return in the future as consumers share their experiences with others through social media and word of mouth. Your brand must then continue to track your deliverables for some time after the event. 

Your campaigns following the event must continue to be consistent with the approach to equality and diversity for your brand to be recognised by the ethnic minorities. They will be checking if your approach was authentic. There will be no hesitation to call out brands who are not genuine in their ethnic marketing, as we have seen in recent years.  

How can you merchandise ethnic tokens?

When attending ethnic events and holidays, it is good to ensure your merchandise or marketing materials are appropriate for the event and the activation. There are many different types of merchandise your brand can create to do this. The correct preparation and research will ensure your brand stands out within the crowd if you correctly identify the right tokens. 

For example, when connecting with a Romanian audience, we suggest looking at the Romanian Martisor. Whilst the symbolism must stay the same to appreciate the rich history. The red and white string has evolved over the years, and the attached pendant can be altered slightly, allowing your brand to include a branded logo or symbol that is still culturally appropriate. The white string represents the cold of winter, and the red string represents the warmth of spring, and when braided together, they represent and celebrate the beginning of Spring. Women wear the Martisor throughout March as it is believed to bring strength and health to the coming year. 

With other events such as Eid on square and Vaisakhi square fast approaching, there is still time for your brand to get noticed at ethnic events this year. Check out GottaBe!’s ethnic calendar to stay up to date with the different ethnic events happening throughout the year. 

How we support WU for events

GottaBe! have worked with Western Union on several campaigns. Our most recent ethnic event was Diwali on the square. The activation was split into 2 parts to engage audiences effectively. The experiential side saw an art and craft stall providing children with the opportunity to make Rangoli, a traditional form of art originating in India. The other part saw the team handing out leaflets and branded merchandise tailored to the holiday alongside the interactive activity. Branded tea lights and bamboo boats were handed out to allow the public to write messages or prayers; these were then put into the famous Trafalgar square fountains. Photos of the Diya activation were later shared on the Mayor 

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